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5 Tips for Successful Networking

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Woman shaking hand with another personNetworking.  This term is exciting to some of us, terrifying to others, and confusing to most of us regarding the question: What am I supposed to be doing here?  In the last few months, I have started attending networking events to get to know more people in my field and to say the least… it’s tough business.

A lot of us know that networking is necessary in this extra fast-paced world, but we don’t know how to be successful at it. Networking events are full of others just like us, in our business or not, hoping to make the same connections we are. It is still a complicated business to know how to interact with all of those other people.

Find Out What We Can Do!

Here are a few helpful tips to help get prepared and organized to make the most of your time and make a networking event worth more than the free food and drinks: Continue reading “5 Tips for Successful Networking”

Use Performance Improvement Plans to Empower Employees

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Dart on dartboardEvery manager has experienced an employee who is under-performing. Goals are not being met. The quality of their work is poor. This can bring down morale for the team and affect the overall goals of the entire organization. No manager really wants to deal with performance issues. However, it’s important and fair for the rest of the team, as well as the underperforming employee, that the issues are addressed and managed effectively.

Before deciding how to manage an underperforming employee, ask yourself a few questions to help determine whether this is a case of underperformance or misconduct, and identify the possible causes of underperformance: Continue reading “Use Performance Improvement Plans to Empower Employees”

Building Team Unity

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Group of people smiling and laughing togetherEvery business leader wants to establish a great culture and strong teamwork in their organization.  A great culture enables success, builds the fabric of the team, and also attracts new talent.  However, we all have seen a talented team fail, due to poor culture or interpersonal dynamics.

Having a great team is all about the people! Human beings have self-esteem and are driven by their ambitions. In general, they want growth and they want their independence. Continue reading “Building Team Unity”

Conquer Stress and Burnout with Your Team

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Employee holding up a help signWellness and well-being in the workplace are on trend, and it’s about time! We all have had or at least overheard conversations far too often about stress and anxiety in the workplace. Overflowing inboxes, growing to-do lists, and deadline pressures leave employees feeling overwhelmed and overworked. This can lead to burnout, and it affects your team and your organization. Thus, fixing and preventing burnout is something for which leadership should take part ownership.

How do you help employees learn to manage the stress that can cause burnout?  Some long-term solutions could be one or all of the following: Continue reading “Conquer Stress and Burnout with Your Team”

Four Ways to Improve Customer Service

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Two women smiling and talking to each other in an officeWe’ve all been there…walking out of a store or hanging up the phone, feeling overwhelmed by the service that we received. Sometimes that feeling is positive and sometimes, unfortunately, we have encounters that are less than enjoyable. Think back to a time when you had one of these experiences, whether good or bad, and consider what the person you were interacting with did to make you feel one way or the other. What was your reaction?

Personally, I try to make it a point to acknowledge great service. I will seek out the manager to let them know that their employee is doing a great job.  Some people may leave reviews online about service they receive, while others may tell their friends and family about their experience. Regardless of our reaction, there is one thing that is certain:  when we invest our money and put our confidence in a brand, we have an expectation for the service that we receive.

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According to Forbes.com, 92 percent of 1,000 polled consumers said that “three or fewer poor customer service experiences” would cause them to stop doing business with a company. Furthermore, 26 percent of the same polled group said that just one bad experience would cause them to cut ties.  As a consumer, I can attest to the fact that I value good customer service. Not only do I enjoy receiving great service, I take pride in giving great service to my clients as well.  Most of my clients are very different, which means their expectations are also different.  It is my responsibility to make sure those expectations are met.  Although I may need to alter my approach more so for some than others, there are several things that can be applied to everyone across the board. Continue reading “Four Ways to Improve Customer Service”

What Type of Diversity Are You Hiring?

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Group of people sitting together on benchI was talking with a business owner just the other day, about the struggles they’re having with employee retention and productivity within their organization.  They are an extremely diverse group, with African-American, Asian, Caucasian, and Hispanic employees, all working together, all getting along.  It’s a great place to be; I want to take my kids there and say, “this is what society should be like.”

The problem is that they’re still struggling.  They hired for diversity that’s skin deep, but they didn’t hire the diversity that matters.  For example, consider a scenario where your idea to “create a path home,” where the goal, the victory, is getting home.  Your mindset is, “my job is based on getting there, and I have one way of getting there, by going down Williams Drive.”  If you hire 10 other people and their ideas and thought processes are the same (in this example, they all see Williams Drive as the only the way to get home), and they agree with you on everything, what happens when Williams Drive is closed? Continue reading “What Type of Diversity Are You Hiring?”

What Drives Your People Drives Your Company

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Artwork showing the left and right side of the brain.

When I was looking at my career path as a teenager, my folks introduced me to a friend from church who was a professional practitioner of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. We were going to use it to map out a plan for my course of study in college. After I slogged through 93 forced-choice answers, I felt no closer to interpreting my personality. To compound matters, the proctor said that he had never seen results like mine ever before. I had no glaring, obvious type that he could identify. The four colored bars were equal in height, indicating no possible insight could be gleaned.  I felt disheartened, and I still don’t know what label they use for my results.

After I became certified in The Predictive Index (PI) as a team member at Staff One HR, I realized there was no validity in a forced-choice question. The world is not binary, but shaded, and the PI behavioral assessment allowed for my own coloration of the way I felt about myself and the self I projected. It was particularly freeing for me, and I imagined all the other folks who have been “misdiagnosed” in the past, and what this freedom would mean to them. Continue reading “What Drives Your People Drives Your Company”

Simple Math: Why it Makes Sense to Outsource HR

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Man with chalk holding a book

A gentleman who once sold his company for over $1 billion told me that if he had to give one bit of advice to business owners, it would be to outsource all non-core competencies.  With the proliferation of the following outsourced/fractionalized professional services, it clearly makes sense to focus on what you do best to drive your own company revenue.

  • HR
  • Legal
  • VP of Sales
  • CFO / COO
  • Bookkeeping
  • IT
  • Marketing

Having been an entrepreneur myself, the one consistent trait that I see that continues to plague business owners is the need to control every part of their business.  Why not spend your time and resources instead on perfecting your craft, and resist the need to spend time on things that don’t make you money. Continue reading “Simple Math: Why it Makes Sense to Outsource HR”

HR Partnerships Increase Success

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bees grabbing other bees

People often ask me what I do…and to be honest, it is different for every company.  While the services provided are technically the same, each company has its own set of goals, and the road to success looks a little different for everyone.

I’d like to share the stories of three of my clients in the Dallas – Fort Worth area and how we help them meet their goals: Continue reading “HR Partnerships Increase Success”

10 Ways to Change Your Communication Culture

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Two kids playing with each other

In a world where we are swimming in different ways to communicate with each other, doesn’t it seem that we are sometimes lacking in this area?  In working with my clients, one of the items business owners and leaders always want to address is this:

How do we improve our internal communications?

The answer is normally much easier than people think.  Here are 10 ways you can completely change the communication culture within your office…for the better.  Continue reading “10 Ways to Change Your Communication Culture”