Training For Success

12 11 2011

It is important to train your employees to be more effective. The quality and variety of the employee training you provide is key for motivation. While it may seem expensive to provide quality training for your employees, no organization can afford to not provide training. You lose money every hour you let them work without working to improve their productivity and relevant skills.

An effective training program will:

-Teach them how to work in line with the organization’s mission

-Provide them with the necessary knowledge on your products and services

-Bestow them with the relevent skills to succeed

-Instill confidence through extensive knowledge and ‘expertise’

-Promote safety

-Shows investment in employees

Training doesn’t have to be expensive. It can be a program developed by the organization as a whole. Teams know where they lack knowledge and expertise. The leaders within the organization know how to effectively train their employees. When training comes from within the organization, it is more effective. When it comes from within, it can be a continuous effort- a never ending effort to renew knowledge and polish up deficiencies.

Training is essential. When done well it provides organizations with productive, safe, confident employees. It improves profits by increasing customers, reducing injuries, reducing errors, reducing employee turnover.


What does your organization do to ensure each employee is knowledgable on all the products and services you offer?

Photo Source: Entrepreneur Magazine, SA


Praise The Right Way

10 11 2011

It is important to praise your employees. Positive reinforcement is essential to maintaining motivation. If an employee feels that their work is being unnoticed, they will become unmotivated and their performance will likely decrease. In addition to motivating employees, it helps communicate the good behaviors that are expected in the position. The positive reinforcement will lead to them continuing to work hard.

Employees who receive recognition for their achievements are more enthusiastic about their work, more cooperative, and more open to change. When you show appreciation and reward employees for good work, you increase their job commitment and organizational loyalty.

It is important, when praising your employees, to praise them for their efforts and their achievements, rather than their skills. Although employees like to feel smart and talented, attributing their achievements to hard work rather than natural attributes will drive motivation. By linking their successes with hard work and a strong effort, they will repeat those actions in the future. If you link them to a natural ability or quality, they won’t find the need to perform the same way to get to those results.

Managing The Difficult Employee

9 11 2011

Every manager will have a difficult employee- it is inevitable. There will always be difficult employees. It is your job as the manager to deal with them. Terminating a difficult employee may, at times, be the easy way out. It is normal that nobody wants to work with these people, but there are more proactive ways to handle the situation.

We want to assume that some people are just naturally difficult no matter what situation they put themselves in. They show up late, perform at a minimal level, have a hard time achieving deadlines, and leave early, with an excuse for each fault. They make themselves easy to recognize.

The key as a manager is to not let the problem lower productivity, raise frustration, or bring down the morale of the team.

How to approach these employees:

1) Don’t ignore the problem. As long as the employee brings value to the organization and has the qualities to be good performer, there are ways to deal with difficult employees. A manager must realize that the problems do not just go away. There must be action taken.

2) Intervene as soon as possible. Taking action as soon as the problem arises will prevent it from escalating. At times, the employee doesn’t even know that their behavior is affecting others. It happens when other employees put up with the behavior and ignore it, as if it is just a normal nuisance in the workplace. Employees tend to be reluctant when a problem arises. It is the manager’s responsibility to take the appropriate action to correct the problem.

3) Research the problem. The manager needs to ask the employee if they are aware of any behavioral or performance problems. The manager then needs to identify the unacceptable behavior in a way that is productive. It is not beneficial to anyone to be condescending and blaming, but rather clear and encouraging.

4) Help the employee get on the right track. Encouraging the correct behaviors and leading by example are ways to coach the employee. It is a difficult process and they need to practice the acceptable and appropriate behaviors in the workplace. It is not a quick fix, so it requires patience and feedback throughout the process.

5) Terminate if necessary. If the employee is not able to adjust, termination may be appropriate. It may be that the employee does not fit in the organization or in that environment. It is beneficial for you and for the employee to identify the misfit. Not doing so is harmful to the difficult employee, other employees in the organization and the overall productivity and the success of the team.

It is the overall responsibility of the manager to act on employees that may cause harm to the team. It is important to encourage and assist employees to get on the right track. Good management can help employees grow in positive ways.

Barriers To Effective Communication

5 11 2011

Communication can be difficult. Communication across cultures is more difficult than communicating in one’s own culture, because people with different cultural backgrounds have less common information about how to communicate effectively. It is essential to understand the differences in the cultural background, in order to make the adjustments necessary that lead to effective communication. Cultures provide people with ways of thinking–ways of seeing, hearing, and interpreting the world. Thus the same words can mean different things to people from different cultures.

National and cultural context, which refers to the culturally based elements of a person’s background, need to be considered in communication. This national and cultural context can be:

-Beliefs about what is correct to communicate

-The status of the sender and the receiver

-Attitude toward the content of the message

-Stereotypes of the other culture

-Cultural preferences regarding the medium used

A number of national and cultural factors influence the effectiveness of communication across borders. It is important to make sure that everyone in the organization understands cultural differences in communication styles. The workplace is filled with diversity at all levels. It is important that everyone is able to communicate effectively, despite different backgrounds or communication styles. Increased awareness of differences is likely to be translated into more effective forms of communication within the organization.

Engagement Leads To Motivation

4 11 2011

I came across an old BusinessWeek article from February 2008, which shared some management strategies of former Ritz-Carlton President Simon Cooper. Cooper saw the way to improve customer service and increase employee satisfaction was by engaging his staff. This upscale hotelier designed

his staff meetings to engage his employees. Encouraging engagement in the employees is to create and support an environment where people find value and meaning in their work. Intrinsic rewards come to an employee when they feel a sense of importance and meaningfulness in at work. When people feel that they are a part of something special, they are more highly motivated and committed to the success of the organization and all its members.

BusinessWeek  highlighted 5 of Cooper’s practices, which hold value in any organization as a way to increase engagement:

Share “Wow Stories”

The Ritz-Carlton employees gather for a staff meeting each day, where they come together and share their “wow stories.” These are true stories of employees going above and beyond the conventional customer service expectations. According to Cooper, these talks accomplish two goals. It reinforces the customer service level the hotel leadership is encouraging. It also gives the employees recognition in front of their peers for their good work. Public recognition is a powerful motivator.

Demonstrate Passion

An essential characteristic of a leader is to show passion. Since moods are contagious, having a smile on and demonstrating passion for their jobs, leaders are able to have an uplifting effect on others. Cooper treats each of his employees with the utmost respect and enthusiasm. When a high level manager greets his team with personal attention, it shows respect. In return, the team returns their respect through commitment to hard work.

Sell the Benefit

Each day, the staff meetings at Ritz-Carlton reinforce one of their 12 service values all employees are expected to embody on the job. The leadership team demonstrates and illustrates to the employees how their service directly impacts the customer experience. It is important to use staff meetings to make the connection for the team.

Ask for Feedback

Employees are encouraged to speak during the staff meetings. The supervisors create an open atmosphere where the team members are to bring up topics of concern, areas for improvement, and praise accomplishments. It is important when the supervisors show interest and take action when their employees call for it. It is essential that the employees know their supervisor listens to their concerns and know they will follow up on it.

Praise Effectively

Effective feedback happens when you seek to help them improve on a given task, rather than focusing on what they have done wrong. Supervisors can use the staff meetings to constructively provide them with feedback. Praise is essential to encouraging employees to continue hard work.

Motivation can and should take place in every part of an organization. A successful organization is one that is always pushing to move forward. It is clear that Cooper, at Ritz-Carlton, could not motivate each of his employees. It is each of the manager’s responsibility to reinforce the brand and its values through all interactions with their teams.

Are your team members engaged? Are they inspired to follow your vision? Five-star service does not begin with them. It begins with you.



International Management: Managing in a Diverse and Dynamic Global Environment

Be The Approachable Leader

1 11 2011

Cartoon Source

In a leadership position, it is important to be approachable. The leader must be able to communicate effectively with their followers. The followers must feel comfortable approaching the leader and sharing their thoughts and ideas. An approachable leader makes sure they listen to other’s concerns. They are easy to work with in a team and are enthusiastic about new ideas. Approachable leaders are effective because their followers know they are honest and consistent.

Scott Ginsberg’s popular book, The Approachable Leader: 49 Daily Practices for Inspiring, Influencing and Infecting Your Followers, provides some questions a leader should consider to determine how approachable they actually are:

Four- Who wants to sit in your radius?

Leading is being able to influence your followers. Success will come when the leaders develop themselves into someone that people simple want to be around. An influential person is someone who not only has great ideas and can communicate those ideas, but also someone who gets people around them involved. These people influence people though what they believe, what they say, what they do, and who they are.

SevenAre you making communication a relaxing experience?

Do people avoid communication with you because they fear stress, embarrassment, or disappointment? It is crucial to make sure that followers feel comfortable expressing their ideas, without fear of negative scrutiny. Not all great ideas will come from upper management. Everyone in the organization must feel that they can share ideas with their leader.


A leader can be effective and gain trust when they are approachable. The followers must always feel comfortable approaching the leader. Approachable leadership creates an open door policy for new ideas. It will effectively establish an open communication environment and a higher level of communication.


How do you make sure you are approachable?

What Makes A Leader Different

29 10 2011

There are many qualities that successful leaders possess. These strong qualities are what separates leaders from the rest.While some traits are inherent within people, the qualities that leaders strive on can be developed. Whether a person is born a leader or develops skills and abilities to become a leader is open for debate. There are some clear characteristics that are found in good leaders. These qualities can be developed or may be naturally part of their personality.

Leaders emerge when they become masters of these seven qualities, among others:

1)   A leader must have a strong character. Honesty is a basic requirement of a good leader. People will be able to lead others if they are trustworthy. Leaders must show their team that they are honest through their actions. When your words match your actions, you will be more effective with motivating your team and achieving your goals.

2)   Leaders are enthusiastic about their work. A team’s response is much more open when they see passion and dedication in their leader. Enthusiasm sets an environment of motivation and inspiration. Leaders with passion towards their work are not afraid to do the dirty and difficult tasks.

3)   A confident leader is able to inspire. In order to lead and set direction, a leader needs to appear confident as a person and in the leadership role. Confident leaders instill confidence in others and bring out the best efforts of the team to complete their goals.

4)   A leader is organized. They need to function in a purposeful and organized manner in situations of uncertainty. People look to leaders in times of unfamiliarity and the leader needs to provide security through positive action.

5)   Leaders have low uncertainty avoidance. They are tolerant of ambiguity and remain calm and organized though times of uncertainty. Their flexibility allows them to find effective solutions in varying and unstable environments.

6)   Leaders are focused. A leader is able to think clearly and keep the main goal in focus. A leader can break down complex situations and inspect each aspect closely, as well as see them as a whole. A leader is able to think analytically develop manageable steps to resolve problems.

7)   A leader is committed to success. They are able to maintain high standards and commit their team to excellence. They can raise the level of their team to achieve their goals.

These qualities are the foundation of good leadership. Although these characteristics are naturally found in ones personality, they can all be developed and strengthened. A leader is always committed to strengthening these qualities.

What other qualities do you think leaders possess?