Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Bah Humbug - Talent Management

It has been over ten years since McKinsey & Co. coined the phrase, “War for Talent”. We certainly have had the opportunity to research the subject, develop a plan of action, implement the plan and now reap the rewards of our actions. Wrong! We have said, “Bah humbug” to the program and done nothing.

A new a survey offered these key findings:

  • Talent acquisition planning is sorely lacking – less than 18% of the respondents report to have a plan implemented.
  • Talent management will have an impact on all levels within every organization.
    Identifying and developing leaders within organizations is as important as attracting new, top-flight talent.
  • 71 percent of the respondents list retention as a major challenge for 2008
    Other countries are better prepared than we are in the United States.

    These findings are based on the “Talent Shortage Survey” conducted by Equation Research on behalf of Stanton Chase International and Birkman, International during the 3rd quarter of 2007.

    Maybe it’s frustration or just the timing of the Holidays, but I have contacted over 1000 HR Professionals and no one appears interested in focusing on the development of a Process that can help their organizations with this talent management concern. Is it reality or perception? Are we just saying that we are willing to let our successors worry about solving that problem?

    The winning formula is very simple:
  • Engage the top level for attracting and hiring talent from all age groups as a routine and ongoing process
  • Make a company wide commitment starting at the top to:
  • Attract new talent ahead of the crisis of exits
  • Retain valuable talent already in the company
  • Rapidly develop processes for recognizing and developing leaders within the organization
  • Utilize an assessment instrument(s) to aid in both leadership identification and development coupled with coaching/mentoring programs

    Bah! Humbug! Nobody’s listening, if you are listening are you acting on it?

…twas the night before…

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

The Call from the Family

Several years ago, I attended a certification program for coaches titled, “Coaching the Small Business Owner”. The course was designed to provide how to coach a small business owner through the “rough waters” of small business ownership. The course demonstrated how superior coaching competencies could compliment the achievement of the small business owner. It was apparent that from the start, the small business owner wanted both a sounding board and a resource that would he or she could now call, “Coach”. Coaching is different than consulting and most consultants claim that there is no difference but that is an argument for a different day. Coaching skills coupled with strong business acumen are certainly the competencies needed to work with any business owner. The majority of small business owners are about to transition their business to other family members within the next ten years and most have not designed an “exit” plan or succession plan. It is really discouraging that most financially successful business owners don’t have a plan for transitioning themselves out and the family members into the decision – making roles.

The following facts are presented in The Pricewaterhouse Coopers Family Business Survey for 2007/08:

  • One –quarter of the family firms in the survey are due to change hands within the next five years

  • Half of those companies are expected to remain in the family
    Yet almost half of all responding companies have no succession plan, and the percentage is even higher in small firms or those that have been in business for fewer than twenty years.

  • Eighty – four percent of the respondents aim to pass their companies on to their descendants compared to less than half of that in Europe and other areas of the world.

  • Two –thirds of family businesses have no defined criteria for choosing which family members who want to take an active role in the company should be allowed to do.

  • More than half also employ relatives without requiring them to compete for their jobs on the open market.

  • More than two –thirds of companies in the survey had no procedures in place for dealing with disputes between family members

    Remember, an effective succession plan assesses the company’s leadership needs, determines the positions needed to continue the achievement, and identifies the core competencies needed for those positions. In other words, who is going to assume the roles of the family members starting to leave through the back door?

    The fact of the matter is that the small business owner is not a good planner. Most owners are great tacticians and manage the business on a day-to-day basis very, very well. After all, this is why most started the business. They were the best technician, and no one asked them if they were a good manager, or visionary. Now suddenly, they are asking their family members to be much more than they were. Many business owners have commented that they don’t have a high confidence level that the next generation can make it as successful as they did. The younger family member wants to know why their ideas and recommendations are not being readily accepted. Most wonder why the other is not listening to the other and why communication is becoming more difficult than ever. My listening skills have never been more tested. Both sides claim that they are not being listened to by the other nor do they feel that either is exhibiting any compassion, so communication has come to a standstill.

    It’s seems to me that it is now time to call the “Coach”. Most businesses have their professional advisors like their lawyer, accountant and possibly a business consultant. Most family members have their own financial advisor, stock broker, counselor or whatever. The coach is now being asked to be the conduit between all of the above focusing on the new members of the family and the exiting family members. It becomes the role of the coach to assume the following responsibilities:

    · Provide a communication channel for all parties
    · Make sure effective and open communication is present
    · Provide a fair assessment of the talent at the table
    · Make sure everyone listens to “what” is being said and not “how” it is being said
    · Confirm understanding and expectations
    · Encourage participation
    · Hold people accountable
    · Monitor the implementation of ideas, policies, procedures, etc.
    · Measure the results
    · Celebrate successes

    The above certainly looks like a Results-oriented model that I like to use in the coaching environment. I know that Business Coaching can provide an integral component to the transition or transformation of any small business between family members. Most family disputes are focused on the skills, competencies, behaviors, and knowledge demonstrated by the younger family members while the younger members are wondering when the elders will finally let go. The experienced ones are questioning their fortitude, knowledge, ambition, and energy while the younger ones are wondering if the experienced ones will ever let go of ways they have been doing business. It certainly appears to reflect the Definition of Business Insanity, “doing the same thing over an over, yet expecting different results”.

    Sounds like we have to let the experienced owners transfer the positional authority to the younger generation and be willing to accept mistakes and just file them as a learning experience. It might also behoove the younger generation to ask questions and include the experienced ones in the problem-solving process. In reality, maybe the coach should focus the family more on how to better understand generational diversity and make the workplace an environment satisfactory to all. Good luck….and good coaching.

    Richard Hohmann

    For more information of succession planning (Exit Strategies) and Business Coaching, please call us for a complimentary Coaching Session or contact us

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Be Careful What You Ask For...

It was noted in a study conducted by International Association of Business Communicators that the top three non-financial reasons why workers leave their jobs are 1) opportunities for advancement, 2) work-life balance, and 3) more interesting work.
Why as a society, do we never get it right until we are hit over the head with a sledge hammer? We just don’t get the fact that the American worker no longer wants to do what management wants them to do. We are trying to teach them that as individuals it is the degree of which you understand self-leadership and your own growth potential predicts how you will foster your own success, as well as the success of others.

We are asking people to continue to search for things that are meaningful to them and things that help them manage themselves. People are trying to find the “right” work environment that compliments their beliefs, values and competencies. Isn’t this what EQ is all about? We basically tell people that if they want to play a vital role in the transformation of others or in the transformation of an organization as a whole, they must lead their own development. We tell them that they need to invest in themselves and to find joy in the journey.

We get them going and yet we are not always sure where they are headed. Human Resources, Management or whoever must be there to help them grow plus make sure their growth develops in conjunction with the growth of the organization. We ask them to find a purpose without giving them a purpose. Succession planning and career development are hot subjects in most HR publications, yet it appears that we have no clue on how to and why we should provide a developmental path of our future leaders. We don’t even communicate well yet alone provide leadership for them as demonstrated by their three non-financial reasons for leaving a job.

The management of companies today has to learn to communicate the real message to the employee. We have to share our business strategies with the employee and make sure we have some inkling of their career desires and if they feel our organization can provide them with the opportunities for success. Did you hear me….communicate the expectation or determine the underlying expectation of the employee? Do we ever ask the employee to tell us what “work-life” balance means to them? I honestly believe that work–life balance is a personal choice and should be left up to the employee not to the manager. It is the role of the manager to make sure if possible that we can satisfy that expectation or at least try to provide some measures that will help the employee reach their goals. How do you define “interesting work”? Did we ask in the interview if they were only interested in doing “interesting work”? We could have eliminated the third reason for leaving by just not hiring them.

Why is the management team of so many companies afraid to ask about the employee’s work expectations? Management certainly wants the employee to know what their expectations are……’s called performance management. I really think it is a misnomer….shouldn’t it be management performance? Let’s get with it….let’s try meeting on a one on one basis and defining “real” expectations. Interpersonal responsiveness by management should be the number one non-financial reason for leaving a company. It’s time for management to get out from behind their computers and met the people.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Developing a Performance Management Culture

What are the most important factors in regard to the development of a Performance Management culture?

We have been working with companies for over five years focusing on the performance and productivity of their management team and staff. It really boils down to the following ten factors:

  1. I have a complete understanding of the definition of my role and responsibilities associated with the assigned job position.
  2. The work environment has given me all the tools that I need to be a high achiever in the job position.
  3. I have a complete understanding of the workplace expectations outlined by my immediate supervisor.
  4. I have a complete understanding of the strategy (Vision, Mission, and Purpose) of the company and know what makes a difference in the marketplace with our customer.
  5. I have the information and metrics to monitor my progress toward my goals.
  6. I am aware of the market conditions and financial stability of the company at all times.
  7. I find the performance appraisal process in my company the most effective means to self-evaluate myself and measure my progress toward my goals.
  8. My supervisor is available to discuss any work related concern.
  9. People at my company are interested in my career development.
  10. I am willing to accept responsibility for my actions and be held accountable for my results. I understand that my compensation should be based on results, both the company’s and mine.

    If your employee can attest to the previous statements, then you should have a Performance based culture.

    I find it hard to believe that the management teams of companies cannot deliver on those ten criteria. Is it that we don’t know how to have this culture or our supervisor is just not holding us accountable?

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Don't Show Bias in Employee Reviews

I was reading a lead article titled, “Bias Found in Employee Appraisals” found online at www, It was an article that elaborated on the fact that new research shows vast discrepancies in employee appraisals by workers who report to two bosses.

I am not being critical of the author, but in what work environment would that not present itself? Performance Appraisals have always shown bias from one manager to another. Many consulting firms recommend that companies not spend money on the training and development of their managers regarding the delivery of an employee appraisal by a manager. If we don’t train to develop consistency in delivery, then how can we ever have a Performance Appraisal System without bias?

I am a firm supporter of Performance Management and the availability of a sound Performance Appraisal Process that is conducted quarterly in terms of reviewing the progress of the individual’s development plan. It is time that managers realize that the Performance Appraisal Process is the best means to communicate workplace expectations with the employee and that employee engagement is the key to retention moving forward. Managers must utilize a system for monitoring performance on a day to day, month to month basis and not just wait for the annual performance appraisal process for the data to appear. A Performance Log or file must be maintained throughout the year to note successes, learning opportunities, behavioral tendencies, etc. The Performance Appraisal Process must be more objective than subjective and certainly results-oriented. It must be based on the job description or role assigned to the employee as the role is defined today, not five years ago. It must reflect technical skills as well as performance skills that demonstrate an above average performance in that position. Above average performance should be the workplace expectation of most managers. Clear expectations must be defined. Clarity and good communication are key management skills for this to succeed. We must communicate workplace expectations in a clear, decisive, and definitive manner with the creation of a development plan for the employee. All managers must be willing to coach and mentor the employee to high performance through the use of a solid Developmental Plan of Action. I have always believed that the formulation of a developmental plan for a high achiever is one of the most difficult tasks a manager can undertake. And it certainly shouldn't be….it should be the opposite.

Both bias and the dreaded “Performance Appraisal” mentality must be eliminated from the equation….discuss expectations, monitor performance daily, and make employee engagement a priority. If you do that, the bias and subjectivity will be removed.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007


Frustrated by the fact that when the Stock Market or the Real Estate Market takes a turn for the worst, training and development along with marketing are the two things that immediately appear on the radar screen and are transferred to the “hit list” of most CEO’s. People development just seems to go out the window along with the things that hopefully will bring the customers in. I think the expression that my mother used was, “we tend to cut off our noses despite our face”.

It is well documented that we have the greatest number of employees leaving the workforce and we have the greatest number of future workers with the least experience ready to take their place. Due to current market conditions, we now can’t afford to train them so that our plan for the succession of the “baby boomers” goes right out the window. This transition will now become a transformation because it cannot possibly be as smooth and transparent as originally intended. We certainly enjoy being in the reactive mode and not the proactive mode.

I think we are viewing the re-structuring of our workforce very similarly to that of our highway system or mass transit system. We will worry about the problem of having companies with no trained workers only when it is time to be productive or close the doors. When are we going to realize the need for mass transit?...when there are too many cars on the highways so grid-lock is commonplace or it now takes twenty hours to go from Philadelphia to New York..

The exodus from the workforce is well under way so when are you going to feel an obligation to do something about it…..when you receive your first check from Social Security or now, when you can call it succession planning. I think as “boomers”, we are obligated to make sure that our companies have qualified people with the appropriate skills sets to make a difference in the future. Let’s not wait for our companies to be “bottle-necked” by lack of qualified personnel. Train, coach, and mentor now before it is too late and the “bottle-neck” is equivalent to “grid-lock”.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Take Personality out of Assessments

I read an article titled, “Assessing Personality” written by Peter Cappelli that appeared online at about the use of personality testing to assess the quality of job applicants and employees has been an on-again, off-again practice – with interest growing recently. But there was a reason the use declined once before.

First, I believe that my personality came from my mother and father. Second, I think the influence that others have had on my life including my mother, father, friends, neighbors, teachers, bosses, colleagues, and experiences have helped me formulate my behavioral style and this style is unfortunately rather predictable. This now enables me to walk down the street with several letters written on my forehead or just one card with the letter “D” taped to my baseball cap.

The assessment world should eliminate personality testing from their vocabulary. The uses of each of the assessments should be defined by its validity, reliability and definition and design for what it measures. The testing of aptitude coupled with behavioral traits might be appropriate in the hiring and selection process if the company is willing to profile the leaders of the organization to develop a profile. This could relate to people development as well. Personality testing might compliment the understanding of the differences in all of us that lead to conflict and communication barriers. So if we focus on team development, improving communication, or relationship building, then let’s look at Personality testing, but only if they are already hired. Orientation to certain competencies or skills may be helpful in determining the potential for liking or disliking a particular profession, job or skill set. Didn’t we take those in the sixth grade to solidify our lifelong career objectives? If you call most of the publishers relating to Personality Tests, they will tell you that their assessment instrument is not indicated for use in the hiring and selection process and certainly cannot predict successful leaders. So how then have we come to believe they are a valuable tool in areas they have no indication?

More importantly then, are there any good predictors for future job performance? The answer is definitely yes but it is a skill that most of us are not very good at. It is called behavioral interviewing. I happen to believe that interviewing skills are the most important competency for a manager that can be learned if they consider interviewing a process and not just an event. It takes planning, organization, a defined skill-set, vehicles to measure the skills needed for your “open” position, and a scorecard to rate the candidate on each of those skills, time, and energy. Don’t hesitate to use any of the tools validated for use in hiring and selection but make sure you incorporate them into a process that takes the “guesswork” out of selection and development. Just work at it and practice…practice…..practice.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

What Do Workers Need?

We are starting to focus on the “bottom of the barrel”. In the majority of companies, we have not integrated our business strategies into the culture of our workforce and are not challenging people to learn the skills that will enable them to lead our company long after the disappearance of the baby boomers.

Globally, we are struggling to acquire the employees we need. The demand for workers in the emerging markets like China is outpacing the supply of talent in those areas. The exodus of the “boomers” in the US coupled with the downsizing that occurred in the last fifteen years has left us with a void in talent that is now needed to fill key management positions.

We have not developed the talent that will provide the skills that we will need to achieve our business goals. Linking talent to strategy is something that we must focus on now, not in the future. Companies must focus on their best employees and make sure we give them what they want. We can no longer afford to spend the majority of our time bringing up the “bottom of the barrel”. The top performers in most companies want opportunities for personal development, feedback and positive discipline, and the ability to work with a mentor/coach in a non-threatening environment.

We have to re-energize the “boomers” to become the best teachers of experience and get the younger workers to become the teachers of technology so that the end product will be a high achieving workforce. We have focus on changing behaviors and learn to measure the change…..isn’t that what Human Resources all about?

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Changing the role of HR in the Business Development Process

At the most recent meeting of the Tri-State Human Resource Management Group, three well respected colleagues of mine spent over an hour discussing the why’s and how’s of making the HR department a more strategic partner of the overall business plan for the organization. It was still apparent to me that the majority of organizations still considered the HR function to be transactional in nature and not transformation in any way shape or form.

I found it interesting that the one of the speakers used the 3’C’s – Credibility, Competence, and Courage within their discussion on developing a strategic plan. For me, credibility is to make sure that your department is focused on the vision and mission of the company while understanding the strategy and projected outcomes with this strategy.

Competence relates to the leadership skills to focus each department on formulating a business plan for that provides outcomes that support the company’s forecasts and strategy.

Courage relates to the willingness to try but with the uncertainty of success. This definition is similar to another; responsibility. Responsibility to me is taking on a task or project with not knowing if it can be completed satisfactorily or not.

To be considered for the table, the HR department must be willing to be innovative in terms of goal-orientation, plan development, measuring the results, and be much more results-oriented. This is a new behavior for HR and it is not being readily accepted. It is time for HR to move forward. As one of the speaker stated, “your vision is how you get the full achievement of accomplishing your mission”. Another speaker emphasized the need for HR to provide alignment, integration, and fit to achieve strategic excellence. Isn’t it time that HR changes its attitude, focuses on the desired behavior, formulates the metrics that measure the behavioral change, and become results-oriented?

I always thought HR was where we were expected to change behavior. Maybe we should change ours by asking for help. Remember, in business, it always boils down to performance, performance. . .performance.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Can We Change the Environment?

It was noted in an article I recently read by Scott Flander titled, “When bosses go bad and get rewarded”, which appeared on that at a recent Management Meeting in Philadelphia, it was noted that in over 45% of the cases, employees noted that offensive bosses got promoted instead of “canned”. In over 19% of the cases, nothing happened to the incompetent boss. I chuckled hilariously when it was noted by John Hoover, author of How to Work for an Idiot: Survive and Thrive Without Killing Your Boss, that “the more incompetent someone is, the faster their career takes off”.

My theory is when we have a glutton of bad managers; we certainly have a great number of bad interviewers. In other words, we already have a glutton of bad managers who do not have the skills to change the culture. I honestly feel that companies need to focus on their interviewing process first, and then try to develop their management team second. I find that very few companies are using assessment tools in either the hiring and selection process or their people development process. I hear comments like, the boss does not like assessments, or we can’t open ourselves up to potential employee relations liability. I also find that they don’t have an interviewing process in place and most interviews for key positions are “winged”. I also hear that the company does not have a succession plan or even a pathway for employee development. No one, including anyone on the senior management team or in HR is focused on anything but the “bottom line”. Who cares about our people, are we profitable? No one is defining the metrics needed to improve the situation so what else can we expect but “bad managers”.

Suddenly a “red” light goes off and HR or Management now realizes that their managers really are not exhibiting the skills and competencies needed to take their company to the next level. The good people are leaving and the retention of talent is becoming a real concern……

So I ask, why are not we pulling out all the stops in talent acquisition and retention….or is it that we just want to wait until we get enough bad managers to warrant the need for training……

I think that if we look at talent acquisition and retention as a process and implement training from their orientation period, we might find ourselves focusing on the real leaders of the future.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Networking Strategies for Success

All businesses, small and large, need to explore every possible venue to grow. A venue that is extremely valuable, but underutilized, is networking. Networking, sometimes referred to relationship selling, includes the sharing of ideas, resources, and other information that can benefit all parties. Jessica Lipnack and Jeffery Stamps in the ‘Networking Book’ define networking as people connecting with people, linking ideas and resources. Ronald L. Krannich in ‘Network Your Way to a Job’ and ‘Career Success’ states that networking is a communication process – exchanging information and receiving advice and referrals. Networking relates to results, relationships, effectiveness, and efficiency, and involves promoting yourself and others, giving, receiving, contributing, accepting and supporting. These words reflect a mutually beneficial relationship.

Networking has often been compared to other means of generating business such as cold calling, advertising and public relationships, but networking usually comes out on top in terms of providing the greatest return on investment. People like to do business with people that they trust and where there is confidence in the quality of service provided. There are many benefits to networking: it has been shown to generate 80 percent more results than cold calling; referral business compared to business generated from advertising is easier to close and costs a lot less; and a referred customer has a higher sense of trust, has fewer objections and remains a client longer. Networking is typically far less expensive compared to an extensive public relations campaign.

Another aspect of networking today is the need for relationships. Every relationship is th one of give and take. Ivan Misner, founder of Business Networking International and author of numerous best sellers on networking, coined the phrase “givers gain.” Relationships are more important today than ever because our work environment is in constant change, the workplace has become technological in nature, our job descriptions and roles have become broader in nature, we experience more stress than ever before, and living without a strong reference group is a troubling phenomenon of modern times. People, who fail to realize that in the end that all business is conducted through personal relationships, will fail themselves.

The following are some opportunities for networking:
- Casual Contact: Any general business that allows membership to include many people from various overlapping professions. An example of such would be your local chamber of commerce.
- Strong Contact: Any group that allows only one member per profession or business that meets weekly for the express purpose of exchanging leads and referrals.
- Community Service: Any group that exists for the primary purpose of serving the community, such as Rotary, Kiwanis, or Lions.
- Professional Organizations and Associations: Any group of people in a single profession or business, whose primary purpose is to exchange information and ideas, such as a state medical equipment supplier or a local managed care group of nurses.
- Social and Business Groups: Any group with a dual purpose that combines pleasure with business with the emphasis on the social aspect. Examples of such are the Jaycees or a Gourmet Club.
- Women’s Business Organizations: The National Federation of Business and Professional Women.

Your best plan is to visit several networking opportunities within each group and select a well-rounded mix of organizations to join. Make sure that you visit each at least twice and talk to the members to get your questions answered.

Remember, sales are like hunting for new customers and networking is like farming because you are cultivating relationships. To be successful in networking, you must first participate, communicate, education, and then reciprocate. If you haven’t done any networking to date, then start now by sitting down and creating your networking referral marketing plan.

By Richard Hohmann

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

All Employees Should Use Feedback to Create a Better Workplace

by Richard Hohmann, Senior Consultant and Vice President of Innovative Leadership

Everyone is talking about employee engagement. Everyone is trying to make every employee “emotionally well-rounded”. The real key to engagement, emotional intelligence, or whatever is the communication that is the result of your understanding of yourself and the behavioral style of the person you are trying to talk to. It is important that feedback becomes the mainstay of any communication within an organization. Communication is a two-way dialog that is the responsibility of both the manager and the employee to provide feedback in a timely manner that can support the company in this highly competitive world. Proper feedback can provide enhancements in policy and procedure, quality assurance, rapid responses to customer needs, and much…much more.

Everyone within a company should try to follow these guidelines for proper feedback:

1. Make feedback Routine – don’t wait to communicate a success story or a customer complaint, or whatever so that others are able to provide resolution if necessary in a timely manner…..make feedback part of your communication plan of action.

2. Make feedback yours – own the feedback by using personal pronouns like “I” and “We” and make sure the wording of your sentences eliminate any potential for “accusatory” comments.

3. Make feedback timely – it is so important and much more effective to offer corrective instruction or solutions immediately after the behavior or action in question rather than waiting hours, days, weeks or months.

4. Make feedback clear – make sure your feedback is understood both in the right context but also in regard to the recommended action. Everyone should be encouraged to speak up about any reservations or questions they may have with the feedback information.

Use your planning and administration system or tools to compliment and support your communication. An effective feedback process can certainly keep everyone engaged.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

The Search For Talent - What Happens After the Boomers?

What are our real people challenges? Starting in three years, “Boomers” will be retiring at a 10 million clip per year for the next ten years. Many will continue to work but will work only where and when they want to work. This will leave us with a lot of part-time employees that require flex-time as a benefit. We will be at their scheduling mercy. The Department of Labor has been forecasting a major labor shortage of young people to fill the ranks. So, where are we going to search for talent?

In an interview The Conference Board of Canada conducted with leading management guru, Dave Ulrich, he emphasized that the 21st century will belong to human resources and to organizational capabilities. I agree with him as did the Conference Board of Canada. For the first time in the history of management, it is the human mind that is the primary creator of value. The quality of people and their engagement will be critical factors to both corporate and small business vitality and survival.

Companies must start building their leadership pipeline by formulating a developmental plan for its people. Leadership must be considered a role rather than a function, and individuals within a company must be called upon to exercise leadership within their spheres of influence internally. Succession planning by position and defining the importance of that position to the overall success of the company is a must. What is your succession plan for the future development of your company? What does it look like?

No market is more competitive than ours for employees. No market is more competitive than ours for management talent. In a tight labor market, like the one in which we are about to enter, a strong employment brand identity must be present. You will have to capture a larger portion of the employee mindshare by setting your company apart from the competition by branding your attractiveness to engagement. You will have to make sure that your employees are engaged and that they understand the real purpose of the organization. In our management development courses, we talk about “connecting the dots” for all employees within the company. Managers must exhibit the ways and means to motivate employees to become engaged and make sure at the same time they are connected to the mission and vision of the company. It is even more important that they understand the purpose. We need to provide an environment where the rate of learning exceeds the rate of change. Not an easy task even for the high achieving manager.

This culture of engagement and purpose can be achieved if we hire the “right person” for this culture. As business owners, we need to develop a Hiring and Selection Process that both demonstrates the flavor of our company in terms of a “brand” that attracts the candidate that is the “right person” for the position. What does your Hiring and Selection Process look like? Are you fitting the candidate to the job or the job to the candidate? You better get ready soon because us “Boomers” are coming and the fit needs to be right.

Author: Richard J. Hohmann Jr.
P:(609) 390-2830

Every Wednesday Join Us in a Complimentary Webinar

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Time For an Attitude Tune-Up

by Richard Hohmann, Vice President of Innovative Leadership

Spring is the time for an attitude change. Maintaining a positive attitude through the winter months can be difficult. In our leadership courses, we define attitude as “Habits of Thoughts.” A formulated attitude appears as the behavior of the individual performing a particular activity or action that may or may not be productive.

On the surface, attitude is the way you communicate your thoughts to others. A thought is sometimes described as mood and is your mental focus on the outside world. By focusing on things that are appealing to you, you see situations as either opportunities or failures. It is important to realize that attitude is the disposition you transmit to others at home or in the office.

A positive attitude is certainly the most priceless characteristic that one can possess. Positive attitude is the common thread of all leaders and successful business owners. It is important to see things from the inside looking out. By focusing on the positive factors of our environment, it is easier to maintain a positive attitude. We spend over half of our waking hours in the work environment. The workplace becomes a more pleasant environment when employees and managers exhibit a positive attitude. Workplace diversity, whether it is cultural or generational, can be rectified with a positive attitude. This can help communication with each other, even with a language barrier.

Success in the workplace depends on both your technical skills and human relations competencies. Building good workplace relationships must begin with a positive attitude. Everyone must understand that they have the capacity to be positive under any circumstances and the behavior they exhibit in conflict and communication is a direct result of their attitude. A positive attitude triggers enthusiasm in our self and in others. We devote a whole session to enthusiasm in our “Selling Strategies Course,” in regards to the development and maintenance of a positive attitude.

Do not underestimate the value of a positive attitude. It certainly helps generate higher energy and greater creativity. Attitude maintenance is a daily and weekly process that everyone should engage in. No matter how strong we think we are, we need to renew or tune-up our attitude.

For information on Courses and Workshops Available for Leadership and Communication Skills call Rich at 609-390-2830