The one question that will transform your performance reviews

You can throw company happy hours, host team dinners, buy pinball machines and eliminate job titles all you want.  But once you put an employee in a performance review, there is a strict hierarchy of who reports to whom.  And that hierarchy is what makes it challenging to get good feedback: the employee knows you…

Read More

The formula for happy employees

One of the top three challenges that new employees have is unmet expectations: the job is not what they expected it to be.  That means difficult conversations where they are telling you that they expected something different, and what are you going to do about it. Or even worse: they quit.  One simple fix will…

Read More

How to talk to problem employees

Happy employees

Nothing you tell your employees should ever come as a surprise.  This is especially important with bad news.  If you are telling an employee that they are at risk of being fired, and they had no idea, then you are the one who made a mistake, not them.  But don’t tell your employees about their…

Read More

When company values become harmful

I’ll get straight to the point: company values become harmful when they are not enforced.  This happens more often than you would imagine, and usually because of good intentions. But the harm is always greater than the perk.  The wrong way to use values Let’s say you claim a core value at your business is…

Read More

How are you hiring?

You have a role; now it’s time to fill it.  Use the work you did to know why you are hiring and who you are hiring to improve how you are hiring.  Hiring skills How important is skill expertise in hiring?  It turns out: not very.  Skill expertise is not to be ignored, of course,…

Read More

Who are you hiring?

You have described the problem you are solving and used that to decide what role you need to hire.  Let’s now transition to “who” you have to hire.  And yes, I did say transition. It’s a journey, not a step.  Hiring for impact Answer one question before making further decisions: Which roles have the biggest…

Read More

Why are you hiring?

Why did you hire your last employee?  When asking business owners why they are hiring, their answers are usually a version of the following: they have gotten too busy, there is too much to do in their business, their client base has grown, they feel it is time to bring on a [insert job title:…

Read More

Your employees don’t know what to do

Job titles are great for algorithms in job search sites; job roles are better for managing your business.  Following my March article explaining this difference, I received some great feedback from people writing roles for their own business.  The next step is to instruct your team. Does everybody know what they should be doing? It’s…

Read More

Every business has a business culture: what is yours?

Business culture is not optional.  Like gravity or photosynthesis, whether or not you acknowledge it, it is there.  The question is never: do we have a company culture; the question is always: do we have a good company culture or a damaging company culture? And if it’s going to happen anyway, you may as well…

Read More

Why are you managing your business?

This blog talks about business management. Indeed my whole business is about the craft of business management.  And if the business is the idea, management is what turns the idea into action.  But what are you managing, exactly? How do you manage an “idea” into a “reality”? The best way to answer this question is…

Read More