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How to Celebrate Great Performances

How to Celebrate Great Performances

How to Celebrate Great Performances

“Great job!” It’s a commonly used phrase that we’ve heard since childhood. Little league, report cards, riding a bike, and more. While everyone enjoys receiving praise, keep in mind that the words “great job” lack definition of what exactly was great. Effective leaders do more than say “Great job” or “Thank You” when recognizing employees.

Forms of recognition can be an email, a phone call or ideally, an in-person conversation. Recognition may be public or private. The most important part of recognition is that it should always be highly specific about the action or behavior that was done well.

Center for Practical Management offers the following best practices to ensure that your employees know exactly what they did to receive the praise, what impact that had on their customers or team, and reinforcement that encourages continuation of the activity or behavior.

  • Use language that praises performance. Adjectives like amazing, wonderful, fantastic, etc. relay how happy you are with an employee’s performance and will inspire the employee to continue that positive behavior.
  • Explain how their behaviors impacted the customer experience, improved efficiencies, or strengthened the team.  
  • Recognize your employee or team’s abilities that led them to this positive outcome. Was it their knowledge and skills that led them to this success? Were they doing specific activities to achieve a positive result?
  • Engaging the employee is the final best practice. Explore how the accomplishment was achieved. How can others learn from this employee to reach similar results?

The manager’s role is to create and nurture an environment that inspires employees to want to excel and to obtain knowledge and skills to achieve superior performance. When you positively recognize your employees, you will motivate them to perform at higher levels and ensure greater productivity for your team.

Once you put these best practices in place, you will think differently when you hear the phrase, “Great Job!”

Center for Practical Management helps companies achieve organizational goals and behavior change initiatives through tailored consulting services, leadership coaching, employee skills training and marketing services. Learn more at www.cf-pm.com

Center for Practical Management is a strategic business partner with Raddon, a Fiserv Company. Learn more at www.raddon.com

Power Your Team to Success

Power Your Team to Success

Power Your Team to Success

Success in your retail business comes down to how well you have empowered your team. First, you make sure you have fueled them with the most powerful expertise for representing your products and services. Next, you need to sharpen their skills for high-performance communication that drive recommendations.

Regardless of what business sector you serve, sales and service teams often hit a wall when they are faced with questions or concerns from customers. To put customer’s minds at ease, build rapport and validate the business’ product or solution, we recommend managers introduce teams to this simple, four-step process for resolving concerns:

Step 1 Acknowledge. Acknowledging the customer’s questions or concern is a way of validating their concern and letting them know that it is an important question or concern. You do not want to discount that people might simply need more information or additional clarification before committing to a product or solution.
Step 2 Clarify. By clarifying the question or concern, you will be 100% certain that you understand it. Be sure to paraphrase the customer’s question back to them to make sure you fully understand what their asking.
Step 3 Address the Issue. Once you know why the customer is hesitating, you will know the best way to address members’ concerns. If we do not ask what concerns a customer has before purchasing or committing to something we’re offering, we don’t know how to help them overcome those. You want to make sure that the customer is comfortable with the solution and ready to move forward.
Step 4 Check for Satisfaction. The final step is to confirm that the customer is satisfied and ready to take the next step. Try using questions like, “Have I answered all of your questions?” or “What additional concerns do you have?” These are good ways to make sure you’ve addressed any and all concerns before moving onto the next steps and securing their agreement.

By asking clarifying questions and addressing concerns up front you will establish trust and confidence in your customers. You will be on your way to consistently achieving more sales and new customers.

For a sample training worksheet on Asking Clarifying Questions from our Relationship Management Workshop, email krisr@cf-pm.com.

Formula for Success: Consistent Collaboration

Formula for Success: Consistent Collaboration

Formula for Success: Consistent Collaboration

 

The new year holds high hopes for your organization’s financial performance, and the role of managers and supervisors has never been more important to achieving this goal. One of the best ways that managers can do this is to keep team meetings on your calendar, regardless of everything else happening in your organization’s orbit.

Returning to your routine Team Touchbases (aka Team Meeting) is impactful to the productivity and efficiency of your team(s). Not only does it provide a designated time and space for thoughtful conversation and organization updates, it also can be a useful learning tool to develop employee’s skills.

Try these coaching and development tips to fully engage your employees and inspire consistent collaboration on your team:

Calendar Blocking. Consistency and punctuality will increase morale and respect on your team.

Preparation. Create an agenda for distribution, if possible. This keeps the meeting on task and employees can prepare in advance for discussion points they would like to comment on.

Committed Focus. Devote your full attention to your staff during these meetings. Put your devices away. Staff view distracted multi-tasking as disrespectful.

Positivity. Try starting a meeting with everyone sharing a positive moment of the week. Or, highlight successes of individuals or the organization to start the meeting on a high note. Always express appreciation at the close to thank everyone for time and participation.

Problem Solve. Team meetings are a great way to problem solve and brainstorm solutions. Actively facilitate discussions that engage all employees equally by asking questions and listening to contributed insights.

Practice Activity. The best way to reinforce a behavior, process, activity, or new product is with interaction. You can assign activity leaders to help engage all team members. Be sure to summarize key takeaways.

Managers and supervisors need specific skills and consistent reinforcement to excel in their role as team leader. 

Credit Union 1

Client Story | Credit Union 1

Credit Union 1

July 2020 – In 2017, then president of Credit Union 1 received results of an employee engagement survey. This caused many sleepless nights. Could it be true that half of the employees are disengaged? How many of them, through their actions, might be sabotaging the organization? Something had to be done and done fast. That’s when Credit Union 1 partnered with Center for Practical Management to invest in coaching and people development that would lead to real and lasting change.

Leadership Development was focused on effective performance management and for emerging leaders to enhance their communication skills and create a culture of accountability

Relationship Management equipped client-facing staff with practical tools and frequent role playing to increase their confidence to deepen member relationships in every interaction

Service Excellence set the stage for exceeding service expectations to internal members

Executive Planning Sessions resulted in brainstorming sessions (Shark Tank) and strategic planning activities (StrengthsFinder) to support the credit union’s vision, mission and values

Mentoring Program Development provided guidelines for a mentorship program that matters. It created access to talent across the organization; helping team members grow skills and develop a career path

Facilitation Skills Training for New Employee Onboarding allowed Credit Union 1 to “own” the development of new employees going forward, creating consistency across the organization

“We quickly (and daily) saw the results of Practical Management training in our organization.”

“Managers were excited to use the tools we were provided; they were one page, customized for us and allowed us to put theory from the classroom into action with our teams.”

“The development of our core values – Be Great, Be Engaged, Be Open, Be Nice – was facilitated by Practical Management. It became, for our organization, more than just a slogan but rather a driving force. How we hire, who we hire, why we train, what we expect from our team members and the way we coach to performance each day are now inspired by these values.”

Over the three years of the engagement, both managers and staff have benefited from skill development programs. Every single employee in the organization received the opportunity to learn and grow by participating in engagement workshop sessions, reinforcement activities, and the use of customized tools. These programs included:

  • Leadership Development
  • Relationship Management
  • Service Excellence

Credit Union 1 is headquartered in Lombard, IL, offers 17 full-service branches and provides an average of $250 in individual member savings per year.

Center for Practical Management helps companies achieve organizational goals and behavior change initiatives through tailored consulting services, leadership coaching, employee skills training and marketing services. Learn more at www.cf-pm.com

Center for Practical Management is a strategic business partner with Raddon, a Fiserv Company. Learn more at www.raddon.com

The Relationship Between Adaptability and Age

The Relationship Between Adaptability and Age

The Relationship Between Adaptability and Age

​Multiple generations in your workforce can create challenges around communication, especially when communication is now remote and dependent on technology. How many generations do you have in your workforce? Have pandemic-driven changes made you curious about the relationship between adaptability and age? 

We define the generational segments, their willingness to adapt, and their comfort level of technology and communication in the following way:

  • Traditionalists: For the most part they are Foreigners in a Foreign Land when it comes to technology. They prefer communication face to face, in-person and adapting to new technology (like video conferencing) may prove overwhelming. 
  • Baby Boomers: They can be described as Digital Immigrants. They have adapted quickly to technology, albeit with some struggle. They know to keep up with younger generations, they need to be willing to adapt. Their preferred method of communicating is usually by phone or in person. 
  • Gen X: We refer to them as the Second Generation of Immigrants in the digital age. They weren’t born with the all the technology available today, but it was introduced to them at a young age and they know the language. New technology is second nature at this point. Email is their go-to communication option.
  • Millennials: Essentially, they are Digital Natives. Technology has been a part of their lives from birth and they are able to adapt to the “newest” and best when offered to them. Their preferred communication is text and instant messaging.
  • Gen Z (Zoomers): What about Gen Z? If Millennials are Digital Natives, what does that make Zoomers? Let’s call them Womb Zoomers: born with a cell phone in their hand. They prefer to communicate through social media platforms and FaceTime.

How are you acknowledging and supporting each generation as it adapts? We recommend that managers demonstrate empathy and use these questions during touchbase meetings with employees:

  • What is your preferred communication method?
  • When some or all of us are remote, what challenges do you personally experience?
  • Which of our technology solutions do you enjoy using? How did you learn to use this solution? 

Be sure to keep as many communication channels open as possible when managing remote teams.

Center for Practical Management helps companies achieve organizational goals and behavioral change initiatives through tailored consulting services, leadership coaching, employee skills training and marketing services. Learn more at www.cf-pm.com