419.296.1664 info@cf-pm.com
Own It: Reflecting on 2018 Growth

Own It: Reflecting on 2018 Growth

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Print Friendly
  • LinkedIn
With the end of the year coming, it’s a good time for reflection. While many of us only focus on how much progress our institution made this year, it’s also important to take time to reflect on personal progress. What did you accomplish? Did your accomplishments move your career forward? With the stress of busy lives sometimes our own goals and aspirations fall to the wayside. It’s important to take charge of your own professional development and leadership skills. In turn, your organization will also experience growth and progress.

For those who manage a team, many of you may have individual action plans in place for team members and group goals for your department. But do you have one for yourself? The new year is the perfect time to create an individual action plan and take ownership for your own professional development for the next year.

Here are the best practices for creating a S.M.A.R.T. individual action plan:

  1. Specific: Make sure your goals are specific, don’t generalize and be sure to include details.
  2. Measurable: This could be in the form of improved financial success for your department or organization, more positive survey results, or a specific number of prospects you want to see each quarter.
  3. Achievable: Are your goals realistic? Can you reasonably attain them within the quarter or year? Don’t set yourself up for failure.
  4. Relevant: Whether it’s learning a new skill in your organization, or vying for that promotion, make sure the goals are relevant to your current career plan.
  5. Target Date: Give yourself a deadline. Deadlines are all about accountability and who should be accountable for your results but you?!

With the holiday season in full swing, it’s important to take time to think about ourselves. Starting the new year with a S.M.A.R.T. action plan will set you up for success and help you own your professional development, and ultimately your career.

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

Professional Communication Tips for the Workplace

Professional Communication Tips for the Workplace

Professional communication skills are critically important for handling customer contact and may include answering the phone, taking a message, sending a follow-up email, or transferring the customer to someone else. The priority is building relationships and demonstrating professionalism.

We all know to be patient, to be empathetic, to choose words and tone that are customer-focused. Why, then, do many employees struggle with positive, productive communication when dealing with their colleagues? When it comes to our colleagues, it’s often harder to be as patient and calm.

Best practices for keeping C.A.L.M. with your colleagues:

Charitable. Being charitable means being kind to one another. If every interaction with a colleague began with kindness, imagine how much more productive our organizations might be.

Acknowledge. Acknowledging another’s problem with empathy and understanding demonstrates a willingness to help and can quickly break down the silos in our organization. It sounds like, “I understand how frustrating this is. I get why this is important to you”

Listen. Being a good listener doesn’t mean talking. It means asking clarifying questions that give you additional information to seek resolutions.

Meet. Sometimes, it’s just true. We build better relationships face to face. Rather than a phone call or email, get up and go to your colleague’s office. Remember, body language is more powerful than words and tone.
In every workplace interaction, it is important to demonstrate CALM. We need to treat our colleagues in the same way we treat our customers. It’s important to remain professional so we don’t affect our productivity on the job and create negativity in the workplace.

You are in control of your body language, tone, and words. If you are put into a tough situation, remember to take a deep breath and keep CALM.

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

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

Solving the Customer Loyalty Puzzle

Solving the Customer Loyalty Puzzle

Start by building relationships with customers one at a time through outstanding customer service, engagement, and education. Few businesses can maintain long-term success by consistently underwhelming their customers with subpar experience or service.

If you want to ensure that your profits are strong, and your retention rates are high, you’ll also need a customer loyalty strategy. A few key insights for building your loyalty strategy include:

Retaining an existing customer costs significantly less, both in terms of marketing and maintenance, than landing a new one.

The cost of consumer acquisition versus customer retention can reach as high as 700%, according to a report by Frederick Reichheld of Bain & Company. When it comes to revenue, customer retention is hugely important to consistent growth and planning. The more committed customers you have for the next financial quarter, the easier it is to make budgetary decisions. Another benefit of retained customers over acquired customers, is the fact they generally require less maintenance.

Repeat customers are more likely to spend more money on each purchase.

The bottom line, repeat customers spend more money; 300% more according to RjMetrics. Not only are your repeat customers purchasing more over time than new customers, they likely trust you enough to purchase your more expensive products and services.

Loyal and satisfied customer give peer recommendations, referrals and glowing online reviews.

In today’s hyper-connected world, people aren’t shy about sharing their opinions and consumers are listening. In fact, according to a 2016 Buyer’s Survey Report, 62% of consumers are relying more on peer recommendations than the year before, and 49% listed colleagues and peers as one of their top three resources in the search for new products and services.

One of the most underutilized and straightforward approaches to positively affect your company’s bottom line is to focus on a customer loyalty strategy. Are you ready to get started?

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

Why Bankers Should Focus on Financial Literacy

Why Bankers Should Focus on Financial Literacy

In a recent survey done by Wallet Hub, American’s top five financial fears are: an unplanned emergency, (26%) not enough retirement savings, (26%) job loss, (20%) fraud, (11%) and poor credit (7%). When faced with any of these scenarios, the most common place Americans turn to for help is their financial institution.

If you are a financial institution, how would you rate your staff’s financial literacy? Are they prepared to respond and answer the range of questions related to common financial fears? If the answer is no to either of these, it may be a good idea to develop a training curriculum related to product knowledge for both your staff and customers.

A growing number of financial institutions offer financial literacy classes to the public free of charge. This not only creates a better understanding of the financial industry, but also positions your brand to better assist new and existing customers with financial questions.

Tips for deploying a financial literacy program

  • One of the first steps is to educate your staff on what products and services you offer, and then make sure they are comfortable uncovering potential financial needs for their customers.
  • Encourage your staff to personally use the products with your institution. If they bank where they work, they are more likely to provide recommendations to their customers confidently.
  • Managers can help drive financial literacy among their staff through skill practice activities and coaching touchbases with their teams. This helps ensure employees have the confidence and knowledge to ask high gain and clarifying questions to better serve your customers.
  • Training your staff to know the four areas of financial need (Manage, Borrow, Protect and Grow) and how to use a customer’s banking relationship is essential to tailoring an appropriate solution for your customer.

Offering classes and information to the public is a great start to any financial literacy program. Educating your staff and reinforcing your products and services will only enhance your ability to assist new and existing customers.

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

Social Recruiting: New Talent Acquisition Strategy

Social Recruiting: New Talent Acquisition Strategy

There is a lot of buzz around social recruiting in the past few years. The trend definitely and unequivocally tells us that this is the new way to go when it comes to talent acquisition.

Social recruitment uses non-traditional hiring tactics to promote job openings and attract applicants on social media platforms, blogs and online advertising. Organizations will need to dedicate time, effort and resources in putting together strategies that are aligned to the effective use of social media networks, when it comes to acquiring the right talent. An effective strategy will have clear metrics to measure success through each social media network or channel that is being used.

Involving top executives
Talent acquisition is no longer the sole responsibility of the HR or Recruitment teams. In order to hire the right talent mix for the organization, top executives have to have visibility and involvement in the process at certain stages. While they might enter the talent identification phase after initial interviews and technical rounds are completed, their perspective and evaluation of core talent is absolutely essential since companies are competing for the same set of high potential and high impact individuals.

Engaging employees for referrals
This is a very underrated tool when it comes to recruitment. Existing employees already have an idea of how the organization operates, its culture, its policies and the kind of people that will be a fitment. Not only that, the employees who refer others for roles within their organization are those who believe in the organization itself. Their referral means that they think the company is a good place for those in their networks to join.

Above all, the most important aspect of your hiring strategy should be to always ensure that the HR or Talent Sourcing team stays abreast of the new and creative ways in which they can find the right employees.

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