Starfish Performance Consultants

Maximizing Performance Through People with Terry Crow
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Taking Stock of Our Own Talent

I was in one of my favorite grocery stores the other day to pick up a few items.  While I was there, I noticed they were making massive changes to their items in inventory.   I knew they were getting ready to relocate to another store location in a few months, and that it was a brand new facility.

One of the driving factors for the decision to move was a competitive one. Within in the last few months, several new grocery stores had entered the market with splashy advertising touting their presence.  These competitors were diverse in their offerings: one offered lower prices and “bag your own groceries”.  Another was a national chain that was definitely more upscale.

Performance with Ease (EEEs)

The new business normal environment that we as managers are operating in is creating challenges and situations we have never faced before.   That means we must depend on the talents of our team members now more than ever to come up with creative solutions that address these new issues and problems.  So, how do we maximize the performance of our team members and that of our own to meet and conquer these challenges?

One of the approaches I have found helpful is what I call Performance with EEEs. It includes specific actions for businesses to take that will help increase the engagement of employees, develop ourselves as managers and improve excellence in execution in the workplace on a daily basis. The three EEEs are:

Power of the Pause in Performance Conversations

During the twenty plus years I have spent as a manager and adviser to other managers, I have picked up a few helpful tips to employ during discussions with people about performance.  One of the gold nuggets I have discovered is that well-placed pauses can be powerful and quite effective during performance conversations.  Managers that are skilled at using the power of the pause can improve the quality of their performance conversations with others.

What is the purpose of the pause in this context?

Coaching for Performance in the New Normal

What a great time it is to be a manager or supervisor in an organization!  For years now, the business world has been evolving into a new normal, and the role of the leader has been transforming along with it.  What worked before as a manager might not be effective at getting results in the business world today.

So, what makes it such a great time to be in a leadership role when times are tough, the business world is constantly changing, and the role of the manager is evolving?  Certainly, the competition we face will continue to be fierce and challenge us every day.  Under these conditions,  the best way we can be succeed as managers is to draw out and tap into the skills and talents of the people who work with us.

Talent Retention and Maximizing Performance

Last week I had the opportunity to moderate a panel of Human Resource experts at a local SHRM meeting.  The topic was “Maximizing Performance through Talent Management:  Best Practices”.  The discussion was lively and rich with great comments and suggestions.  The panelists shared their best practices related to talent management approaches for attracting, developing, engaging and retaining top notch talent…the best of the best needed to get results in the new business normal.

The topic of talent retention in the new business normal was especially interesting to me.  Talent retention is getting renewed attention from businesses that understand the importance of this topic and its connection to maximizing organizational performance.

What Employees are Saying about Job Satisfaction

Each year the Society for Human Resource Management conducts a survey of employees to find out what factors contribute to their job satisfaction.  In theory, the more satisfied employees are the more engaged they might be and the more they might contribute in work performance.

In 2011, the results revealed that in second place for job satisfaction was “Opportunities to use skills/abilities” and tied for fifth was “The work itself”.   I find this to be extremely interesting.

Overcoming Reluctance for Performance Conversations

Yesterday, I had a conversation with a friend of mine who recently retired after having a decades-long successful career as a manager in the medical field.  We talked about the importance of performance interactions and the pivotal role of the manager. He remarked that his management style was very laid back and his tendency had been to avoid rather than address performance issues.  This style he believed, worked best with the culture of the organization and was a key factor contributing to the high employee retention rates.

Performance in the Workplace: Play like a Super Bowl Contender

With Super Bowl XLV less than a week away, the Steelers and the Packers are no doubt psyched up and full of anticipation to see how their talent and hard work will pay off on the monumental day.  The basics of what makes a player excel remind me of what we, too, can bring to our game at work.  Here are my coaching comments for bringing Super Bowl performance in the workplace.

Viewing Performance through a New Lens

For as long as I can remember, the topic of employee performance in the workplace has fascinated me.  As I look back over my experience in business, I realize that all of the jobs I have held in the past and the work I continue to do now have all been focused on improving employee performance in the workplace.

I’m intrigued now more than ever about employee performance as businesses grapple with the struggles and challenges they face as they learn what business is going to be like in the new normal. So what does it take for a business to continue to improve employee performance and growth in the new normal work place today and maintain that elusive and important competitive advantage?