Leadership Tip of the Month: Systematically Evaluating Alternatives

September 6th, 2018
To make a complex decision, ask questions to determine where you are now – and the best path to follow. Customize and expand upon questions like these to systematically weigh your options:
1) Who must weigh in? What are their perspectives, issues, pain points and motivations?
2) What are the limiting factors (e.g., time, money, technology, process bottlenecks, expertise)?
3) Whom will this decision impact?
4) What’s at stake (i.e., what if you make the wrong decision – or do nothing)?
5) What will likely happen if you do “A,” “B” or “C”?
6) How will you define and measure the success of this decision?

Grow Your Own Superstars: Get MORE From Middle Performers

September 6th, 2018

Average employees comprise 60 percent of the workforce. With these strategies, you can tap the potential of middle performers — and dramatically improve your organization’s performance:

Stop and think for a moment about the employees who receive the most attention from you. If you’re like most leaders, two groups come to mind: Your highest performers and your lowest performers.

But what about those employees who are doing just enough to stay off your radar?

Average employees who meet expectations but don’t exceed them make up 60 percent of your workforce and likely receive the least of your attention.

Ignoring your average performers is a mistake.

If your entire team is to succeed, you need to develop those employees. And let’s be honest — in today’s employment market, hiring a rock star is hard. It takes time, it costs money and the margin for error is great. With a little bit of attention and coaching from you, however, your average performers can develop into the rock-star team you’ve always dreamed of. Here’s how to tap their potential:

Define Clear Duties and Goals

One of the biggest reasons why employees fail to exceed expectations is the fact that they don’t know what your expectations are. Take the time to sit down with every employee to make sure their job description aligns with the duties they are performing and adjust them as needed. This may mean updating the descriptions, moving tasks around or a combination of both.

Once everyone is clear about what they are supposed to do, define success for them by setting clear goals. Remember that strong goals follow the SMART framework:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Results-based
  • Time-based

A clearly defined set of duties and clearly defined goals that speak directly to those duties gives employees a roadmap to success.

Check In and Provide Two-Way Feedback

Once everyone has their goals in place and they know what they need to be doing, set aside time at least once per month for one-on-one meetings to address progress. These meetings don’t have to be long, but they should be non-negotiable.

Provide actionable feedback the employee can use to improve their performance and ask each person what they need from you in order to achieve their goals. If someone is struggling, work out action steps they can take to get back on track quickly.

Ask Them What They Want

You may find that some of your average performers are perfectly content to stay exactly where they are. But you will likely find that most of your team members do have goals and they have an idea of what it is they want their job and their career to look like.

When you have one-on-one meetings with your team members, ask them what it is they are looking for from their career. If an employee wants to become a manager, for example, take steps to help them. Connect them with a mentor, help them map a career path, and let them know the gaps they need to fill in their skills and experience in order to take that next step.

Showing an interest in their personal goals can help reignite their passion for their work, and it will give you an idea of what motivates them to succeed.

Reward Great Work With New Responsibility

Many people fall into “average” territory because they simply aren’t being pushed beyond their limits. If someone has been doing the exact same tasks the exact same way for two years, they are bound to get a little complacent. As you start working with your employees towards goal achievement, reward those people you see improving by giving them new responsibilities.

Trusting employees with something new shows them that their efforts are not going unnoticed, and they will feel honored that you’re allowing them a chance to spread their wings. New duties and responsibilities also help energize employees by breaking up the monotony of their core tasks, and can improve their overall engagement.

Make It Safe to Fail Forward

Average employees are used to flying quietly under your radar and they aren’t apt to rock the boat by trying a new approach or testing a new idea. They may feel that failure will put them on your radar for all the wrong reasons. However, success is built on the back of failure and if you want average performers to grow, they must feel safe stepping outside their comfort zone.

Create a culture where failure is acceptable — within reason. You don’t want to promote failure every day, but start instilling in your team that a failure every now and then isn’t the end of the world. You can build that trust by sharing your own failures when they occur, and letting your team know exactly what you learned. Help them understand that they should always strive for successful outcomes, but if they try their best and happen to fail, it’s ok — as long as they learn from that failure and use it to improve in the future.

If you are looking for more strategies for success, or if you want to hire rock stars for your team, contact your staffing or recruiting partner today.

Takash video-Build Comfort and Rapport Right Away

September 6th, 2018

Superior Staffing Recognized as MRMH Award Winner by Assurance

August 21st, 2018

Superior Staffing Achieves 82 Percent Reduction in Loss Rate

Schaumburg, Ill. (August 21, 2018) – Assurance is pleased to recognize Superior Staffing as a Minimizing Risk, Maximizing Health (MRMH) Award recipient. Superior Staffing is a leading light industrial staffing services firm in the Chicagoland area.

The MRMH Award is open to all Assurance clients that work alongside the Top 50 U.S. insurance brokerage to achieve quantifiable results in minimizing workplace risk and maximizing the health and well being of employees. Clients must meet certain criteria to qualify, including a large quantifiable reduction or improvement in a variety of key areas.

Superior Staffing wanted a risk management strategy that would improve their loss rate and reduce workers’ compensation costs. They worked with Assurance to utilize bench marking, implement a comprehensive large deductible insurance program and hire a full-time internal Risk Manager. The team at Superior kept a strong focus on safety and claims management, reviewing claims by customer and staying up-to-date on industry trends.

Over a 6-year period, Superior Staffing reduced their loss rate by 82%, improved their EMR by 32%, experienced a 48% decrease in workers’ compensation costs and a 57% reduction in insurance expense, while more than doubling the size of their company during the same period. Having greater control over claims has allowed Superior Staffing to steadily grow, while expanding their margins and bottom line profits.

“Superior Staffing had significant improvement in their workers’ compensation results. It’s an outstanding accomplishment to grow at Superior Staffing’s rate and maintain loss results, let alone to nearly cut the cost of their insurance expense in half, as Superior Staffing has done. This proves Superior Staffing’s commitment to their Risk Management program and to their employees by providing safe work environments,” said Rachael Rodakowski, Account Executive at Assurance.

“In 2012, we had a need for a strategic insurance broker and turned to Assurance. Partnering with Assurance has proven to be a great decision as they have increased our profitability and lowered our costs,” said Heriberto Vale, President at Superior Staffing.

Assurance recognized Superior Staffing’s achievements at a MRMH Award presentation on Tuesday, August 14 at the client’s headquarters in Elmhurst, Illinois.

Read the full Superior Staffing case study here.

About Superior Staffing
At Superior Staffing, we’re not afraid to say that we outperform the competition. There are plenty of staffing agencies that can find temporary or permanent employees. However, can those agencies prove that they build lasting, reciprocal relationships with their clients that adapt to changes in their clients’ businesses? Our team has been an active participant in the conversations our clients have for planning and for growth, and that has translated into long and rewarding partnerships. Visit Superior Staffing at https://www.superior-staffing.com/

Mastering Leadership Fundamentals: How to Get the Right Stuff

April 25th, 2018

https://cdn.haleymarketing.com/ebooks/content/33959/Strategies_eBook-Leadership_04_2018_v01.pdf

Developing Extraordinary Resilience

February 22nd, 2018
Developing Extraordinary Resilience
In both business and your personal life, the ability to “bounce back” helps you recover from setbacks, adapt, learn and move forward. Use these practices to become more resilient in the face of any challenge.

Strategic Happiness: How a Great Culture Drives a Greater Bottom Line

February 15th, 2018
Problem...Solved! Three Innovative Strategies for Problem Solving
Happy employees do more than smile; they’re more productive, loyal, creative — and even close more sales. Check out these statistics, and find out what you can do to foster greater happiness — and build a healthier bottom line.

Stat of the Month:

February 15th, 2018
Leadership Tip of the Month
A recent study by economists at the University of Warwick found that:

  1. happiness made employees 12% more productive
  2. unhappy workers proved 10% less productive

Source: https://tinyurl.com/yd84dnqg

Leadership Tip of the Month: Attitude Is Everything

February 15th, 2018
Leadership Tip of the Month
When you’re working, pay attention to how you view your responsibilities, not merely what you’re doing. As a leader, the attitude you choose (yes, it’s a choice!) to bring to your activities is as important as what you actually do; it influences employees’ behavior, shapes your culture and ultimately, affects your bottom line.

What Can Aluminum Teach You About Leadership Development?

January 20th, 2018

Like the element, great performers are everywhere — but extracting their potential requires mining their skills and nurturing their development.

 

Certain materials have consistently been valuable throughout history. People have valued gold and silver, literally, forever. The value of other precious metals has varied over time. Today, I am going to tell you the brief history of aluminum; I think it will surprise you. But more importantly, I will translate these lessons to us as leaders — lessons more valuable than aluminum.

Aluminum is the most prevalent metal in the earth’s crust, even more common than iron ore. But since it can’t be extracted from ore with heat, it remained unused until 1825 when Hans Christian Oersted created a few flakes of what now is considered an aluminum alloy. Whatever it was, those who saw it, wanted it. It looked like a brand new precious metal.

Here’s a brief history of what followed from Slate.com:

…aluminum became more precious than gold and silver in the 19th century, because it was harder to obtain. The French government once displayed Fort Knox-like aluminum bars next to the crown jewels, and the minor emperor Napoleon III reserved a prized set of aluminum cutlery for special guests at banquets. (Less favored guests used gold knives and forks.) The United States, to show off its industrial prowess, even capped the Washington monument with a six-pound pyramid of aluminum in 1884. By 1888, the company now known as Alcoa could produce up to 50 pounds per day, 20 years later demand was 88,000 pounds per day. In September of 2017, daily global production of aluminum (according to world-aluminum.org) was over 350 million pounds. The earliest records for the price of aluminum, in the mid 1800s was $550 per pound. 50 years later you could buy the same pound for just a quarter.

And now? Aluminum is everywhere, and while not treasured as it once was, it’s utility and wide and varied uses make it a valued and powerful force in the world economy.

What does all of that have to do with leaders?

Too many people think of great performers like people in the mid-1800s thought of aluminum — extremely rare and, therefore, to be highly treasured. Those people are right, if they don’t know how to extract the potential, mine the skills and nurture the development of great performers. In other words, if you believe you can’t extract the potential and reliably turn it into productivity, then great performance will be seen as rare.

But the facts about aluminum in 1825 were no different than they are today — then, as now, aluminum was everywhere. The only difference was that people didn’t know how to access it then. That fact didn’t change the abundance of the material.

So, while there are people everywhere with tremendous potential, if we don’t know how to help them see it and extract that potential, we will only see the rock stars as tremendously valuable. But if we see the world clearly, knowing that tremendous potential is everywhere, and then go to work extracting and refining that potential, we will be far ahead of those opining for the rare rock star.

Your job as a leader isn’t to search for the rock star, as much as it is to see potential and become a “human chemist” working to transform that potential into productivity and results. While doing this well is a life-long endeavor, here are three things you can do today to start your personal transformation, setting the stage for using the valuable potential of others more predictably and successfully.

1. See potential. If you don’t see it, or know it is there, nothing will change.

2. Help others see it too. It isn’t enough for you to see it. Know that many people can’t see what you see, or their belief in themselves is damaged to the point they know longer believe they have any potential.

3. Give them opportunities to use it. As a leader you can provide a safe place for them to try things, build their confidence, and begin to see their potential as real.

Once you have helped people get started you have two more important roles:

1. Encourage progress. No one gets it all right the first time; yet they don’t fail completely either. Encourage the wins and help people build their confidence and momentum.

2. Provide guidance. While encouragement is needed, so too is guidance and correction. Potential won’t turn to productivity without help; and that guidance and correction is part of your job too. When that is done with the hopeful belief in a great future, the guidance will be seen as more valuable and, therefore, more likely accepted by the other person.

Potential is everywhere. It is our job as a leader to help people see it and use it for everyone’s benefit.