Monday, February 25, 2013

Management retention

 Are you retaining key managers?

Many business owners talk about hiring top talent and retaining them as key components to build the business with. Nevertheless, the process for training, developing and retaining a strong senior management team seems often elusive.
Why do key managers leave and cause owners to restart the expensive talent search for replacements?
Here are a number of factors that may cause management turnover.
·       Lack of challenge
It is important to ensure you gain commitment from senior managers and one way is to ensure their aspirations are aligned with corporate goals. Challenge senior managers so they don’t slip into a boring job routine.

·       Skill development
Development is a continuing process and there should always be ways to use a manager’s creativity to ensure additional growth and development occurs. If you limit growth the manager is only more encouraged to seek challenges elsewhere.

·       Leadership
As owner or president, do you lead? If owners fail to provide leadership and that includes listening so other managers have a voice to express ideas, then strong managers will leave for a place where their talent is more appreciated.

·       Recognition – Rewards
The best organizations don’t take credit for success they give credit to key people and then reward them for special contributions. Failing to recognize this is only a step away from asking a manager to leave.
Successful businesses spend time developing, training, and recognizing key employees and the bi-product is that they are less required to spend time and money acquiring new talent. Turnover is expensive and counter-productive to growing the business.
 Those are my thoughts. Yours?

Monday, February 18, 2013

Business Start-up

Watch for Start-up Hazards

 Are you planning to start a new business?  There are many hazards that might be faced and avoiding these can help improve the chances of success.
Here a few hazards new entrepreneurs should try to avoid.

1. Zero Capital investment
This may seem obvious but it can overcome easily. Don’t open for business until you can prove customer validation of your concept and see real potential traction. Even if outside financing can be obtained, without personal skin in the game there may be less commitment. 

2. Indecision
Information overload can cause “analysis paralysis”. There is a finite number of ways to look at issues so make a decision a get on with the business. There is no perfect answer and many ways to move forward so don’t procrastinate.

3. Fear of Failing
It is natural to have some fear that the business will not succeed and certainly problems will arise and challenge your business acumen. However, if the concept is strong and validated you should not let fear of failing stop you from trying to live your dream.

4. Isolation - Disorganization
Don’t be afraid to admit when you need help. The business will be stronger and more successful if you take advantage of advisors and team members. Relationships should be built continuously to enhance the health of the business.

5. Cash flow shortage
Avoiding the initial investment issues does not prevent running out of cash later. It is essential for owners to know the numbers. You cannot avoid balance sheets, income statements and cash flow projections and achieve success easily. Cash should be held and parted with reluctantly. Make sure you understand where new cash reserves can be built before spending existing reserves.

Well these are some hazards you may face in starting a business. There are others but avoiding these may help improve you chances of a successful start in business. I hope this helps you get underway. Let me know.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Personnel Management

Should I Hire an Employees or Contract Service?

In today’s economy, business is often faced with the question of filling manpower needs by hiring an employees or using outside contract services. There are benefits with each option and this article should provide insight into some of the benefits of each approach.

Hiring employees:
The primary benefit may be with control over the employee. The business has the right to hire/fire, determine salary and working conditions. Generally with employees there is a higher level of commitment to the organization and a desire to contribute and help the business grow over the longer term.
Employees will be seen to be more a part of the team and individuals work harder at establishing strong inter-personal relationships with other employees. Loyalty and commitment increase.
In smaller organizations, employees often fill multiple roles. This increases learning opportunities and can increase productivity.

Contracting for service
This approach is simpler and may be less expensive. The business does not have to provide benefits so there is an immediate and potentially long term savings. Overhead costs are reduced.
Management of the process is simplified, the employer does not have to withhold income taxes, or pay a share of CPP or EI.
There is a tax advantage that accrues to the employer as a result of the potential tax deduction for contract services.
There is greater flexibility in controlling the term of service.

These are a few of the issues to consider. You may have other thoughts to share. Please let me know.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Business Leadership

Keys to Leadership

There are a number of traits that strong leaders in business demonstrate in their organization. Here are a few keys that a strong leader will show:

·       Trust and Credibility
If employees trust management they will follow the leaders. As trust develops so does credibility of direction and this leads to team building needed to facilitate success. Other facets of a good leader that enhance trust are honesty and integrity.

·       Vision clarity
Leaders near to share the vision to be achieved but the objectives to be achieved must be clearly expressed. When an organization’s vision is shared employees are more secure. Great leaders are also good listeners so they understand what employees are saying about their understanding of the vision.

·       Coaching and communication skills
Successful leaders have great interpersonal skills that they demonstrate by daily interaction with employees. Interfacing with employees, coaching, teaching, listening and supporting are all facets demonstrated by strong leaders. These attributes are needed to help employees develop and reach their optimum level of contribution and growth.

·       Decide and accept accountability
Strong leaders can examine facts and make decisions that fit the vision. Quick decisions are not always needed; the best approach ensures appropriate time is taken to examine all facets of the decision to ensure both immediate and longer term effects are measured. Once factors are evaluated a confident decision can be communicated to the team.

These are some of the core values that strong leadership will demonstrate and that are needed to enjoy the confidence of employees throughout the organization.
Do you have other thoughts?