Celebrating Veterans Day – How to Hire a Veteran

ASB - Hire a VeteranToday few Americans know any veterans, other than those from the wars of WWII, Korea or Vietnam. Now since much of what we see and read is from the organizations seeking money for those who have disabilities, we tend to think far more veterans have problems than actually do. But the reality is that veterans make excellent employees. Plus veterans are more successful as entrepreneurs than those without military service. So think what they can add to any small business, non-profit or association. While older veterans are employed at higher rates than civilians, those veterans in their 20s and women veterans in general have had higher unemployment rates than civilians over the past decade.

Your organization could benefit from hiring veterans. They have excellent “soft skills” like the ability to work with diverse groups of customers or clients, self-direction, strong communication skills, and dependability–just for starters! Most have had supervisory roles early and all have had extensive training in both their work/career fields and interpersonal skills. Most also are used to doing whatever is necessary for the mission, not an “it’s not my job” attitude anywhere.

 

How do you find and hire a veteran successfully?

Many of the steps are the same as any other hiring. Small business owners tend to see the big companies and their well-publicized programs and assume that they need a big program too. But you do not. You need a little planning. And you will get far better results with less hassle than blasting your needs out on a job board or someplace like Craigslist.

Here is a simple plan to help you hire a veteran, or lots of them!

First, define the position in detail including both technical/specific experience requirements and those attributes that ensure success in your culture. This is critical to any hiring but also ensures you can evaluate potential veteran candidates effectively.

Second, think about your network. Do you already know any veterans? Talk to them and ask for their ideas and support.

Third, talk with the veterans’ representatives in your local employment services office. Many states also have programs like Virginia Values Veterans ( http://www.dvsV3.com ) to help you learn more about hiring veterans and helping them succeed. Both these organizations can assist you in effectively hiring veterans to meet your needs. In Alexandria, contact the Alexandria Veterans Business Enterprise Center (Emily McMahan at [email protected]) for added ideas and links to local military transition offices.

Fourth, consider reaching out to volunteer organizations locally which work with veterans and informing them of your needs. Consider the local chapter of TeamRWB (http://teamrwb.org/) , local veteran Meet-ups, and others which focus on recent vets. And if you need recent graduates, check out local chapters of Student Veterans of America (http://www.studentveterans.org/)

Fifth, if your positions require specific training or certifications, understand that there are plenty of veterans who have these. There are specific programs to translate military experience into required civilian credentials and certifications. There are non-profit organizations and companies which provide specific training to veterans. I work with several. But a simple online search of what you need, such as energy + veterans or SAP + veterans or any specific credential +veterans, will lead you to resources.

Sixth, military members in transition do go through training about how to write civilian resumes. But the translations of titles, units, and boss’s titles are not really obvious. So when you are looking at a person’s resume, check out their achievements and perhaps training or certifications. If there appears to be an overlap with what you need, give the person a call and talk a bit about your needs and their work.

The right veteran will rapidly learn your organization and culture and make specific contributions to your success far sooner than you expect. If you can offer challenges and the opportunity for increased responsibility, you will find each an excellent addition to your future.


Patricia A. Frame is an experienced management consultant, HR executive, speaker, and author on human capital issues. She is known for her ability to address organizational goals and issues effectively and to create human resource management practices which support these goals without excessive administrivia. Patricia has advised executives and boards on a wide range of human capital and strategic planning issues. She has expertise in organization development, talent management, process restructuring, compensation, and training. She has worked with technology-based companies, government contractors, non-profits, associations, and retail operations. She advises small to mid-size organizations on ways to succeed and to help their employees thrive. Ms. Frame has given seminars for SBDC in recent years on the basic processes of HR management. Additionally, she generously provides one-to-one HR counseling once a month through Alexandria SBDC.

Positive Productivity

Productivity: Wrapping up the First Stage of a...
Productivity: Wrapping up the First Stage of a Special Project (Photo credit: orcmid)

A few weeks ago, we had a great group at an SBDC HR seminar. The attendees had lots of good questions. But they also got to start thinking about some questions that underlie many aspects of positive productivity in organizations.

Here are some issues we discussed for you to think about too. What would your answer be to these questions?

What is your vision for the future?
This question is about where your organization is now and where it is going. What specific vision defines your future goals and plans? How does that vision live in regular activities? ‘Hope is not a strategy’ is not just a cliche.

What is your value proposition?
This one speaks to your continuing success. What do you offer that your customers or clients cannot easily find elsewhere? How do your employees influence your value proposition? How do you demonstrate your value to customers and employees?

How are the two above manifest in your policies and practices?
This is where so many organizations begin to really get into difficulty. Do you talk teamwork but recognize and pay for individual performance mainly? Do you talk about top quality or creativity and high performance but regularly avoid conflict? Do you say you value your employees but provide limited benefits?

How are your vision and value proposition communicated to employees?
Are they included regularly in meetings, newsletters, and performance discussions? Do you tell people a bit about them in your employee guide or orientation and hope they ‘get’ it? Do your actions and policies support what you say?

Clear understanding of an organization’s vision and goals and the role they play in daily activities strengthens employees ability to do their work effectively. They help employees serve your clients or customers better. And that knowledge supports on-going performance that directly relates to your organization’s value.

Take a bit of time off this week from fighting fires and really think about these issues. Then do something! Smart tip – talk with other executives/managers and see if their responses match yours. Get some clarity and then communicate. And move forward to higher productivity.


Patricia A. Frame is an experienced management consultant, HR executive, speaker, and author on human capital issues. She is known for her ability to address organizational goals and issues effectively and to create human resource management practices which support these goals without excessive administrivia. Patricia has advised executives and boards on a wide range of human capital and strategic planning issues. She has expertise in organization development, talent management, process restructuring, compensation, and training. She has worked with technology-based companies, government contractors, non-profits, associations, and retail operations. She advises small to mid-size organizations on ways to succeed and to help their employees thrive. Ms. Frame has given seminars for SBDC in recent years on the basic processes of HR management. Additionally, she generously provides one-to-one HR counseling once a month through Alexandria SBDC.

No, No… Not Me, Not Networking

Small Business Networking Shaking HandsResearch consistently shows that it is the entrepreneurs with the extensive network who are most likely to succeed. Yet many small business founders do little to grow and enhance – or even use – their network. How about you?

A real value of a good network is the connections it allows you to make to ideas, services and support you need to develop your business and succeed. You want people with technical and business expertise that complements yours. Add those with wide-ranging interests and specialists – both help you with the future. Plus friends for support and peers for inside info. Attending professional events, including those the Alexandria SBDC offers, is an easy way to meet new people who may be valuable in your network.

When you need to hire employees, your network can often provide referrals who match your needs far better than an ad or job posting. The trick here is to be specific about what you need, what results you expect from the new hire, and what your company offers and expects. Clearly communicate all that to your network and ask for help. The candidates you receive this way are generally better qualified in terms of the job and a better match in terms of your culture.

The same process is useful when you need outside services, advisors, or referrals to competent attorneys, CPAs, consultants, etc.

Network Effectively

Start by carving out a bit of time daily over two weeks to look the people you know already. Decide how to connect or re-connect. Will you use LinkedIn, another online tool, the phone, or what? Improve your most relevant connections first. What do you want and what will you give in return? Don’t forget your community or personal contacts, they offer a lot more than many think.

Networking is always a two-way street! ‘Feed’ your network before you need it.

Once your existing contacts are firmly in your mind and you have acted to reconnect as necessary, you may want to increase your network. Start by looking at the pile of business cards you probably have tucked in a desk drawer. Contact those who interest you and suggest a coffee or phone call to exchange information about your businesses. Look at the members of professional organizations you belong to and see who you want to meet. Always go to events with a plan for talking to new people to learn more about them – some will become good contacts. Look into local business groups as a way to grow your business and your network. Ask your current connections for referrals when you have a specific interest or need. This should become just a normal aspect of daily activities, not a special process.

Using Your Network

Pass information around on your network. This can be done easily online with short emails, links to relevant articles, and so on. But do not forget the human connection – pick up the phone or go out for coffee together. Introduce your connections to each other where you think they would be useful to each other. Share your knowledge. Offer your expertise when you can.

Then on a specific issue, like the hiring example above, you can ask individuals for information or assistance on an issue you are facing. Reach out – most folks are likely to help you if you are keeping up the connection already.

Networking does not work well when you only do it in need of something. Human connections need to be a regular part of your daily life. But it also does not need to be a big, time-consuming process. Keep it simple, keep at it – and help yourself and your organization succeed!

Patricia A. Frame is an experienced management consultant, HR executive, speaker, and author on human capital issues. She is known for her ability to address organizational goals and issues effectively and to create human resource management practices which support these goals without excessive administrivia. Patricia has advised executives and boards on a wide range of human capital and strategic planning issues. She has expertise in organization development, talent management, process restructuring, compensation, and training. She has worked with technology-based companies, government contractors, non-profits, associations, and retail operations. She advises small to mid-size organizations on ways to succeed and to help their employees thrive. Ms. Frame has given seminars for SBDC in recent years on the basic processes of HR management. Additionally, she generously provides one-to-one HR counseling once a month through Alexandria SBDC.

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The Critical Importance of Good Advice

Alexandria Small Business Development CenterSmall businesses and small nonprofits often face situations where it may make sense to get expert guidance to avoid costly mistakes. At the very earliest concept for a business venture, there are resources that can provide objective feedback and suggest approaches you might not have considered. The Alexandria Small Business Development Center (SBDC) provides accessible and experienced resources through its staff and its new SCORE counselor. These experts are adept at identifying areas that even the best of planning might have overlooked, and every entrepreneur benefits from getting a fresh perspective. With comprehensive feedback at the earliest stages, your strategies, approaches, and next steps are much better defined. In addition, the services of the SBDC and SCORE are without cost, leaving you more resources to spend on starting and growing your business.

During these counseling sessions, entrepreneurs may identify issues that require further research. Often, these include zoning and other locational considerations. They also include licenses, permits, and potential restrictions. Forewarned of these requirements, the entrepreneur can make better plans with fewer surprises. City staff is also ready to help the entrepreneur with preliminary and detailed planning – all before leases or other obligations are signed. The City now has small business facilitators who are entirely focused on helping novices through permitting and licensing processes. They can be reached at 703-746-4199 or 4268.

For help with site selection and advice on leasing, the entrepreneur should consult the Alexandria Economic Development Partnership (AEDP). Their expert staff knows the City, the real estate market, rental rates / sales comps, and can assist you with the site selection process for leases, sales or development. Their services are free and an essential stop before anyone considers, much less signs, a lease. Additionally, the Alexandria SBDC has a “Leasing Checklist” on its website. Both AEDP and SBDC staffs can advise you on Alexandria neighborhoods, their civic and business groups, and how to make the best entry with your business.

Financing is another area where entrepreneurs may need to get advice before making a formal application. Every application you make could affect your credit score, and being declined reduces your prospects with other lenders. Meeting with the SBDC’s business analyst – a retired banker – will help you strengthen your presentation to a lender, much like preparing with a coach before an interview. The earlier that preparation takes place, the better.

In addition to the free economic development resources like the SBDC, SCORE, and AEDP, there are other professionals whose expertise will save entrepreneurs many headaches – and dollars – if they are consulted early-on. Attorneys and accountants should be part of your management team from the start, and human resources consultants can help you avoid potential pitfalls as you start hiring employees. Alexandria SBDC keeps lists of reliable professionals for a broad range of small business matters, and we welcome your contacting us for referrals.

For more information, visit www.alexandriasbdc.org or contact Alexandria SBDC at 703-778-1292 or [email protected]

 

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Saga of a Small Business Owner: Perfect Pitch

Charades - Talent FrontRecently, I played a vigorous game of charades with a group of friends. The players’ acting abilities were worthy of an Oscar — ridiculously creative, intuitive, and skillful . . . with the exception of one of us who told us in advance that he did not want to play because he was terrible at the game. I thought he was kidding. After all, who’s bad at charades? However, without running his overall gamesmanship into the ground, I have to agree with him — he definitely needs to stick to bridge.

Why was he so bad? For starters, when he acted out a clue, he came up with one image/plan and stuck to it. For example, for the Life of Pi movie, he drew an apple pie in the air and kept drawing it with his hands until he ran out of time. Despite the fact people were shouting circle, globe, or anything even remotely round, he continued in exasperation to make the same circular motion ignoring the fact that his team is totally off base. When it was all over and the movie title disclosed, we bombarded him with comments like “Why didn’t you try to act out the other words? How come you didn’t try to show someone doing math? How about acting out a lion?” He sat down with “I told you so” written all over his face. Our team was hopeful that we would make up the loss on the next clue. Better luck next time.

When I started this business, I had a similar experience. My elevator pitch was horrible: someone would ask me what I did and I would say “recruitment process outsourcing or RPO.” Dead space. I wouldn’t add any additional information; I’d just wait for the next question. I’d think, “Why should I try to improve upon the exact right answer to the question? I’d just succinctly said what I did. What more should I say?” There never was a follow up question. Not good. Talk about missing a clue!

After three or four of these occurrences, I started to register the confusion in the eyes of my audience. A big “Huh?” hovered over their heads and their eyes would lose contact with mine for a nanosecond. Thankfully, one day, someone was bold enough to ask, “I’m sorry, but what does that mean exactly?” Oh great, I had a communications problem.

Because I don’t believe I’m the only one out there with a “pitch” problem, here are some practical thoughts on how to develop an elevator spiel that is actually heard and acknowledged by your audience.

Technically right, practically wrong. Actually, there is nothing wrong with my saying RPO because that is technically what I do. I work with organizations on their recruitment operations – creating a recruiting strategy, providing resources to support that strategy, and finding people to fill their roles. However, as I quickly realized, no one outside of the recruiting/talent acquisition world has a clue what that means. And, even within the recruiting industry, RPO providers define their services very differently so confusion exists within the bounds of my sector as well. The bottom line: be wary of industry jargon, especially acronyms.

Practice makes perfect. Although I had worked on my answer to the question, what does your business do? I did not try it out on anyone before I used it in a business context. What would have happened had I tried my pitch out on a couple of willing colleagues? How hard would that have been to ask a few people for their impressions? Not hard at all. In fact, they would have been outright happy to be asked.

Stay current. The colleague who asked me to describe what I meant when I said RPO, also helped me develop a new line. We decided to describe my business in the context of a more popular outsourcing model — human resources outsourcing or HRO, the practice of hiring experts in HR to either consult with your business or take on your HR challenges virtually. So what do I do? TalentFront focuses on providing outsourced HR support specifically in recruiting or talent acquisition. Although this resonates in meetings I’m having now, I constantly remind myself that a decade ago, no one knew what HRO was either. Gradually, people will know what RPO means and I’ll learn to use that term again or better yet, we’ll evolve to a new level and invent more language to describe the field. Remember: what works today might not work tomorrow so we entrepreneurs need to continue to refine your pitch over time.

At the end of the day, I circled back around to all of those people I met who looked at me quizzically. Their response was overwhelmingly positive and has led to referrals for new business, candidates for opportunities with my clients, and general well wishes. It hasn’t led to any additional opportunities to play charades, but who knows? The year’s still young and I’m a much more empathetic teammate.

Marcia Call has worked in the human capital/staffing arena for more than a decade. Most recently, she founded the firm, TalentFront, to serve the needs of companies and organizations seeking support in the development and implementation of recruiting processes.

Hire Smart Small Business Event by Intuit and LinkedIn [virtual event]

Hire Smart Small Business Event by Intuit and LinkedIn

We received an email invitation about this Hire Smart Small Business Event by Intuit and LinkedIn. We’ll be there and hope you can join us!

===From their website===

April 27, 2013

Doors Open at 9AM

We know there’s a lot to think about when hiring your first employees. That’s why we’re hosting a FREE event to help small businesses like yours make the right decisions as you look to grow. You’ll walk away with:

  • Expert advice from one-on-one conversations with accountants, HR specialists, lawyers and other successful small businesses
  • The tools you need to get started, including three free months of Intuit Online Payroll and a LinkedIn “First Hire” package, including free premium LinkedIn Talent Finder access and special rates for posting jobs
  • Insights from guest speakers like Bill Rancic, Rhonda Abrams, Intuit CEO Brad Smith and LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner

 

IT’S FREE

DETAILS

Saturday / April 27, 2013

9AM

DOORS OPEN
10:30AM

INTRODUCTION – BRAD SMITH AND JEFF WEINER
10:45AM

KEYNOTE – BILL RANCIC
SESSION SPEAKER AND PANEL MODERATOR – RHONDA ABRAMS
2:15PM

SMALL BUSINESS PANEL

Hear from successful small businesses about the good, the bad, and the ugly of hiring their first employees, and learn tips and tricks for wherever you are in the journey.

Sessions

Each session is available twice—in the early and late afternoon

Noon & 2:45PM

IS IT TIME TO HIRE?

When you can’t find time to keep up with paperwork, or worse, pursue new ways to grow your business, then it might be time to hire. Hear from expert Rhonda Abrams on how to identify the type of position you need and some affordable and creative ways to find the right person.

Noon & 2:45PM

FULL-TIME EMPLOYEE VS. CONTRACTOR

It’s a tough decision that may have a bigger impact on your business than you think. Hear insights from experts and accountants on what to consider, and gain the confidence to make the best decision.

12:30PM & 3:15PM

FINDING THE PERFECT FIT

Unfortunately you can’t just sit and wait for the perfect employee to walk through the door. Learn from a LinkedIn expert about the hiring search tools available today and how to use them to find the best candidate.

12:30PM & 3:15PM

PROTECT YOURSELF AND STAY COMPLIANT

As an employer, you have specific payroll responsibilities that are required by government. A compliance expert helps you understand all the steps you need to complete before and after you hire to keep you compliant with federal and state regulations.

1PM & 3:45PM

ASKING ALL THE RIGHT QUESTIONS

You may have done interviews before, but the stakes are greater when you’re hiring for your own business. Get tips from experienced small business owners on which critical questions to ask and how to evaluate candidates during interviews.

1PM & 3:45PM

ATTRACT WORKERS AND KEEP THEM HAPPY

One way to attract and retain good workers is to offer rewards and benefits. Review best practices from successful small business owners and HR experts that will bring out the best in your employees and fit within your budget.

1:30PM & 4:15PM

WHAT TO DO WHEN IT’S NOT WORKING OUT

Not every person you hire ends up being a perfect fit. Learn from an HR expert how to know when it’s time for a worker to go, and what rules you need to follow.

1:30PM & 4:15PM

HOW TO BE THE BEST BOSS YOU CAN BE

You probably started your business so you could be your own boss—not someone else’s—but you have a responsibility to your employees once you hire. Find out from an HR expert how best to engage, motivate and grow your workers.

Activities

Available throughout the day

GET READY TO RUN PAYROLL

What’s the biggest expectation of a new hire? A paycheck. Join our Intuit product specialists who will walk you through setting up payroll, so you can easily and efficiently start paying your new hires and filing your taxes immediately.

FINDING TALENT ON LINKEDIN

Learn how to harness the power of the LinkedIn network to find great employees—it’s easier than you think. Get your free LinkedIn Premium account set up and hear some great tips and tricks from LinkedIn’s Talent Solutions management team.

ONE-ON-ONE ADVICE WITH EXPERTS

Have legal or accounting questions? Want to consult with other small businesses? Stop by and chat one-on-one with experts who will answer your specific questions.

EXHIBITS

Explore the exhibit space to learn about different solutions to grow your business and pick up resources that will help get you started.

*Agenda subject to change

Can’t make it in person? Select sessions/activities will be streamed live and available online after. Register for more details.

SHARE:   

FOR QUESTIONS ABOUT PRODUCT OFFERINGS OR THE EVENT, PLEASE JOIN THE CONVERSATION ON OUR LINKEDIN GROUP.

PRIVACY STATEMENT

SPEAKERS

Bill Rancic

WWW.BILLRANCIC.COM

Bill Rancic is an entrepreneur, best-selling author and television personality. He was the winner of the first season of “The Apprentice” and is the author of You’re Hired and Beyond the Lemonade Stand.

 

Rhonda Abrams

WWW.PLANNINGSHOP.COM

Rhonda Abrams is a USA Todaycolumnist and renowned author of more than 15 books focusing on small business, including “Hire Your First Employee.” She has more than 15 years’ experience advising, mentoring and consulting entrepreneurs and small business owners and is one herself.

Brad Smith

Brad Smith is Intuit’s president and CEO. The company is the leading provider of business and financial management solutions for small and midsized businesses, financial institutions, consumers and accounting professionals. He has successfully led several of the company’s major businesses, including the Small Business Group, which serves more than 7 million small businesses.

Jeff Weiner

Jeff Weiner is the CEO of LinkedIn, the world’s largest and most powerful network of professionals. Jeff joined the company in December 2008, and under his leadership, LinkedIn has rapidly expanded its global platform, grown its membership base and increased its revenue more than tenfold to $972 million in 2012.

LOCATION

2750 Coast Avenue,
Building 6
Mountain View, CA
94043
Can’t make it in person? Select sessions/activities will be streamed live and available online after. Register for more details.
INTUIT STARTED SMALL IN 1983 WITH QUICKEN PERSONAL FINANCE SOFTWARE, SIMPLIFYING A COMMON HOUSEHOLD DILEMMA: BALANCING THE FAMILY CHECKBOOK. TODAY, WE’VE IMPROVED THE LIVES OF MORE THAN 50 MILLION PEOPLE. OUR FLAGSHIP PRODUCTS AND SERVICES, INCLUDING QUICKBOOKS®, QUICKEN® AND TURBOTAX®, SIMPLIFY SMALL BUSINESS MANAGEMENT AND PAYROLL PROCESSING, PERSONAL FINANCE, AND TAX PREPARATION AND FILING.
LINKEDIN WAS LAUNCHED IN 2003 AND IS NOW THE WORLD’S LARGEST PROFESSIONAL NETWORK, WITH 200 MILLION MEMBERS IN 200 COUNTRIES AND TERRITORIES AROUND THE GLOBE. OUR MISSION IS SIMPLE: CONNECT THE WORLD’S PROFESSIONALS TO MAKE THEM MORE PRODUCTIVE AND SUCCESSFUL. WE’VE BEEN HELPING SMALL BUSINESSES GROW THEIR TEAMS AND FIND GREAT EMPLOYEES FOR THE PAST DECADE, AND HAVE SOLUTIONS TAILORED FOR SMALL BUSINESS NEEDS.
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Growth Starts “At Home”

Myers-Briggs Frequency visualization
Myers-Briggs Frequency visualization (Photo credit: Peter Forret)

Many of us understand the importance of building the capacity of our business, but ourselves? Not so much. Developing your skills and knowledge are important. Developing your personal capacity for resilience is critical.

Resilience allows you to push past difficulties, cope with tough times, and maintain your health. All those are vital to any entrepreneur, not to mention to most humans!

Sure you already know what you should be taking care of (yourself, your health, and all those new year’ resolutions)… so how do you understand and build your personal resilience quotient?

First, learn how your brain works.

Do you understand how you react to challenges? How your temperament influences your actions? I see executives all the time who are so tied up emotionally in some problem that they are sense-less or crazy-making.

Understanding personal style and temperament can help you be more effective – and resilient. If you understand these, you can choose to change when you need to or to cope better with issues that you face.

If you know that what drains your energy and what bolsters it, for example, you can work smarter. One easy introduction is the free Keirsey Temperament tool. The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator is another.

Read the amusing economics book “Predictably Irrational” by Dan Ariely to see how and why we so often over-estimate small risks and are not rational about our decisions. It will help you think smarter the next time you are making a business move, hiring staff – or buying chocolates.

Brain science is rapidly developing—a little attention and you can use yours to help you grow, to develop greater capacity, and to be resilient.

Second, evaluate past experiences.

We rarely use our past difficulties to inform our present. You’ve had times where you overcame an obstacle or dealt with something you did not think you could handle. Learn from those.

Take a moment to consider what your past experiences tell you. Make notes: what was the issue, what did you do, how did you get through the bad time? How can you build on the skills and abilities you demonstrated then?

Ask people you respect to help you identify your strengths and resiliency. Get them to talk about their hard times and share skills.

Third, build your coping skills.

The techniques you learn to handle problems more effectively at work can be used in your personal life and vice versa.  Advice on becoming happier or more productive and self-help guru’s books are everywhere.

The real challenge for most of us is to actually try something new, to make it a habit to challenge our own thought processes, and to face our fears full-on.

Developing resilience is neither easy nor hard. But it does pay high dividends at work and at home if you do so before your next challenge hits.

What resiliency tips are you willing to share? We’d love your ideas to help us all.

Patricia A. Frame is an experienced management consultant, HR executive, speaker, and author on human capital issues. She is known for her ability to address organizational goals and issues effectively and to create human resource management practices which support these goals without excessive administrivia. Patricia has advised executives and boards on a wide range of human capital and strategic planning issues. She has expertise in organization development, talent management, process restructuring, compensation, and training. She has worked with technology-based companies, government contractors, non-profits, associations, and retail operations. She advises small to mid-size organizations on ways to succeed and to help their employees thrive. Ms. Frame has given seminars for SBDC in recent years on the basic processes of HR management. Additionally, she generously provides one-to-one HR counseling once a month through Alexandria SBDC.

PROBLEM EMPLOYEE – OR GREAT ONE WAITING?

English: emperform

Dealing with performance issues is a critical component of any founder or manager’s job. Since this often involves conflict and difficult emotions, many people put this off. That often means they do not deal with problems until it is too late to effective solve them. Firing and replacing staff is disruptive and expensive at best. Often you can avoid getting to that stage by more effective performance management.

Remember: your success is directly related to the performance of your staff.

What causes inadequate performance?

Far too often, it is failures in the system rather than the person. Management experts from Peter Drucker on, list the most common causes of inadequate performance as:

* employee does not know what is expected
* employee does not know how to do the task
* work processes interfere with good performance
* feedback on actual performance quality is not given to the employee
* there is negative consequence for good performance

These issues must be addressed first if they exist. It starts with hiring the right person for the right job. Orientation to your workplace, systems, and expectations is important too. Looking regularly at how your processes and systems work  to see that they are efficient for your current needs is vital. And so is regular performance feedback.

When an employee does not perform to expected levels, you can succeed in improving the person’s performance if you address the issue as quickly as it is first identified.

Here are some basics on how to do this well.

* accurately identify the problem and the behavior change you desire
* give specific details of the behavior that creates the problem and the impact of the problem on the function or business
* involve the employee and ask for his/her solution

Once the employee has accepted responsibility and you have a mutually agreed plan, be sure you follow-up to ensure it is working well.

On a regular basis, you can create the conditions that help all your employees succeed by your own behavior and practices.  Demonstrate your commitment to helping employees succeed by actively soliciting their ideas for improvements and by encouraging them to grow and develop their skills.  Model the behaviors you expect.  Provide on-going feedback on results.  Say ‘thank you’ when you mean it.

There are many ways to improve your ability to manage people effectively.  Learning to communicate effectively and managing performance are critical first steps to your success.

Join us November 6, 2012 for a Brown Bag lunch on how to handle termination of employment issues effectively.

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