Sunday, February 26, 2017

Are You Focusing on the Hottest Topic in Business Today?

In a study conducted at Duke University, 1,900 CEOs were interviewed and the conclusion was that the hottest topic in their businesses today is corporate culture.  It was higher than all the other topics as a business driver.

The study also showed that only about 15% of companies had healthy corporate cultures and more than a third had serious improvements to make.  More than half were worried about their company cultures and need to improve them.

So if you have a problem and it is important, what should you do?  You can flee from it, complain about it or take action.  Taking action is what is most appropriate here as this is not going away.  The financial crisis and huge public relation issues recently point to taking action.  So take action today and get professional help as culture is something companies need to focus on and it takes time.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

How to Improve Corporate Culture - Become Culture-Driven

By focusing on corporate culture as the number one priority of leaders what are you gaining.

1.  Financial performance
2.  Attracting and retaining talent
3.  Agility & speed
4.  Innovation and creativity
5.  Unique and sustainable competitive advantages
6.  Employee and customer centric environments for better results
7.  Satisfaction & loyalty
8.  Professional excellence
9.  It feels right, it feels like being home
10.  Engagement and process improvement

What are you possibly giving up?

1.  Regulatory or legislative issues
2.  Turnover and issues with talent acquisition
3.  Safety issue
4.  A focus on the negative
5.  Poor performance
6.  Gossip
7.  Employees constantly on edge
8.  Decreased engagement
9.  Less profits
10.  Poor leadership

Are you will to gain and give up the above?

Become a Culture-Driven Company

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Weird Training that Works

When I worked at Frito-Lay doing summer routes I had a great manager that had a unique training style.  When she hired me, she told me the three or four things that would get me fired and asked me if I understood.  I was scared at this point so I just said “Yes Mam.”  She then told me that she would train me the next morning and that I should be at the distribution center at 5 AM.

When I arrived at 5 AM she said “Start working, pretend I am not here.”  I thought that was odd.  I went out to the warehouse and asked her what I should do.  Not the best question as she just replied, “I am not here.”  I started to put chips boxes on a flatbed cart and she started to ask me questions and kept saying I should use my brain and find the solution for myself.

This was the beginning of a 21-hour day to finish what most route salespeople could have done in 6 hours.  I forgot to put gas in the truck, forgot my hand truck, it took me almost 2 hours to stock a 7-11 that took me 30 minutes at the end of the day and the list goes on and on.  The quote that stuck with me is the title of this blog and I will never forget it.

A month later I had a manager do a check ride with me.  He asked me how long I had been doing this and I told him “about a month”.  He said “no way, there are people that have been here 10 years that do not do it as well as you” and then he asked “Who trained you?” and I told him and he looked at me with a baffled look and said “That lady is excellent and everyone she trains is amazing, what is her secret?”  With a straight face I told him “She does nothing”.  He did not understand this and to this day I understand how effective doing nothing is to get people to think for themselves and get fully trained. 

If you need to train someone in the future remember this story.  I made every mistake possible (in a controlled environment with my boss by my side) and in one day I was fully trained.  I could do a Frito-Lay route today.  What a great training.  Thanks boss!

Mom's tips, my greatest leaders.

What sort of leader would you follow? What makes a good leader?   If I have to pick a leader who is always there, who truly cares about me and has so much empathy that we share our tears together, I would without a millisecond of a doubt pick my children.

They keep me strong because they need me strong, they dictate my morals because they are pure and know better about right or wrong, they stay by my side through the hardest times, they forgive my weak moments and they are assertive when telling me what is best for me.

This is just a tiny note to say how immensely grateful I'm for having them in my life, because they give me sense, they are my compass and the rhythm of my heart.

I will always follow my beautiful leaders.

Veronica Waid

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Promote More Introverts

Many of the people we select for leadership roles are task-oriented extroverts.  They get things done and are usually the loudest and seem like the most confident people in the room.  These are the people that you would think make great leaders until they try to get buy-in and people to follow them.  We forget sometimes that leaders lead people and that all things being equal we tend to follow the people we like.

Some of the best leaders in companies are humble, quiet, steady, get buy-in and are well liked and respected.  Their profiles are those of people-oriented introverts and the jobs that are often associated for people with these personality traits are support roles like assistants, teachers and nurses.  

Have you ever met an assistant, teacher or nurse that would make a better leader than the one you have now or have had in the past?  If you answered yes, then why are they not in the leadership roles (all the way up to CEO).

The simple answer is they do not speak up and are often overlooked.  That is a shame.  So as a suggestion, find the people in your company that have these traits and train them in management and leadership.  They may become the best leaders you have ever seen (and heard).

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Why Do Great Employees Leave?

In employee exit interviews people are asked, “Why are you leaving?”  The answers are usually fairly predictable.  People tend to say they are leaving to pursue a better opportunity, to make more money or to explore a dream.  Although many of these are probably true they are symptoms and not necessarily the cause.

Some studies indicate that more than 70% of people leave their managers, not the company.  People leave people, not necessarily companies.  Most people will not say this in an exit interview because frankly it would not be very smart and most people need and want to leave on good terms. 

The issue is, how do you prevent this from happening in the first place because turnover is very costly (from 30% to 400% of the yearly salary depending on the seniority) and as a manager you probably do not want people leaving you.

Managing people is not easy and more than 90% of being a great manager of people involves developing excellent people skills.  Companies and universities tend to train on technical skills and not enough energy and budget is invested in learning soft skills and how to work with people.  Some studies show that 87% of the problems in companies are people related and only 7% of training budgets are spent on people skills.

Make sure to invest in your managers and try programs that create habits and not just teach skills.  Your managers and employees will love you for this and so will the bottom line.  The only loser here will be the competition because they will not be getting your best people.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Why High Performers Get Fired

Have you ever heard the saying “You are so right, you are wrong.”  If not, I may have made it up to explain why even though you should not “kill the messenger”, often people do. 

When a high performer is confronted with a manager that she or he thinks is not doing things correctly (or is not very good) they may call them out on it.  This can be extremely productive if the high performer gets along with the manager, the manager is mature and the feedback is focused on positives for praise first and then points of improvement for growth.  This can also get really ugly really quickly and lead to the high performer getting fired.

So, if you are a high performer get along with your boss, find things in common, make peace and stay and make it work and help each other grow or find another position (in or outside the company) and leave on good terms.  Remember, messengers do get killed.  Don’t burn bridges or get fired unnecessarily.  Control yourself so you win.  Hope this feedback helps.

Finding your passion will lead you to success.

Many people are blessed from birth and know what their dreams and passions are. Some of us enjoy so much the journey that we spend more time enjoying the view. Getting to know ourselves deeply takes time, sometimes it  even involves career changes and a lot of introspection.

What an Eureka moment when one day we found that we are loving an activity that is not measurable by money or fame, an activity that "we" can only measure by self-growth, self improvement and the valuable connections we make with people that like ourselves seek happiness by new challenges.

These challenges will bring new things to learn from, obstacles to overcome and relationships that are meaningful and valuable once again measurable only by the quality of the values we share in common.

New challenges which brings us fun  will lead us to passion and we will for sure achieve success in this game called life.

Veronica Waid
Commercial Manager/Senior Consultant
Corporate Culture Consulting

Sunday, February 19, 2017

How Poor Performers Become CEO's

Have you seen people who should have been fired a long time ago become CEO’s eventually?  This happens more than people think.

It is a phenomenon I call “Chair Sitting” and the people that do it are called “Chair Sitters”.  Chair sitters are poor performers who are good at “managing up.”  When there is poor management, high performers leave (because they can find another job) and low performers (chair sitters) stay (because it is hard for them to get another job).

The low performing chair sitters eventually get promoted, hire other low performers and so goes the story until there are so many poor performers protecting the others that the one who sits in the chair the longest becomes CEO.

Have you seen this happen?  If you have, please stop the vicious cycle by promoting the high performers with people skills and firing the chair sitters.  This will significantly improve your corporate culture, lead to better outcomes for everyone (maybe not for the chair sitters) and eventually send a message to the chair sitters that we have your number and we are not going to take it anymore.