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Useful tools, tips and strategies to help your business learn, develop and expand.

3 Ways to Recruit Staff that Fit Like a Glove

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Aristotle said, “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” True as this may be, it is the finer details, the reading between the lines of this statement that is paramount to the success of any business.

Behind every company, whether it is a multinational corporation or the smallest of start-ups, the key element and the cog that keeps the wheels in motion, is the talent. Fundamental to this, is the recruitment and retention of the right people for the right job, at the right time- therefore ensuring that the “parts” are in fact, the right parts.

As simple as this may sound, it has been reported that 2 out of 3 new hires proved to be a mistake within the first 12 months. It is tempting to fill a vacancy as soon as possible as a ‘quick-fix’ solution for fear of the adverse consequences involved but the majority of the time, lack of planning and strategy during the process can lead to poorly recruited candidates or mistake hires that can cause even greater problems.

As a result, this negatively affects businesses, including but not limited to the financial burden associated with turnover, not to mention the impact on productivity and morale.

Recruiting the best-fit candidates for roles within your company can be a complex and time consuming process but the key is to simplify the practice and ensure that the time, effort and funds are focussed on all the right areas.

In our business coaching of London companies, we have found that recruitment is one of the most challenging areas for business owners – especially as they seek growth and therefore require the right team to support and rely on. The 4-hour recruitment process that we formulated helps to facilitate this notion, but there are also a number of other ways to recruit staff that you need to keep in mind.

1. A clearly defined, detailed and well written job description 

One of the first things to get right is the job description. This can be regarded as a mutual statement and agreement of expectations – what is expected of the candidate and what the candidate can expect to take on within the job itself.

A clearly detailed job description communicates the direction, defines objectives and clarifies the intentions of the company, not only to the employer and potential employee but also to members within the team that may be affected by the new recruit. The combination of talents that contribute to “the whole” must work together and create synergies in order to bring ideas to life, streamline goals and drive business forward.

An accurately defined job description can also speed up and facilitate the recruitment process to encourage a deeper understanding of the complexities of the job, the skills and expertise required for the role and the level of experience necessary to perform to the best of ones’ abilities. Is the role mapped out so that the best type of candidate can execute the job to high standards and yet still be challenged enough at the same time?

2. Include existing members of the team in the recruitment process

Involving team members in the hiring process can be a crucial part of the puzzle in terms defining the job role. Existing employees can help to determine the skills and manpower necessary and perhaps identify the type of person that is currently missing from the equation.

This can empower existing employees by involving them throughout the recruitment process and principally, the people that will be working most closely with the new hire can essentially help to form and clarify the job description. By including them, this will help you to really understand the fundamental role of each team member and it is likely that each individual will be more willing to accept the systems and strategies that are put in place, knowing that they played a part in shaping it. 

3. Recruitment should be strategic and logical

Getting the right candidate for the job should be well thought out- it should be targeted, planned and executed in a structured and consistent way.  Hiring best-fit candidates has much to do with company culture and finding the people that can bring something positive to the table in a way that flows with the current and not against it.

What is it about your company and the role that will attract and excite potential employees? How effectively have you communicated and marketed this? As much as there is a need to fill the role and satisfy the ‘gap’ in your company, you need a candidate that wants to work for you and for your company because of what it means to them.

This relates back to the clearly structured and well-written job description, which should include the aspects of your company, highlighting the culture, the working environment and everything in between that will appeal to the type of person you wish to recruit.

 

Finally, be as picky as you need to be during the selection process – there is no point wasting your time interviewing a candidate if they do not fit in with the culture of your business and the energy of your company.

Do not feel the need to settle or compromise. Remember that the right candidate may not be actively seeking new opportunities, so you need to be creative, efficient and relentless in the search for the best person for the job. It may seem like a time consuming journey in the pursuit of finding the right candidate but if successful, you will be saving yourself both time and money in the long run.

Need more advice on recruitment strategies?

Recruitment can be made simple. Simplify the process, find the very best candidates and ensure they stay.

This is the 4-Hour Recruitment Process that we have developed with our recruitment partners, SJ Mann Solutions, through years of experience helping our clients recruit the very best candidates.


5 Tips to Effective Staff Training

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Not all training was made equal.

It is well known that the most successful businesses in the world all have one thing in common – they invest in their employees. Business coaches, in London especially, will tell you that a motivated and talented workforce is just as important (if not more) for success as having an in-demand offering.

It is all well and good to have a happy workforce, but investing the business’ time and resources in staff training and development will not only increase job satisfaction, but also motivate them to invest their time and effort back into the company in reciprocity.

Most of  your employees are not going to come packaged with every necessary skill for their job. You need to ensure that skill gaps are being closed by effective training programs. Much like the saying “a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush”, ensuring that the employees you currently have are properly prepared for their roles, is much smarter than hiring blindly and hoping for the best.

Here are 5 tips that will help you set-up the most effective workforce training program for your business.

1. Holistic

One of the misconceptions in staff training is that different departments or levels of the organisation need independent workforce training. However, the most successful training programs incorporate a holistic view, and is inclusive of every team member across the organisation.

While department-specific training is occasionally necessary, a holistic approach ensures that the organisation is galvanised around new areas of growth, and will encourage participation of the entire organisation in forwarding the ultimate business goals.

2. Hands-On

Nowadays, a great deal of training is being done digitally through webinars and screen sharing technology. However, physical training can often provide a better learning experience due to a lack of distractions and more direct engagement.

When setting up your training programs, ensure that you invest in staff training which has at least some physical aspect. Even though the investment is higher, the return will also be greater.

3. Qualified Trainers

It may seem obvious who is teaching matters as much as what is being taught.

To get the most out of your staff training, ensure that your trainers are industry experts with a wealth of experience and also have a track record of being able to teach what they know.

Your teachers should stay current on the latest trends and developments in their industry and apply that to their training. Find the latest experts, and your workforce will get the most updated training.

4. One-On-One Support

Although most workforce training sessions are done in groups, the opportunity to receive personalised support throughout the learning process can often lead to a far richer education.

As people develop new knowledge in different ways and at different paces, you need to ensure that the training efforts are flexible enough to cater to different needs of individuals within the group. One of the easiest ways to do that is to make one-on-one support accessible, perhaps through a learning system, direct contact with the trainer or coach, or through scheduled one-on-one lessons.

5. Measure Outcomes

In many ways, you need to treat employee education as a business investment. Before the training is done, make sure that you, as the business owner, know what returns you are aiming to achieve from this investment.

If the outcomes of the training are not clear to you, engage further and brainstorm your ideas with the training providers before commencement. This will also allow the trainers to alter their teaching to align with your goals.

What metrics are you using to determine the success of this staff training? You should have specific, measurable goals otherwise how do you know whether the training worked or not? And if you do, you can then clearly see the benefit to your business – and you can show the mutual benefit clearly to your employees.

 

The bottom line from these tips are that you cannot just put trainers and employees in a room and hope that miracles happen. You need to ensure that you are fostering the right type of learning environment and maximising the support for each of your employees.

Employee training is not just about team motivation or employee wellbeing. There are direct benefits to your business and you should be carefully measuring those with KPIs and follow up measurements against those KPIs.

Not all training was made equal – so make sure you are getting the best for your business.

Want more effective business advice?

London Business Coaching Strategy SessionLearning how to conduct effective staff training is just one of the way business coaches help business run better and grow faster.

Get a free strategic review to find out what areas you could improve to start achieving double-digit growth.


How To Be the Boss Your Employees Love Working For

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Most business coaches and management experts around the world are likely to agree that the most successful workplaces are those with high employee satisfaction – that is pretty intuitive.

One of the biggest impacts to an employee’s morale at work is their sentiment towards their superior. A workplace where the boss is able to foster a culture where people love working with, and not just for, them is a business that is ahead of the pack.

Here we explore 8 characteristics which employees look for in a boss whom they love working for:

Believe in the impossible

Most people – in the workplace and otherwise – aim for goals and achievements within their reach. However, the best bosses expect more from themselves as well as others.

People who are able to motivate themselves to believe they can achieve the impossible, and those who can inspire their employees to do the same, are the type of people the masses are drawn to.

See the opportunity in everything

When faced with issues and unexpected circumstances, most bosses’ reflex will be to see the situation as a problem that either needs solving or which needs to be waited out.

However, a person who is able to see a crisis as an opportunity for positive change and learning is someone whom others quickly develop confidence in following.

Having said this, great bosses do not only see opportunity in adversity, they will be able to see that sometimes necessary change needs to occur even when business is running smoothly.

Linking back to the believing in the impossible, a boss whom employees love working for will always look for inconceivable ways to improve the business. Why not make something good, great?

Do not be afraid to be human

Good leaders portray and exude an air of professionalism wherever they are. However great leaders are those who are also willing to show their human side.

Showing emotion is not a sign of weakness or unprofessionalism, it is human nature. If the business does well, show some excitement. If things are going poorly, show sincere disappointment, not in others but yourself. Everyone in your workplace has a human side, and you expect your friends and colleagues to showcase emotion, so why not your boss?

There is nothing more inspiring for employees than a boss who is able to share in their joys, their pain, and their worries. Showing humanity is one of a great leader’s most important weapons in winning the trust of their employees.

Help employees

It is easy for bosses to throw employees under the bus, when things go wrong. However, the leaders who are able to foresee the error coming and are able to help employees avoid (and learn from) the negative outcomes, is one who is able to win the affection and respect of their employees.

Often times, when these bosses help employees avoid major mistakes, no one will ever know they had done it, as they never seek to take credit for such actions.

Never rest on your past victories

The best and most loved bosses are those who never rest on their laurels. Regardless of what they have achieved in their careers, the most inspiring leaders are those who consistently prove themselves every single day.

These people are never too good get a little bit dirty, and no task is ever too menial. The best bosses believe that no one is entitled to anything other than what they have earned for themselves. And the best leaders know that it not just hard work, but constant self-improvement that is required for success.

Lead by permission

The best leaders know the difference between leading by authority, and leading by permission.

A title of “boss” or “manager” gives many the impression that employees are purely there to work for them. The ones whom people love working for, know the importance of having people want to work with them.

Knowing the difference is crucial in becoming a great leader. While it is important to organise your employees different from how you organise yourself, your employees should feel like they want to be working with you, not coerced into it.

Work towards a holistic goal

Great bosses will not only aim to achieve the business’ goals – they will work towards achieving a larger vision.

Whether it be to aid employees in advancing their careers, to give back to the community, or to offer meaningful help to struggling employees, great bosses work towards a vision which is larger than just the company’s profits.

The best bosses, and the ones people love to work with, are those individuals who take business personally.

Take the right risks

The best bosses are the ones who accept and respect the fact that they will have to make unpopular decisions, disappoint some people, and challenge the status quo.

These people take these risks not just to stand out, but because it is the right thing to do, and that the reward is worth it for them and everyone else.

Everyone has had a boss at some point in their career. Some will have been great, and some not so much. However it is very rare that bosses will inspire a workplace to love working with them. When you start to actively embody the characteristics above, you can become one of those rare breeds of bosses that are truly loved by their employees

Lead effectively into the New Year

free business coaching london webinarThe beginning of the new year is the best time to reflect, and set up an effective plan to achieve more in the coming year.

At this special, seasonal webinar, I reveal the proven methods for goal planning to you and my business coaching clients.


6 Steps for a School Manager’s Year-End Review

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As the year comes to an end, we find that most business owners naturally take time to reflect on how the year has progressed. Having worked with a few educational institutions, however, I find that school managers sometimes overlook the importance of such an activity. And many do it incorrectly.

You should not do a year-end review just for the sake of it.

Some schools do the exercise just because it is mandated. They end up treating a year-end review like a New Year’s Resolution, and never follow through in the following year.

However, if you follow these 6 steps (which we explain and help actually do at the Strategic Planning Day), you are more likely to conduct a practical and useful review, which is more likely to stick and help further your school’s ultimate goals.

Understand How Your Year Went

The first thing you should do at the end of every year is take a step back and ask yourself how you did in the past 12 months in comparison to your goals in January. In order to do so, there are a number of questions you need to ask yourself:

  • What were your broad organisational goals for your school at the beginning of the year? Were you able to achieve them?
  • Out of the goals you did not achieve, what were the reasons behind their shortcomings?
  • Have your teachers and support staff worked efficiently together over the course of the past 12 months? If there were any hiccups, what were they and where did they emanate from? To address such hiccups, you should consider implementing team management strategies which could help organise them into a cohesive team.
  • How has your educational institution changed as compared to the previous year? What impact has this had on you and the school?

Review Your Current Situation

Once the annual review has been completed, narrow your focus to the present. Look at the last 2 months and conduct an objective review of your achievements and shortfalls. The latter is the most important part of this review – what have you not yet achieved and what is missing in your organisation?

Ask yourself these questions:

  • Have you been able to balance your cash flow?
  • What goals did you have for the last quarter? Did you achieve them?
  • Why were you unable to meet some of your goals?
  • What have you learned from this quarter that you can carry over to the next?

Set Your Organisational Goals

As the manager of your educational institution, it is your role to set strategies for your schools for the next few years. Educational coaches and business coaches in London would largely agree that the best way to achieve your goals is by first defining your long-term plans, which could be for the next 10 years. You can then break them down into 3-year goals and then work out what are the goals you need to achieve in the next year to achieve that.

In business coaching, we often tell our clients that they need to convey their vision to their employees with confidence. Showing short and long-term goals that are promising and achievable creates motivation within teams. This is especially true for teachers, who often wish to be dedicated to their work, but feel like the admin tasks are weighing them down. Showing them how the various administrative work they need to do will achieve goals that will ultimately benefit them and their students is critical to keeping them from feeling jaded about their work.

Remember, although you are running an organisation, you are also managing people who are educating others – the atmosphere and sentiment is one of the most critical aspects in keeping a school thriving.

Develop Your Action Plan

There 4 stages to developing an effective and actionable plan:

1. Categorise

In the last step, you defined the goals you want to achieve in the next year, and now it is time to categorise them. These categories usually emerge naturally, and could include areas such as finance, teacher relations, legal, support services, marketing/prospecting etc.

2. Prioritise

Now that you have categorised your goals, it is time to prioritise them. Choose just one goal from each of the categories that is the most important within that bucket. Those goals will now be the items that you must complete in the next year. Now you have a focus.

3. Define Actions

For each goal, write down a list of action points that needs to be done in order to achieve it. Be cautious about assigning too many tasks to a single staff member – multitasking can often be less productive.

4. Phasing

Now that you have your goals and required actions, you will need to ensure that you do not bombard yourself or your teachers and staff with too much work all at once. To avoid this, spread your actions through the next four quarters so that it is broken down into manageable phases over the next 12 months.

Delegate

If your goals are substantial enough, which they should be at this point for any ambitious educational institution, you will realise that you and the executive staff are unable to do this all on your own. Therefore, you need to ensure that you manage the actions by delegating effectively to various department heads as appropriate.

When you delegate tasks to individuals, ensure that you not only communicate the exact actions they need to do, but also the context behind them. As mentioned earlier, teachers especially need to understand the goals they are contributing to if they are to stay motivated.

In business, we create an accountability chart to officialise each individual’s role in the attainment of your goals. Many educational institutions have found this to be an excellent tool to ensure you keep track of who is responsible for what, and also to ensure no one staff member is overloaded.

Follow Up on Actions and Your Overall Plan

As a manager, you cannot simply delegate to others and leave it at that. Especially in an educational institution where teachers have many different duties, you must ensure that you maintain constant and consistent contact with them to ensure that they are on track to achieving their tasks.

At weekly meetings you should spend a small amount of time discussing the organisational goals. Each member of the meeting should be responsible for a particular goal and give a quick update on progress. This way the whole team is aware of how the entire institution is moving forwards.

If certain goals are lagging, ask yourself – are those goals still relevant and achievable? If so, then find out what is holding up progress – where is the bottleneck? If you are in constant review, you can catch lagging goals before the end of the year and get them on track again quickly.

Following these 6 steps is likely to produce the kind of review and plan that will send you into the next year armed and ready for serious efficiency. Remember that doing a full review of your business will take time and effort, so ensure you put aside a decent amount of time to it. It is time spent now to save so much time wasted later.

Need help with your next review?

business-writing-on-wallEvery quarter, we hold a strategic planning day to ensure that business owners can stay on track and can create useful plans for the following 90 days.

Educational institution managers would be welcome to join us to learn strategies that will help take their organisation to the next level.


Recruitment: Biggest Mistake Made When Hiring a New Employee

Many people think that the recruitment process begins when you conceive the need for a new hire, and ends once you sign the contract with your new employee.

However, there is one critical step missed by thousands of businesses. A simple step. If you remember to do this one thing whenever you make a new hire, you are going to save yourself immeasurable time and money. And you are more than likely to have a longer-term employee.

Prefer to read rather than watch and listen? No problem – here’s everything I said in the video as text:

Hi this is Shweta from the London Coaching Group, and what I want to talk about today is one big mistake that people make when they hire a new team member, or a new candidate for their business.

Why a written planner is crucial

Now, what I very often see is as soon as the new team member is hired, there is a lot of winging that happens in terms of how this person is inducted into the business, into the culture and also into the role.

Now let me make it very clear, and I’ll say the way it is. If you do not have a written down planner for induction, for your new hire. The chances are that going forward, this person will actually end up guzzling a lot of your time, a lot of your energy and most probably even money, business money as well. Because the person is not settled into the role, and will constantly need your interventions.

And that’s not the purpose, that’s not the reason why you get somebody on board. So it’s a very straightforward way of having an induction planner, you say; Day 1, Day 2, Day 3 to Day 5, or Day 10 depending on how long you want your induction process to be.

Outline what your new team member should do on day one

And you pretty much split it into AM to PM, and you detail out, you say what are the things you want this person to do on day one? Is it to sit down with the MD, going through the culture of the company, the value systems, the history of the company. Is it about going through health and safety manuals? Is it about signing the employment contract?

You think through things in detail, you map it out for the person to follow a structure. At least for a week, so that you know you’ve covered all the phases and all the annuals of the business. Whether it’s different departments induction, it’s about marketing, website?

Bring in your other team members to help this person out

As I’m saying, the documents leverage the existing manuals, the videos, the website, online material. And leverage other people in your team to help this person understand more about the company, more about the functions and also about the role. But you need to have a written induction planner, because yes it will take a little bit of effort first time, but this is what will give you leverage forever in your business.

Want more leadership strategies?

If you would like to start running a team that is motivated and efficient, then you may want to attend our next free webinar.

In these workshops Shweta explains some of the latest leadership strategies we have seen work with our clients.


Recruitment: 3 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Your Start

Now that you have systems in place and your business is growing, do you have the right team to support you? You need to find superstars who will do their job without constant supervision so that you can focus on the higher-level business growth work, rather than firefighting and micromanaging. Finding these superstars is not as difficult as you may initially think and it does not require an extended recruitment period.

There is a simple recruitment process you can follow to ensure you fill your team with the best people for the job.

In this video, I explain the 3 critical questions you need to ask yourself in order to start your recruitment process in the best way:

Prefer to read rather than watch and listen? No problem – here’s everything I said in the video as text: Hi this is Shweta from London Coaching Group. What I want to talk about today is recruitment and what is the right approach to actually increase the chances of finding the right candidate for the business.

How business owners typically plan out the job description during Recruitment

What I have seen very often is that business owners say they figure out that yes there is a gap in the organisation and they put some kind of job description together, and the common thought process is that ‘We’ll put the induction or the key activities or the targets in place on we find the right candidate.’

What I tell my clients

Now I just want you to turn this on its head, and think it just the other way around. What I always coach my clients on and what they do – if you have seen some real good results from this is actually doing the hard work right at the beginning.

What is the business’ objective?

Actually assuming that this candidate is on board, and what is the target that this person has? What is the business objective which needs to be met through this person? And then the next level of questioning is for the business objectives to be met, what are the key activities that will have to be undertaken? What are the key performance indicators?

Figuring out what essentials the right candidate should have in order to be a success

Now with these two questions answered and with the level of clarity that one has now that a real thought through job description is put in place. And not with the long list of good to have things like; you have good communication skills, a negotiator, and initiative taker, self-reliant. All that stuff is good to have and we want all of those things. But you start questioning saying; what are key essentials that this person must have to meet those business objectives to undertake those key activities and to be a success.

What can happen once you change your approach?

Now, once you start changing your approach and start looking at recruitment with the end result first, and then get on with hiring the candidates – the chances of finding the right candidate for your business. It just shoots up, and gives you the right results in your business.

Fill your team with superstars in 4 hours

Having helped clients recruit thousands of superstar employees, we get how tiresome it can be. With our 4-hour process you can streamline recruitment, get the best person for the job and make hiring exciting rather than infuriating. If you have struggled with poor team members, maybe your recruitment process needs this fix.

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