Insights Blog

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

A Recruitment Process: Pay Less to Your Next Employee

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Most candidates when searching for jobs end up applying for positions that pay a lower salary. As business coaches, we often help our clients with their recruitment process, and even work with a partner who offers a service of posting job ads for them on a number of tried and tested job boards.

As a result, we have posted numerous advertisements and have done quite a bit of split testing to perfect the process. One of the things we noticed is that when we have run ads for the exact same position – with an identical job description – but at different salaries, we have received more applications on the one with the LOWER salary.

Why would people apply for a job with lower salary?

Well it has to do with confidence. Many business owners/employers have become proficient in destroying the confidence and self-esteem of their employees. As a result, the job market has become rife with candidates whose own estimated worth is far lower than they are actually worth.

It has also meant that you have many talented people who are desperate to escape from a role that is simply not right for them. You can change this in your own business by implementing good practices to manage your team. Incorporating the following steps into your recruitment process will not only get you great employees, but you can also keep them for longer. It is all about creating a more nurturing environment for them.

Steps to Add to Your Recruitment Process:

Step 1: Post a job ad with a lower salary as well

First, post your ad for a lower salary than you think you would normally pay for this job and post one at the higher salary too. You are more likely to attract a larger pool of candidates – as we have seen in our numerous ad posting – so you will have broader choice.

Step 2: Interview candidates and compare

Once you have found someone you think is a winner, interview him or her closely and see how he or she stacks up against those who are demanding a higher pay. How do their qualifications compare? How does their experience and ability to talk about their work compare?

You might be surprised to find someone far better in the lower-salary group. We usually get our clients to use the 4-hour recruitment process to get their business in front of more potential employees – so that you can find someone who is really suited to the position.

Step 3: Increase their pay

The key, however, is that once you have gotten them in your business, and they have proven their worth – you then need to increase their pay! Make sure that they are being paid more than what the market would offer so that they will never leave. This is a great incentive structure because not only are you incentivising with money, but the pay raise is also praise.

You are encouraging them by indicating that you see their worth and that you are willing to pay them to keep them. That kind of encouragement and self-esteem building is invaluable – and will earn you loyal employees every time. We have seen it happen time and again, and it is a really simple process to implement in just about any business.

Of course, you cannot just increase their pay to keep them. This particular strategy should be used along with a robust recruitment process, an effective team management system, effective communication and meetings with your team, and careful attention to your company culture if you want to be absolutely sure of retaining employees.

Have you got a recruitment process that works well for you? Share it with us in the comments below.

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Family values: how parenting skills can help build a better business

business coaching services If you are a parent, there’s no doubt that you have developed an invaluable set of skills – most of which can be transferred to your workplace.

Good parents are decision makers, goal setters, problem solvers and personal councillors – constantly facing new challenges as their children grow up.

HoweverJennifer Sabatini Fraone, Assistant Director of marketing for the Boston College Centre for Work and Family believes that there is still an ‘unconscious bias’ against family values in the business world. She claims that dedicated parents are often seen as ‘less committed … less competent and [less] promotable’ – unable to juggle the commitments of home and work.

Fraone insists that we need to stop seeing the role of the ‘committed parent as a negative’, as many of the valuable skills learnt in your home life actually ‘translate to and enrich’ your work life. And it’s proven to be true: many of the skills gained in parenthood are transferable.

A 2012 report by the Korn/Ferry institute revealed that. 95 percent of female professionals think raising children has provided them with unique skills portable to the workplace’

Kathy Woods, Senior Partner at Korn/Ferry states, “The findings show that parenthood offers a world of training in psychology, time management and diplomacy that can easily be applied to business”.

Many businesses like to see themselves as a family, and in many ways, a good boss often bears a distinct resemblance to a good parent. We’re not saying you should literally treat your employees or colleagues like your children, but rather make the most of your skill set and apply them to your workplace management techniques.

Here are a few parenting skills (that you may already possess) that can seriously improve staff loyalty, morale and, ultimately, your profit margins:

Maintaining a positive working environment

A positive environment is key, not only at home but also in the workplace. Let your employees know your expectations. Think about their needs and ask yourself if they have been met. Make sure you check in regularly, not only as a group, but also on a more personal level. As an employer, you have a similar duty of care to that of a parent – let them know that your door is always open, and you are always willing you help in times of need.

Instilling good values

Any parent wants their child to grow up with good morals, values and a positive work ethic. The same applies to the employer/ employee relationship. A busy office can sometimes be compared to the school playground and, sadly, workplace bullying is still an issue for many companies. Make sure you discourage damaging behaviour such as gossiping and scapegoating – and if you see this happening, don’t let it go unnoticed.

Enforcing rules

As a role-model you have to know where to draw the line between being your child’s best friend and being a good parent.  Rules are essential to the smooth running of the family home, as well as any business. Set and outline boundaries and make sure your employees know them. Create an environment of mutual respect, where it’s not awkward or uncomfortable to remind each other of the rules. However, make sure that you don’t become a remote disciplinary figure – always try to maintain that delicate balance of constructive criticism and praise.

Involvement & ownership

It can be particularly damaging if a child is left out of the conversation, or discouraged from having an opinion. A child’s contribution is an important and crucial part of developing self-confidence and learning how to express themselves in later life. In the business world, an employees’ say is just as important. Through encouraging contributions, suggestions and ideas, you will increase motivation and productivity levels. Fostering a sense of ownership breeds pride and will give your staff a heightened sense of responsibility. If staff are left out of decision making, or their suggestions brushed under the carpet and not considered, resentment will start to grow. It’s at this stage that you are most likely to lose valued employees to another company.

Encouraging & enabling

Modern parenting – in some extreme cases – has become an all-consuming and obsessive role. Focused on achievement and performance, doting parents enrol their child in every possible activity, in the fear that they won’t discover their child’s true potential or calling in life. The ‘tiger’ or ‘soccer’ mom is a relatively new phenomenon. However, although it can be taken too far, encouraging potential is no bad thing. Driving ambition and giving a child the ability to take on challenges provides them with a higher chance of success in later life. If an employee is given no chance to progress in their role and to develop their skills further, chances are they’ll get bored and start looking to apply themselves elsewhere. Make sure you provide feedback, and opportunities for growth within your business. Offer training courses where appropriate and provide promotion opportunities. And get to know your staff on a personal level – you may find out they have talents and skills you were unaware of that could be channelled positively into your business.

Recognising & rewarding

Now, we’re not saying you should use operant conditioning techniques…but the gist is the same. Humans are pretty simple creatures, and positive reinforcement – using a reward to praise good behaviour – works wonders for productivity. Praise and positive feedback are hugely important and incredibly underrated: they cost nothing, yet have immense benefits. Employees are far more likely to continue their good work if they get acknowledgement for it, fuelling commitment, loyalty and productivity. Another way to make your employees feel valued and appreciated is by organising incentives – for example staff trips, Christmas parties, and birthday celebrations – be inventive!

Paying attention

Bringing up children is a whirlwind, and seems to pass in the blink of an eye.  Sometimes parents get so caught up in it that they miss some important developments and details. The same applies in business: every so often it is important to stop and take a moment to look closely at what is going on, assess what is working and what isn’t. Measure morale, efficiency and staff engagement, all the while ensuring you treat each employee like an individual and take the time to find out how they are doing. Assess where your attention is needed most, make sure you’re there when they need you, and keep an eye out for any warning signs so you can get to the source of any problems sooner rather than later. 

Granted, children require a lot more supervision, discipline and attention than adults (in most cases) but they also benefit from good guidance, encouragement and teaching too. Whether you are a seasoned parent or not, paying heed to some basic family values and child-rearing techniques could work wonders in your workplace!  

This article was contributed by Melanie Luff, staff writer for BusinessesForSale.com, the market-leading directory of business opportunities from Dynamis. Melanie writes for all titles in the Dynamis Stable as well as other industry publications.


Why You Shouldn’t Manage Your Team

 

This is something I’ve seen happen to business owners in London all the time. When you try and figure out why your team isn’t getting the work done, you start to question and blame yourself – you assume that you are not effective at people management. So you seek out leadership workshops and seminars to learn how to lead and manage people more effectively.

However, the truth is, you can’t manage people. Trying to manage people is actually a flawed way of thinking.

In this video, I explain how to escape this mindset so you can learn how to actually get your team to help you build your business:

 

 

 

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 your team.

 

 

It’s “So Hard” To Manage Your Team

I come across this very often when I am working with business owners that it is so hard to manage a team. It is so hard to get the jobs done at the right level and eventually what they do is they say, “I will do it myself because I can do it faster, I can do it better and I know exactly what kind of output I am after.”

You Don’t Manage People

Now there’s a distinction that I want you to make here. Basically that you as a business owner – as a manager and a leader – you do not manage people you manage their activities. It is really an important distinction for you to make. You do not manage people, you manage their activities. For you to efficiently and effectively manage the activities there are two things that you need.

The Two Things You Need to Manage People Efficiently And Effectively

First you need clarity; what are the activities that you want your team members to work on? How will you measure that those activities are actually being done? That is the first thing for effective team management – clarity of activities and then measurements.

The second thing is you need to manage a team effectively is communication or what I call rhythm. Rhythm of communication. What kind of rhythm do you have in your business whether it is on a daily basis, weekly basis, monthly basis? Ideally it is daily or weekly as monthly is kind of quite late in the whole process.

Just to also clarify; having a quick conversation, having a quick chat is not rhythm of communication. This is a system that you need to set in your business, which will actually help you effectively manage the activities of your team and get the results that you are really after.

I’ve talked before about team productivity and about essential elements of team meetings, but what are the other main problems you have had with team management or organising your employees? Let me know by commenting below and let’s see if I can help you.

A quick reminder: the voting for the Association of Professional Coaches, Trainers and Consultants (APCTC) awards is still open and closes on 24th March. Please note, you can vote for BOTH awards that Shweta has been chosen as a finalist for (“Business Mentor of the Year” and “Outstanding achievement”). Return to the page after voting for one award in order to vote for the other one. You will need a valid email address in order to vote.

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Team management strategies are just one of the ways to improve and systemise the way you run your business. Register for our webinar to learn the tools and strategies that we, as top business coaches in London, have used to help countless businesses expand sustainably. 

 


The 3 Signs of A Broken Team Model

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As a business coach in London, I have encountered numerous managers who have a team that just aren’t operating at their peak efficiency. The problem is, many of them don’t even know that their team is under performing. They feel like they are achieving a lot but when I help them to really open their eyes, they realise they are not achieving nearly as much as they should be – or growing as fast as they could be.

There are three indicators that I always look out for when determining if a manager has a broken team. As a manager, you should always be on the lookout for them because the first step towards a productive team is becoming aware that your team is broken. Real progress comes from awareness, so watch out for these three warning signs:

1. Constant firefighting in your business

This one you might find difficult to identify at first. You can often feel like you are doing a really good job as a manager when you’re holding the team together, catching mistakes and fixing them swiftly. You can feel like a superman/superwoman when you’re out there, fixing the problems in your business. The question is, are you constantly doing this? Are the problems in your business something that crops up on a day-to-day basis?

If so, then your team isn’t doing what they’re meant to be. Don’t get me wrong – everyone makes mistakes and problems do happen in even the best businesses I have coached. There will always be fires to fight. But the problems that you’re solving should be exceptions, not the rule.

If solving problems in your business is a part of your regular day, then you need to reconsider how your team is structured and how they are working.

2. Micromanagement becoming necessary

Do you find that if you’re not there, deadlines seem to slip? Do you constantly have to create timelines and task lists for your team members in order for them to get things done?

Then you’re micromanaging and that’s not going to help your business move forward.

If you feel that you can’t trust your team to deliver what they’re meant to deliver on time, most of the time, then there’s an issue with how your team is being managed.

3. Every discussion becomes aggressive or sensitive quickly

You need to be able to communicate with your team members. You need to be able to realign their path and assign tasks without fuss and drama. If sensitivity quickly becomes a big issue whenever you try and talk to your team, your competition is going to quickly take over.

The key here is whether there’s trust and understanding – if they do not understand you and you do not understand them, then someone will usually take offence and discussions become difficult. You start to ask yourself, “What’s the point in even bringing it up? I might as well just do it myself.” As soon as you think those words, then you know you have an issue with communication in your team and you may need to reconsider your management style.

 

If you’re experiencing any of these signs, then your team simply isn’t working the way it should be. The end result is that you’re lifting up the team and, realistically, you were probably better off doing things by yourself. You’re not getting the leverage from your team that you should be getting if you want to see your company grow and expand.

In the end, your team is your reflection. So if you do figure out that your team appears to be broken, consider that your team is as good as your leadership/management style. Take ownership of this situation and sit down to think it through. Ask yourself how can YOU change to make your team better.

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Being the leader of a business means implementing strategies that are going to help your business grow, while also making everything more efficient.

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Small Businesses are Re-Prioritising Staff Development

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As the economy eases its way towards a broader state of recovery, the slow growth that is being experienced in many sectors provides us with a bigger picture of the nation’s economic health and productivity. Some industries have clearly turned the corner; other areas of business continue to struggle, or remain in a state of decline. As the recovery grows, it is likely that so will this disparity between the contrasting fortunes of industries within our economy. 

SMEs: The driving force behind the UK’s recovery

This is nothing new, and is almost to be expected. The UK has a diverse economy that is – as is so often stated – carried on the backs of its small and medium-sized enterprises. Although this has become a stock phrase for politicians now familiar to the point of cliché, it is nevertheless true. Of the almost five million separate businesses operating in Britain today, some 99% of them are classified as SMEs.  What’s more, the forecasts for growth suggest that British SMEs are faring better than most – not just at home, but against overseas competitors too.

Since 2010, Britain’s small enterprises have seen their export turnover rise to a greater degree than any of their main European competitors. With the picture now looking somewhat brighter for our home-grown small enterprises, now is an ideal moment for businesses to consolidate their positions and find ways to stimulate growth.

Staff development and laying the foundations for a stronger economy

Part of this emboldened stance will include reinstating strategies that have been either overlooked or, more likely, sidelined during the lean years of recession. We are talking about in-work training, staff development, and nurturing workplace skills as a means of growing a stronger economy. Whilst encouraging the skills of the workforce should always be one of the fundamental objectives of any employer, it is now – with the first indications of a recovery – that the subject is once again being talked about as a major objective for employers and employees alike. 

Perhaps the strongest indication of this trend to date is to be found in the figures compiled by the 2014 Personal Development in the Workplace Study (conducted by Onepoll). The survey, which compares its data to last year’s findings, sought to identify the importance placed on skills development within Britain’s SMEs. And the data shows a clear resurgence in both activity and enthusiasm for in-work training.

In terms of employee satisfaction, 58% of those surveyed responded positively to a question asking whether employers were supportive of skills development: a rise of six per cent in just twelve months. Perhaps most revealingly of all, the number of employees who are currently benefiting from a structured development plan has risen eight per cent in the past year, perhaps indicating that many employers are moving fast to capitalise on the recovery to motivate their workforce and stimulate productivity.

It seems like stating the obvious to suggest that a workforce that is given opportunities to progress and grow its talent base is always likely to be more highly motivated and therefore productive. But the extent to which this manifests itself in real terms as productivity and profit for your business is perhaps a little more unclear. So how does staff development become an investment in skills that brings benefits to both the employer and to the wider economy?

Real skills, real results

The answer is that staff development can be shown to play a key role in producing tangible results for businesses. A government study carried out by the Department of Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) has demonstrated that workplace training can been shown to account for 0.4% of the whole nation’s economic growth since the beginning of the twenty-first century. That is nearly one half of a percent of all growth in every sector being attributed directly to workplace training and development.

Within the wider economy, that amount adds up to a not insignificant sum, and the increased activity amongst businesses that are either willing to implement staff development programmes, or provide them on a third-party basis, are viewed as an increasingly significant portion of the United Kingdom’s services industry.

The studies into Britain’s skills development give reasons for hope and renewed optimism as we head towards a recovery. Workplace initiatives feed in to a wider culture of progress and productivity that has always been a fundamental part of the way Britain does business. From apprenticeship schemes creating opportunities and jobs for young people, to a skilled and motivated workforce boosting productivity – training and development can be provided in any number of forms. And, as awareness increases of the positive results that training brings, investment in skills is a trend that will to continue to grow.  

This article was contributed by BusinessesForSale.com, the market-leading directory of business opportunities from online media group Dynamis.


1 Simple Technique to Improve Team Productivity

Do you rely on monetary incentives, profit-share arrangements and gift-rewards to motivate your employees? Are they truly as motivated as they could be to keep working with your business, long term?   Watch this video to find out the one, simple and inexpensive technique that will have a massive impact on your team’s productivity. Prefer to read rather than watch and listen? No problem – here’s everything I said in the video as text: What I would like to talk about today is that one simple ingredient to the recipe for employee productivity. Encouraging employees to be more productive could be a challenge even for some very experienced managers. I am sure you have got some tools in your tool box which are working absolutely fine, but I just want to share this one simple technique which can actually help the whole team to get aligned with the common objectives of the business.

Traditional Business Strategies for Motivation

In the business world, some of the common ways to improve the productivity and motivation of people are:

  • Monetary awards
  • Profit-sharing mechanisms
  • Free gifts (such as iPhones, weekend breaks etc.

Now yes these tools work and they can be small or big ways of recognising the performance of people but they have some downsides and I just want to talk about it very quickly so that you are aware.

The Downsides of the Traditional Motivational Business Strategies

One of the downsides of having monetary incentives in the business is that it is a future reference point, and this future reference point never goes down, it keeps on increasing. Therefore it could be an expensive way to make sure that you have the base level of motivation working in your employees, right?  That is one and I am sure that you are familiar with this issue. The second is that sometimes, and actually I’ve seen this quite a few times, if not done properly it could actually erode the intrinsic motivation of your team.

So How Does Business Coaching Teach You To Improve Productivity?

Let’s then talk about what it is that can help people be more productive and enthused and motivated about what they are doing. Behavioural science research has found out that people generally lose interest or their motivation, if they cannot see the relevance, the significance and meaning of their role in the company. Mark my words; if they cannot really see the significance and meaning behind their role in the company they just get de-motivated, they are not really aligned in the same direction.

What Productivity Business Strategies Are You Employing?

So the question that you should ask yourself here is what are the things that you are doing and how frequently do you remind people of the impact, of the value that they are adding to the market place, to the customers, or the clients.  That is question number one. 

But How Do You Actually Implement These Strategies?

So what are some simply ways of doing it? It is not a very complicated implementation scenario. Actually it is very straightforward. What you have to check with yourself is are you collecting those testimonials, the stories, the case studies? Maybe ask your clients and customers to talk about the benefit that they have seen by working with your team and with yourselves. And then are you constantly sharing these success stories in the forums where there is a positive impact, like your team meetings? Actually making your teams members read out those stories so that there can be a better integration in their psyche to say, “Yes, I understand you and what is happening here.”

Costs Versus Impact Here?

Is this technique expensive? No it is not. Does it take a little bit of time? Yes, it does take a little bit of time. But does it make a massive impact on the productivity of people because they can see more meaning and significance of what they are doing and how they are adding value? Yes there is a massive impact. So the question is, what do you need to do to make sure people understand the value that they are bringing on board?

business consulting servicesFound this post useful? You can either learn through slow trial and error, or you can learn techniques that have been tried and tested with thousands of businesses around the world. If you want to see your business grow fast and sustainably, then join us at one of the online workshops.

 

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