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Do You Have Bench Strength?

Do You Have Bench Strength?

When was the last time you looked closely at the next generation of leaders in your organization? The good news is that the average age of top leaders is getting younger every year. However, many of your leaders may be growing impatient on the bench.

According to a published Global Leadership Forecast, Gen Xers recently took a workforce lead by holding 51% of the worldwide leadership roles. Age 37 to 54, this highly distinguished generation of workers boasts an average of 20 years’ work experience, strong work-ethic and company loyalty.

Researchers are now suggesting that organizations should start paying attention to a new entrepreneurial trend within the Gen X demographic.

It is estimated that 55% of all startups will be founded by Gen Xers this year. Many of them are choosing entrepreneurism and business ownership rather than waiting for Boomers to retire and give up c-suite positions.

Want to keep your bench strength with top-talent Gen Xers? Here’s three top tips for an effective retention strategy:

  • Recognition is valuable and highly appreciated by the Gen X workforce. For the majority of them, they grew up with traditional values around performing ‘above average’ to achieve success, accolades and rewards. They are typically motivated by both monetary and non-monetary recognition.
  • Mentoring makes sense for your retention strategies to help ensure your Gen X workforce chooses your organization as their career organization. The best mentoring programs for a strong leadership bench feature top executives who mentor three to five senior leaders or middle managers. Consider mentoring relationships outside of direct reporting structure, especially ones that expand/stretch the current knowledge and skill (technical expertise) of the potential Gen X leader.
  • Associate roles for executive level leaders are not new, however providing this additional title along with greater organizational influence may keep Gen X leaders progressing in a positive trajectory. Moreover, in organizations who have experienced losses of their top-talent Gen Xers—to executive status via business startups and entrepreneurial pursuits— can encourage immediate adoption of associate roles, i.e., associate financial officer, associate vice president.

Start having critical conversations with your Gen X workforce today to retain and keep your bench strong.

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

Incentive Program Targets Sales Growth

Incentive Program Targets Sales Growth

SANDUSKY, OHIO – The Center for Practical Management has expanded its suite of consulting services to include sales incentive planning and development.

Our new Incent Program serves any business operation that relies on relationship management success for continued growth in retail sales. Understanding what motivates your sales team is key to the strategic direction you choose for incentive planning and related skill development activities.

Incent offers clients a comprehensive assessment of their current sales culture and employee participation in performance rewards and recognition. A planning and development phase offers clients customized options for qualitative and quantitative research such as Mystery Shopping, Focus Groups, and Surveys. An Action Planning session with key stakeholders provide facilitated planning and development for a strategic change initiative.

“Center for Practical Management believes in maximizing employee potential through effective goal setting and incentives that responsibly drive sales culture initiatives,” says Rebecca Oeltjenbruns, owner of Center for Practical Management. “Whether your organization is creating an incentive program from scratch, reviewing a current one for compliance, or preparing for regulator examination, we can help you develop a winning strategy for sales growth.”

Center for Practical Management is a consulting firm offering training and development solutions and research programs for organizations seeking to improve financial performance, employee engagement and customer satisfaction.

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

How Changed Minds Drive Change Outcomes

How Changed Minds Drive Change Outcomes

When it comes to organizational change management, employee resistance is the number one reason companies fail to achieve their goals and objectives. For companies embarking on change initiatives, your strategic priorities should focus on what it will take to change resistant-prone minds. Why? Because nothing will derail a strategic plan faster than confused and panicked employees.

Navigating organizational change starts with acknowledging that no organization is immune to employee resistance. Centuries of Human Behavior and Psychology research tells us that the majority of humans innately thrive on routine and familiarity. That said, we can presume that most employees don’t like change. Their preference? Safe and controlled.

Take your employees’ life experiences, for instance. Experience has shaped our minds to seek paths that promote reliability, trust. These instincts become validations for decision making. We stick with decisions that have worked well in the past and that we are most comfortable with. Ultimately, our brains become influenced to believe that change is the opposite of reliable. Fear quickly moves in.

How successful leaders manage fear

Individual conversations. Managers should be engaged in weekly one-on-one conversations with their employees. This is the most appropriate time to listen for individual concerns and offer help to alleviate fears.
Team meetings. Managers should also be engaged in regular team activities to enhance skill development and productivity results. This is the opportunity to present action planning and communications from senior leadership.
Training and development. An organization that invests in people development on a regular basis will experience far less employee resistance to change. Skill development, after all, teaches that change is critical to growth, opportunity, and success.

The perspective of change is manageable through planning, persistence and patience. Thomas Edison famously wrote “There’s a way to do everything better.” Better = Growth. Ultimately, the role of leadership is to find the personal connection and impactful motivator, between Change and Growth.

When we help employees open their minds to change, we create the opportunity for changed outcomes.

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

Enthusiasm for Growth

Enthusiasm for Growth

It’s time. Every year, around this time, your organization announces new goals for the new year. Are you enthusiastically gearing up to set your course for new dialogues, decisions, and directions the new goal may take you? Or, are you discerningly taking pause to process just exactly how much change, commitment and collaboration is required? It’s a defining moment. You’re either on the start line, or you’re still stretching.

The good news is, if you’re reading this article, that you have your toes on the start line. After all, goal-oriented people read articles about this stuff. The bad news is that most goal-oriented people’s enthusiasm for a new starting gate can easily frustrate everyone else. When it comes to leading high-performance teams, your leadership skills can make or break your success.

Roles & Goals

The most important skill a leader needs is the ability to communicate concisely and consistently. Successful communication is about clarifying roles and goals so that your team knows precisely what is expected of them. Repetition and replay will go a long way toward promoting your objectives and fostering behaviors that change results. When you have regular touchbase conversations with your team members, the conversation lends itself to resolving challenges they face. It’s how you become able to sharpen and adjust individual skills to meet goals.

Measuring Up

If you want growth and improvement, you need to put some work in to tracking output, production, results. Are you tracking today?Surprisingly, most managers in business today admit they do not consistently measure their team members’ productivity. Start now. When communicating a new goal, provide a visual of prior year(s) results and the rate of growth already in your hands.

Planning to Plan

This is where the real work begins. Once you’ve mastered clarifying and tracking, you can better identify how to achieve the goals in the new year. How will you eat the elephant? Poor elephants, right? However, for as long as goals have been set, the elephant analogy represents the scale of effort and extension of time for completion. Feel free to enlist your team in crafting your own analogy for success, but keep the focus on dividing the effort in to right-size pieces for each contributor.

What would it take to achieve the goals you’ve set fort his year? Take time to launch your goals with thought and purpose. Start by clarifying your roles and goals, measuring up what is proven doable and finally, planning to plan. You just may find the journey to be more satisfying, and discover that the destination is an arrival you look forward to.

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

Dissing Performance Management

Dissing Performance Management

Good employees want to be great team members. They want to be led by good management with consistent leadership. They want to become more valuable to the organization and more prepared for advancement. They will consistently deliver on individual performance when management models the behaviors of effective performance management.

Unfortunately, many managers fail to deliver on performance management behavior. Too often, they demonstrate disinterest, discomfort, and disrespect.

What can your organization do to improve the outcome? What can help motivate managers to stop dissing their performance management responsibilities?

It starts with timely and critical discussions with your management teams, and includes setting clear expectations. Try these discussion points to help transform performance management behaviors on your management team.

Disinterest may be a result of prioritization challenges and even an indicator of poor time management skills. If effective modeling of performance management behavior is missing at top leadership levels, and managers observe that their disinterest is acceptable, you will not see performance results change in your organization. Transformation of interest and engagement, at all levels of leadership, is the path to results.

Discomfort is the most common deterrent to effective performance management behaviors. It’s also the most trainable solution to help ensure managers are equipped to be leaders. Skill practice courses are the best way for managers to learn how to conduct regular 15-minute, development conversations with employees.

Disrespect often occurs when the pressures of priorities combust with the general discomfort most managers admit to having. This is typically timed around quarterly or annual review deadlines when negative comments are verbalized by managers who dislike the amount of effort required. Respect for performance management should be non-negotiable.

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