Deal with Performance Issues

Do you delay in dealing with performance issues?

Entrepreneurs, like many other managers, do not like to confront employees regarding poor performance. Entrepreneurs, especially, take a softer view with certain employees that started when the company was established. How can they after all be tough on people who supported them when the times were bad?

Not dealing with performance issues in a timely manner not only hurts the company, but is a disservice to the employee. If the employee is a potential long-term player, it is better to get them on track sooner by making him/her aware of the deficiencies and help the employee develop and work on a plan to correct the shortfalls.

If performance issues are not addressed promptly, it creates in the entrepreneurial company a sense that the Entrepreneur is partial towards certain non-performers. Obviously, a poor performer is readily visible in a small company and not dealing with such issues creates a situation with poor team morale.

Entrepreneurs need to create a culture where performance issues are dealt with promptly, either by implementing a corrective plan to improve performance or managing the consistently poor performer out of the company.

Ravi Patel

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Published in: on February 19, 2019 at 4:36 am  Leave a Comment  
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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

 

Viewing “Labor Costs” in Business

Post Labor Day, a question for Entrepreneurs – how do you view your labor costs (employees)?

Are they a cost of doing business for you as they decrease your bottom line? When cutting expenses, is that the first thing you think of reducing?

For large labor intensive operations, this might be the case. However, Entrepreneurs might want to view this differently.

If you train your people properly and motivate them adequately, your employees could actually improve your bottom line by increasing revenues, improving productivity or even reducing costs.. View your employees as assets – invest in them to get better results.

It takes a different mindset to get the best out of your people. If you think of them as labor and an expense, then chances are that you don’t always get the most out of them.

Do the Right Things! Invest in your people and help them add to your bottom line.

Ravi Patel

Published in: on September 5, 2018 at 4:30 am  Leave a Comment  
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Take Care of Your Employees First

“Charity begins at home” means that you should take care of family and people close to you before you worry about helping others.

Does this apply to Entrepreneurs and business?

Most Entrepreneurs and small business owners have a desire to be generous to causes they believe in. It is noble to give back to the community they work and live in.

However, it is important to first take care of matters close to business and then outside. This entails making sure you first address the well-being of your employees. Ensure that your employees are compensated commensurate with their performance, have comprehensive benefits, opportunity to learn and develop their skills,  and well-defined path for advancement.

Giving to charity and noble causes is great, but if you don’t take care of your employees first you might not be paying homage to the “charity begins at home” philosophy.

If you help others without first taking care of your employees, it might be at the latter’s expense and they might resent that. On the other hand, if you take care of your employees first, they might be motivated to join in and participate and contribute to your charitable causes.

Do the Right Things!

Ravi Patel

Published in: on August 28, 2018 at 4:30 am  Leave a Comment  
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Dealing With Crisis Situations

 

Everyone occasionally faces a crisis situation or perceived irregularities in their business. Entrepreneurs are no exception. How they deal with the crisis and potential negative perceptions separates calm, professional leaders from all others.

Some suggestions for Entrepreneurs:

  • Never overreact to situations where there is employee dissatisfaction, customer, or vendor complaints. Analyze the situation calmly before taking proper corrective action, instead of taking hurried actions due to external pressure.
  • If you do have a serious situation, do not create a smokescreen and divert attention away from it to hide the real problem.
  • Do not focus on the small or minor issues in managing your companies; focus on the larger or macro issues for greater impact. Let your management team manage the details.
  • If you need to make a statement or message regarding any irregularities in your company, do it for significant issues not trivial ones. If you mostly emphasize minor matters, your employees are going to be dismissive of such gestures.
  • Be sensitive to the message that you send with your actions. For example, if you are being austere or are having cost reduction programs, do not have bonuses or spending that is contrary to the current environment in your company. Having incentives is not inappropriate, but make sure that they are related to the right objectives and are perceived positively.
  • When you are borrowing a lot of money, do not spend it on bonuses or management extravagance.

While the above sound obvious, sometimes we tend to lose sight of reality and the negative perceptions that are created.

Ravi Patel

www.patelCFOservices.com

 

Be Thankful!

Entrepreneurs have a lot to be thankful for!

First and foremost are our country and the free market system that allow Entrepreneurs the opportunity to create and grow businesses and prosper.

Employees are the backbone of companies and Entrepreneurs should be thankful for the dedication, loyalty and hard work put forth by their people to make businesses successful.

No business can sustain itself without customers and clients. Be thankful to your sources of revenue for putting their trust in you to provide services and products.

Entrepreneurs should also appreciate their suppliers and service providers who continue to supply essential goods and services to sustain their businesses.

Shareholders and financiers who have invested in your abilities to grow the business and provide a return on their capital should be high on the list of people to whom Entrepreneurs are grateful.

Do not forget to appreciate your gratitude to your business advisors who provide a sounding board for you to share ideas and seek advice.

Lastly, the community that you operate your businesses in should be appreciated also.

So on this Thanksgiving, I encourage Entrepreneurs to express their gratitude to the above stakeholders in your companies.

Ravi Patel

www.patelCFOservices.com

Published in: on November 21, 2017 at 4:43 am  Leave a Comment  
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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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Being Fair Might be Unpopular

Good leadership is about making optimal decisions for the company as a whole, not only for certain segments of stakeholders.

Entrepreneurs are loyal to people, especially those who helped them start the business and were early employees. As the company grows, Entrepreneurs have to make decisions that might be tough, unfair to some, and unpopular.

Fair decisions involve doing the right things even it means that some people might be adversely affected by such actions. Business decisions cannot be optimal if everyone’s interest is always taken into account. Entrepreneurs, on the other hand, should not in any way go out of their way to make decisions that purposely hurt certain people. That would be grossly unfair.

While difficult, make fair decisions for your business that are ethical even if they might cause hardship for some people and be unpopular.

Ravi Patel

www.patelCFOservices.com

 

Published in: on June 20, 2017 at 4:05 am  Leave a Comment  
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