Firing People

Is firing people wrong? Depending on the circumstances firing a person or a group of employees might be necessary for an Entrepreneur.

A continually poor performer in any enterprise becomes a liability to the other team members and the organization. If there is no change in the employee’s performance after repeated attempts to improve it, it would be wise to part company. Similarly if a third-party service provider does not consistently provide excellent service there is cause for firing that provider.

In a broader sense, for the survival of a company and a majority of its employees if a few employees have to be let go (after all other options have been exhausted), it is most often the right thing to do. As Spock used to say in Star Trek, .. for the survival of the many, a few have to suffer.”

Firing people for spite, revenge, uneconomic, or irrational reasons is never appropriate, but letting go of people for the right rationale is not necessarily wrong.

Ravi Patel

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Being an Effective Manager

Various books and articles about management focus on each aspect of management and discuss skills to master these areas.

Here is my take – Effective management is all about making it easier for employees to perform their jobs to achieve the established goals.

It is the manager’s job to make his/her employees successful. An effective manager works on eliminating obstacles that impede their employees from reaching their goals, and providing the required resources and tools.

Poor managers bent on too much control, in fact, create obstacles for their employees. They create processes that make the jobs of their employees more complicated and difficult.

Entrepreneurs, which manager should you be?

Ravi Patel

Viewing Employee Performance Differently

There are several ways to evaluate employee performance  in your company. Most traditional ways focus on actual performance against job expectations and/or against established goals.

Consider a different perspective. Entrepreneurs should classify employees into three categories – those who add direct value to your business, those that are neutral or add indirect value, and those that reduce company value.

Clearly, pay special attention to the first category by training and motivating them so that they continue to add value. Have a strong retention program, including appropriate incentives, for these individuals so that they don’t leave your organization.

Deal immediately with people who reduce the value of your company. These are the bad apples that need to be removed from the company promptly.

The people who are neutral as far as their contribution to company value need to be either moved to the category of employees that add value by training, or red-circled if they are providing a support function to the first category of employees. If there is a chance that they would reduce the value to your company, they need to be transitioned out.

Identifying the three categories of employees and dealing with them appropriately will go a long way in building the value of your company.

Ravi Patel

 

Working Hand in Hand

Leaders lead from being in front of their people – not only in their thinking but also sometimes physically.

However, if Entrepreneurs are always ahead of their people, they might not follow. This could be for many reasons. Entrepreneurs might not have fully convinced employees of the reason for the task at hand; they might have previously seen you in action and are hesitant; or they don’t fully know you yet as they have not seen how you work.

Entrepreneurs might want to lead their people by being and  working side by side with their employees to mitigate these reasons..

Leadership by example can only happen if you are willing to roll up your sleeves and work with your employees in doing tasks that are necessary. That means physically working besides your people rather than isolating yourself.

Leadership does not always mean that you decide and your people follow. Work with your people to tackle issues and develop with them solutions that need to be implemented. Think with them by involving employees in the process.

Situational leadership demands different styles – leading from beside your people is one of them.

Ravi Patel

http://www.patelCFOservices.com

Are People Listening?

Do people appear to be hearing you intently, but end up doing something quite contrary or not exactly in line with what you were asking them to do? In all these situations, people are indeed hearing you, but not listening. There is a significant distinction.

The other day I was in a restaurant and asked the waitress for a glass of water without ice. She did bring me the glass of water, but with ice. She heard me say water, but did not listen completely for it to register that I did not want ice.

Entrepreneurs should be aware that what they ask their people may be heard by them, but they might not be listening completely to follow the request correctly. What should Entrepreneurs do? Develop a routine to ask their people to repeat or paraphrase what is being requested of them, especially for significant issues. This allows the Entrepreneur to confirm that the listening process was correct and complete.

Entrepreneurs too should be mindful that they listen to their employees completely and do not fall into the trap of perfunctory hearing. Effective communication is a two-way street!

Ravi Patel

http://www.patelcfoservices.com

Reducing Employee Turnover

An entrepreneurial company must hire good employees to grow the business.

But, hiring good employees is not enough – lowering your turnover rate for such employees is even more important. What are you doing to decrease your turnover rate for good employees?

Hiring good employees is merely the first step. Giving them an effective orientation and training them continually to improve their skills and abilities is also required.

Reducing the employee turnover rate requires creating an environment where your employees can align themselves with the culture and feel comfortable and stimulated to contribute.

Motivating them with financial rewards commensurate with performance is necessary, but you also need to provide a challenging platform for them to contribute significantly and feel a sense of satisfaction.

Find creative ways to retain your good employees – it is not only an asset for your organization but also will also reduce employee turnover costs.

Ravi Patel

http://www.patelCFOservices.com

Published in: on October 3, 2017 at 4:26 am  Leave a Comment  
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Seeing What People Could Be

“A good coach will make his players see what they can be rather than what they are.” – Ara Parasheghian.

Like good coaches, Entrepreneurs have to find the potential in their people. When hiring, don’t merely evaluate the current skills and experience of the applicant. Rather, determine what the person can become with proper coaching and training.

Given the right coaching, raw talent can be molded to perform at exceptional levels in any organization. The problem for Entrepreneurs is that they mostly focus on short-term needs and do not have a long-term vision for human resource acquisition and management.

When a sculptor views a stone, he/she is evaluating whether it could be transformed into a thing of beauty. Similarly a land developer sees beyond the empty expanse of land and has a vision of what a housing community or golf course it could become.

Entrepreneurial leaders have a great vision of what their idea or product could become. They need to use a similar vision towards their people and see their potential rather than what they are right now.

Do the Right Things!

Ravi Patel

www.patelCFOservices.com

Published in: on July 18, 2017 at 4:35 am  Leave a Comment  
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Resisting Temptation to Blame Others

Don’t find fault, find a remedy – Henry Ford . Entrepreneurs could learn a lot from this statement.

In a blame-rich rather than solution-oriented culture, leaders (mostly political) often seek out whom to accuse of problems rather than finding solutions. This sometimes extends to poorly run companies with unhealthy culture and negative management practices.

In reality, it should be acceptable for leaders to hold people accountable for their performance. However, it is not wise to continually blame others for problems. Entrepreneurs have to take responsibility for the issues facing their business and teach their managers to do the same.

More importantly, blaming others or even accepting responsibility does not solve the problem. Entrepreneurs need to create a culture where finding solutions or remedies to issues takes precedence over blame. Such a positive culture allows people to readily accept responsibility for decisions without having to face ridicule.

Do the Right Thing by creating a solution-oriented culture in your company and incorporating that in your Mission.

Ravi Patel

www.patelCFOservices.com

Employee Involvement

Is recruiting and hiring good employees enough for Entrepreneurs?

After new employees start work, on-boarding, orientation and making them aware of the company’s Vision, Mission and culture should be a standard part of any hiring process. How many Entrepreneurs do that?

Even if you have a robust on-boarding process, what do you do to keep your employees actively involved in your company?

Entrepreneurs don’t treat working in their company as a “job.” They need to develop that sense of spirit in their employees. Employees should feel closely attached to the Mission of the company such that they view their job in a macro sense – as having a direct impact on fulfilling the Mission rather than just completing assigned tasks.

Offering material rewards for accomplishments works for a while. What is more important is the emotional engagement of employees in the company such that they personally identify themselves with the company’s success (and failures). Finding ways to involve employees in a meaningful way should be a key objective for Entrepreneurs.

Engaged employees are generally happy and productive. Get them involved in your company.

Ravi Patel

www.patelCFOservices.com

 

Coaching Employees

“A good coach will make his players see what they can be rather than what they are.” – Ara Parasheghian

Like good coaches, Entrepreneurs have to find the potential in their employees. When hiring, don’t merely evaluate the current skills and experience of the applicant. Rather, determine what the person could become with proper mentoring and training.

Given right coaching, raw talent could be molded to perform at a high level in any organization. The problem for Entrepreneurs is that they mostly focus on short-term needs and do not have a long-term vision for human resource acquisition and management.

When a sculptor views a stone, he/she is evaluating whether it could be transformed into a thing of beauty. Similarly a land developer sees beyond the empty expanse of land and has a vision of what a housing community or golf course it could become.

Entrepreneurial leaders have a great vision of what their idea or product could become. They need to use a similar vision towards their employees and see their potential rather than settle for what they are right now.

Do the Right Things!

Ravi Patel

www.patelCFOservices.com