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Key Leadership Qualities

ByBlogpost, challenges, Entrepreneurship, excellence, Goals, inspirations, Leadership, management, mindset, Success

A leader’s job is mostly about managing people, and a good business owner should also be a good leader. He or she should be able to effectively connect with his or her employees and be able to lead them down the correct path to achieve the company’s goals. The business owner might have great ideas and the passion to succeed but if the team or the staff are not willing to follow then the business won’t go far. As mentioned in my previous article, your top sales guy might not be a good leader. This also applies to business owners.

Running a company does not only mean implementing brilliant ideas and having the passion to run it. Managing people is also an integral part in running a company. Your staff is what keeps your business running on a daily basis. As the business owner, your staff looks up to you for guidance. Weak leadership can lead a company to ruin while a strong one leads to success. Just like implementing a leadership development plan for an employee, as a leader yourself, you can look to working on your own leadership skills to be able to properly connect with your team and efficiently run your business.

Communication

A leader should foster open communication with the team. Your staff or employees are the front liners of your business and they see things that are not seen by the upper management. You need that valuable information to be able to properly plan things out for your business. Allow your staff to speak out to gain insight at the base level. When communicating with the team, be as honest and clear as possible. This will help you gain their trust and confidence which in turn would also encourage them to be just as honest and clear with you. The key here is that excellent communication allows you to gain valuable information from the front line.

Live What You Preach

One great way of connecting with your team is to have strong ethics and living by them. This is all about earning your team’s respect. You can talk all day about doing the right things – but you need to walk the talk, and your subordinates will follow your example. Once you have their respect, they will stand by your every business decision. The less second guessing on every decision, the better chances of positive results.

Ask For Advice

It does not matter how well you know the industry, change is constant in business. Set your ego aside. You do not know everything. Ask for advice if you are not sure of something. Great leaders are always willing to learn new things and the easiest way to learn is to learn to ask questions.

Developing Leaders In Your Company

ByBlogpost, challenges, Entrepreneurship, excellence, Goals, Human resources, Leadership, management, opportunities, purpose

As your business grows, you need to hire new people to sustain that growth. You need to build new teams or departments to handle the specific areas of the business. The hiring process itself can be challenging. This is especially true if you are looking for leaders to manage the teams. The hiring process when it comes to looking for leaders or managers can be more tedious compared to the hiring process for regular employees. This is because managers have bigger responsibilities within the company. They are responsible for the people under them and have to answer to the people above them.

To save time and resources, one approach that you can take is to hire within the company. The ability to hire homegrown talent can give your company that competitive edge in the market. But you just can’t give anyone the responsibilities of a manager or a leader. Most employees are often promoted because of their excellent performance with their jobs and not their leadership skills. What I’m saying is – your top sales guy might not be a good leader.

Recognize Potential

Keep on the lookout for individuals who go the extra mile. Leaders want to see how far they can go. Push people out of their comfort zones and see who will stand out. Great leaders can adapt to any situation and would still succeed or make the best out of the given situation. Do not forget to observe beyond their job related skills. Observe their behaviours and attitudes. Do they have the right mindset to manage a team? Do their colleagues look to them for advice? How are their people skills? If you can see the potential then you are on your way to finding a homegrown leader.

Opportunities for Development

If you are looking to grow your business, having a leadership development plan as part of your strategy is a good idea. A leadership development plan does not only involve training but hands on experience. Giving out challenging tasks and rotating jobs can help develop skills, improve confidence and will give a deeper insight into your business and your business goals. Get this plan started as early as possible because you’ll never know when you might need someone to manage a team.

Coach

As a leader yourself, impart your knowledge, values and experiences to the potential leaders in your organisation. Since they are part of your company, that knowledge will not go to waste and would not only benefit them, but also your business. Think of this as another type of investment. But remember, as the leader and the business owner, live what you preach and be honest when interacting your team.

Identifying High Performing Team Members

ByBlogpost, Entrepreneurship, excellence, Human resources, Leadership, management

Every company needs employees to keep the business running. Business owners need people who will show up on time and get the job done. But sometimes it is not enough if you want your business to grow. One aspect of growing a business is looking at your existing workforce and identifying high performing team members. There are individuals who will show a knack in leadership and smart decision making. While others have the talent in coming up with ideas and innovations that will make a positive impact in your company. As a business owner, it is in your best interest to keep an eye out for such individuals as they are a huge asset to the business. Nurture them and allow them to grow, and you will see positive changes in your organisation.

Accomplishing goals and asking for more

High performing employees not only accomplish their tasks but will ask for more when they are done. Not only do they accomplish their tasks but they value the quality in their work. These guys are focused and are always looking for the next challenge.

Give these types of individuals stretch assignments. High performers are not only satisfied with finishing tasks but are looking for ways to push their skills to the limit as well as learning new ones. Develop them through the tasks you assign them.

Asking for feedback

Employees know that they are always open for feedback but high performers will actually desire for feedback. They are fully aware that in order for them to improve, they need to understand what your expectations of them are. Employees need to know how they are doing in terms of their work and their contributions to the organisation. They need the feedback for motivation and to come up with ideas to make a positive impact in the company.

Regularly providing feedback to all team members in the organisation is essential for business growth. Emphasize the company goals and maintaining high standards when providing feedback to high performers.

High standards of quality

High performers have high standards when it comes to quality. They don’t want things to just get done. High performers complete their tasks with quality as the number one priority. They can be very meticulous and patient in their work just to ensure that they are churning out projects that are up to their standards.

Once you’re done identifying high performing team members, assign these high performers to work on a company project or placed in a quality control team. Their tendency to value quality would definitely show in your future projects that would surely impress your business partners.

Challenges to New Team Members

ByAttitude, Blogpost, challenges, Entrepreneurship, excellence, Food for thought, Goals, Human resources, Leadership, management, stress, Success

You have now successfully hired new team members to your organisation. The team is ready to take the journey with you to achieve your business goals. Everyone is onboard and have a clear understanding of your company’s mission and vision. Morale is high and everyone is pumped up. Everything looks perfect and good to go.

But is it really? Even with a tried and tested onboarding process, new staff members can experience problems in the first few weeks of working in your company. As time goes on, it is very unlikely that they will speak up about the challenges and issues that they are facing. This can lead to further problems that might affect their productivity and the business as a whole. As a leader and business owner, you can watch out of for these things and hopefully resolve them as soon as possible.

Adjustment to Relocation

Some of your new hires might have relocated from another city or even from another country to work for your company. They might have brought their families with them. This can cause issues especially if they are unfamiliar with the new location. Despite this being a personal issue, it might negatively affect their work. They might even start to rethink if they made the right decision.

One way of handling this is simply through communication. Your HR can schedule a meeting with the employee and come up with suggestions to resolve the issue or at least lessen the burden of the problem. They can also have them talk to another employee who had gone through the same issue so they can get advice and share their experiences.

Managerial Issues

It can be common for new employees to not be able to form a good relationship with their managers. This can be due to conflicting ideas, or the managerial style not fitting the employee’s style.

Once signs of this problem come up, it is best to have your HR or your onboarding department to get in touch with the employee. It’s important to get to the root of the problem and smooth things out. They could advise the employee and manager to stay in touch regularly so they can get a feel for each other’s way of doing things. It all comes down to understanding and working as a team.

Expectations and Results

Sometimes, new employees tend to take on too much too quickly. This is done to hopefully impress their supervisors or co-workers without knowing that this can lead to unnecessary overload and eventually burning out.

Regularly remind everyone in your organisation to take on reasonable expectations. Trying to achieve impossible expectations can be stressful and is counterproductive in the long run.

The Value of a Job Interview

ByBlogpost, Entrepreneurship, Goals, Human resources, Leadership, management, opportunities, purpose, Success

Most of us would not accept a partnership proposal without at least meeting the business owner. The company may look good on paper but nothing beats an actual meeting to be able to get to know who we would be dealing with on a personal level. This is the same when conducting job interviews with potential new employees.

The job interview is one of the most subjective part of the hiring process and is also one of the most important. This is when we would be able to personally evaluate if the candidate is good fit for the company. This is also a good opportunity to decide if the candidate’s skills align with the company’s goals and needs. With that said, it is no wonder why big and small companies alike still value the job interview in their hiring process.

Confidence Level

Employees in your company may need to interact face to face with customers or may need to interact with your business partners. Confident employees will project an image of success within the organisation. This in turn will also give the image that your company is no stranger to success.

Interviewing a candidate would allow you to determine if that individual would be capable of confidently speaking up in front of many people.

Social Behaviour

As a business owner, you want your company’s day to day operations to run as smoothly as possible. You want your team members to work with each other as efficiently as possible. Basically, your team needs to be on the same page for you to be able to achieve your business goals. With that said, nothing can hinder a team’s progress like a team member causing unnecessary friction within the team. This can lead to wasted time and resources.

The benefit of conducting interviews is that you can analyze a candidate’s social behaviour. Does that individual have basic etiquette? Can they work well with others? Can they communicate their ideas properly in a team based environment? A well conducted interview can give you an idea about these things.

Intelligence

In order for an individual to be truly confident, he also needs to have the smarts to back it up. There is a difference between acting confident and being truly confident. Having the intelligence to back up the confidence can really go a long way when it comes quick decision making and taking responsibility at any given task.

Interviewing a candidate would allow you determine how smart a person is by how they present themselves and how quickly they can answer your questions.

Getting High Performers to Come to You

ByAttitude, challenges, Entrepreneurship, excellence, Goals, Human resources, Leadership, management, opportunities, Success

The performance of your team members is one the pillars of a successful business. You may already have a huge market and a solid business plan in place to reach your business goals but without a good team behind you, the journey will be harder than it should be. Having a competitive team is essential if you want to stay ahead of the competition and create opportunities for further growth.

A high performing talent can have a positive impact and facilitate growth in your business, but we all know that getting those individuals to join your team is not an easy task. As a business owner, one thing that you can do is to make your company enticing to these high performers.

Team Leaders

Make it clear that you are looking for leaders. High performing individuals tend to be natural leaders and will see this as a challenge. They will assume that you are hiring them to facilitate growth and make positive changes in your company. Empowering them will allow these talents to shine and to step up to every challenge. This will foster an environment where leadership tasks are driven by the team members which can be an advantage when it comes to quick and efficient decision making.

Partnership

High performers know what their worth is. They know that whenever they are in business, positive things tend to happen. These individuals are not looking for the standard compensation packages like salaries, bonuses and benefits. They already know that they can get those at a competitive rate. As a business owner, offer up a financial partnership with them. Build a compensation plan that will show them that you want to share the value and wealth that they will create by being a part of your company. Being considered as a partner will encourage them to bring out their best, knowing it will also benefit them.

Confidence

High performers are always on the lookout for organisations that know how to succeed and is always expected to succeed. A culture of confidence within the company means that the company has seen multiple successes in their line of business.

Business awards, or recognition received by the company showing that it is a leader in the industry will make it more attractive to high performing employees. These companies are expected by the employees to succeed and grow because it has done so time and again. Company growth means that employees also have opportunities to grow and develop their career.

Hiring High Performing Team Members

Bychallenges, Entrepreneurship, Goals, Human resources, Leadership, management

With growth comes new challenges. It can be stability or staying ahead of the new competition. One of the challenges is hiring high performing team members. When your business is growing rapidly, it can be difficult to know when and who to hire. While it is important to hire new team members to accommodate business growth, some business owners may not like the hiring process. It takes up a lot of time and can be complicated.

The job market has a lot of talented professionals just waiting to become a member of your organisation. With this said, you need to have a strategic process in place to have a higher chance of hiring the best person for the job.

Keep on Looking

Keep on looking for new talents. Do not wait for a job slot to be available in your company before starting to look for new team members. Thinking positive is a good mindset when running a business. It means envisioning your business to grow in the future, and needing new team members to support your growth. Keep tabs or stay connected with talented people that you might have already met. You can scout for talent even in unexpected places. Take conferences, for example. You might meet fellow entrepreneurs who can refer a professional who would fit in nicely in your current or future business ventures. Having information on the professionals who you think would be able to help you reach your future goals would make the hiring process so much easier.

Plan Ahead

Once you have decided to hire new team members, plan ahead of time so you can start the recruitment process early. It will give you enough time to pick out the best of the best. A standard recruitment process can take at least 4 weeks. This is on top of the training period for your new employees. The training process can also draw up a lot of your existing resources. This means that your existing employees, who are already at max capacity, will be the ones who will train the new hires. Planning ahead would allow you to predict possible delays or problems, which can give you time to come up with solid contingency measures to make the whole process as smooth as possible.

Set Your Expectation

The fact that your business is growing means that you are a competitive business owner. Make sure to share this fact when interviewing candidates so they will have an idea on what you expect from them. Share stories of current employees who has the same competitive mindset. Set the bar high. Competitive candidates will take you up on that challenge.

Interviewing Potential New Hires

ByAttitude, Blogpost, challenges, Entrepreneurship, excellence, Goals, Human resources, Leadership, management, Success

Expanding your business means hiring new employees to fill up different job positions. You need professionals who are competent and have the drive to achieve your company’s goals. You, or your company’s human resource department may start posting online for available job positions.

Once you start receiving those job applications, you can start narrowing down the applicants based on their experience, qualifications and skills. How do you correctly select who shares your vision and passion? How do you know who has the talent to take your business to the next level? This is where the importance of interviewing applicants come into play.

Through a job interview you will be able to assess a candidate’s experience, skills and mindset on the job that he is applying for. This will allow you to know the potential employee on a personal basis. If that person does not work well with a team or has a questionable attitude, skills and experience mean nothing. Some companies are moving toward favoring test scores in the employee selection process. However, most still rely on the good, old-fashioned way. So how do you conduct a proper job interview?

Prepare a List

Whether you have an interview team or you are doing it solo, make sure to prepare a list of the skills, experience, qualities and knowledge that you are looking for in an employee. Using this list, come up with questions to be able to efficiently gather the necessary information on each applicant. If you have an interview team, make sure that they understand their role in the applicant assessment process.

Legal Job Interview Questions

In a job interview, not everything is up for discussion. Ask legal interview questions that will highlight their strengths and weaknesses pertaining to the job that they are applying for. Avoid illegal job interview questions that could make you a target for a lawsuit. Questions about their marital status or if they plan to have or already have children should be avoided.

Relaxed Atmosphere

A friendly handshake in an onsite interview or a friendly greeting in a phone interview can go a long way. Establish a connection with the applicant to make him or her comfortable during the interview. A relaxed applicant would be able to provide you with accurate information that you need during the selection process. This will allow you to gauge their personalities and attitudes and make a decision if they are a good fit for your team.

Creating an Employee Handbook

Bymanagement, challenges, Entrepreneurship, Goals, Human resources, Leadership, Success

In one of my previous articles, I talked about on how to onboard new hires to the team as smoothly as possible. One of the points I mentioned is having an employee handbook to set expectations and to provide a company overview to your new team members. This can also help them with their daily tasks and can increase their efficiency in the first few weeks on the job.

One of the challenges encountered when making an employee handbook is on how to make it interesting enough for your new hires, let alone existing employees, to read it. Let’s be honest, these handbooks aren’t exactly page-turners. If you are asked to describe an employee handbook, you may come up with words like “boring”, “bland” or “stiff”. Which should not be the case since an employee handbook is technically the first company document that new hires receive. Take that opportunity to grab their attentions and make them emotionally invested in your company or organization. Start nurturing those positive emotions by creating an employee handbook that you yourself would want to read. Remember, your employees are your greatest assets.

State Your Company Mission and Vision

The first thing that your employee handbook should show is your company’s mission and vision. This is the most important part since this is the part where you should be able to engage with your new hires’ at the emotional and intellectual level. Challenge their perception of your company or organisation. Lay it out for them so both of you would be on the same page. A company’s success depends on excellent teamwork. If you and your team members share the same mission and vision for the company then you are on your way to achieving your business goals.

Showcase Your Company Perks

Make the job more than just a paycheck. Almost all standard employee handbooks are filled with a list of expectations a company has of their employees. Make it more enticing and exciting to the one reading. Highlight the perks that you are offering. State what you are offering them and emphasize that you are investing in them. Showcasing the company perks is telling your employees that they are getting more than just a paycheck. Show them that you consider them valuable members of the team and worth keeping.

Do Not Call It an Employee Handbook

Remember the words that are usually associated with an employee handbook? Boring, bland and stiff? Well those same words will usually come up in your head if a handbook is just named “Employee Handbook” or “Staff Manual”. Come up with a name that piques their interest or reflects a company’s culture. Make them want to read the handbook just by the title. Be creative but be as clear as possible on what the handbook is. As simple as changing the title can make a huge difference.

3 Steps to Successfully Integrate New Team Members

Bychallenges, Entrepreneurship, Food for thought, Goals, Human resources, Leadership, management, Success

For the past few weeks, we have been talking about growing our business and how to efficiently do it. We have discussed looking into outsourcing as one of the ways to achieve our business goals as well as the pros and cons associated with outsourcing, as well as managing our teams and the different aspects of leadership. Leading and managing a team not only involves setting the path to your business goals, you also need to know how to integrate a new hire to your organization or company.

A new hire’s first few weeks are the most crucial. This is the time period where you are setting clear expectations and is the perfect opportunity to build their personal investment to your company or business. While it is tempting to skip the onboarding process, doing so might cause your new employee to leave, not have the right direction or mindset for the job. You need a solid plan to be able to easily integrate new hires to your organization.

Come Up with an Employee Handbook

Creating a simple employee handbook can be of great help to new hires as well as existing employees. When making an employee handbook, be as straight-forward as possible, use simple language and avoid legal jargon that might confuse your employees. You can start with a simple overview of the company and its policies. This will give your new team members a clear idea on the type of business you are running, how you want it to be run and the goals you want to achieve. It can also help them understand your company culture and make it easier for them to get along with the rest of the team.

Provide Feedback

Providing feedback to new hires can help them gauge their work and allow them to make the necessary adjustments to align with your company’s vision and goals. It is a good idea that for the first few weeks, to schedule a weekly one on one with your new hires. This will make them feel engaged and connected with the company. Taking the time to provide feedback can increase your new hires’ success and in turn they would be able to provide valuable contributions to your business’ growth.

Set Simple Goals

Set up a few simple goals in the first few weeks to help your new hires ease into their roles within the company. Make sure to point them to resources that they can use and to who in the team they can ask for assistance. Achieving simple goals in the first few weeks will give them that boost of confidence to encourage them to do even better in their jobs. It is a win/win situation for you and your new team members.