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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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:…

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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…

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Write job roles, not job titles

What has to happen in your business? This is an easy one.  Sales, marketing, human resources, finance, and let’s add legal and customer service. To begin with, anyway.  Here’s the catch: imagine you hire a new marketing employee. And you tell this person to “do marketing”.  What are they doing all day? Is it what…

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How to check in with your employees

You want employees who are happy to work in your business.  You want to know that they look forward to coming to work, enjoy what they do all day long, and value your role as their boss and mentor.  We have already talked about the importance of “checking in” with your employees, to find out…

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Are you making your brand work for you?

What’s in a brand?  More specifically: what is a brand?  The varied definitions you will find always describe how people know and recognize a company. Whether it is a logo, a slogan, or a design, the visual brand is a symbolic representation of your company.  But humans are complex beings, and to every symbol, we…

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Be the person you want your employees to be

Leading by example.  We all think we do it. But few people take deliberate steps to ensure this is true.  The best descriptions of how to “lead by example” are the ones that create visuals: Model the behavior you want to see Create a picture of what is possible.  Leading by example isn’t about what…

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