Promote from Within

In this video, I explain how it can benefit both business owners and employees when business owners promote existing employees from within the company whenever possible as opposed to hiring outside individuals to fill higher positions.

In almost 30 years of running my international networking organization, BNI®, I have largely taken the approach of hiring new employees to fill lower level positions and then promoting them over time to higher and higher positions. To exemplify how this has proven beneficial, I tell the story of an employee I hired over twenty years ago as a receptionist who is now the third highest ranking executive in my company.

I firmly believe that actively looking for opportunities to promote people from within a company not only increases morale within the entire company, it also motivates employees to grow their skills and experience and perform at an increasingly high level.

What is your opinion on promoting from within a company as opposed to hiring from the outside whenever possible?  Do you have a story about an employee or employees you have promoted who have proved to be irreplaceable assets to your business?  I’d love to hear from you so please share your thoughts and experiences in the comment forum below.  Thanks!

Coaching Skills

Are Your Coaching Skills Lacking?

In this video, I talk  to Dave Buck, the owner of Coachville, about the importance of coaching skills for entrepreneurs.

Any successful entrepreneur can tell you that success depends on the quality of the results produced by the people on your team; and the best way to get better results from the people on your team is to coach them.

Watch the video now to find out what Dave thinks is one of the key skills for entrepreneurs to have when coaching their team and, also, how you can participate in an entire program to become a really powerful and effective coach.

Do you have any coaching tactics or strategies that you’ve found to be particularly effective in coaching your team/employees?  If so, I’d really love to hear them.  Please share your thoughts in the comment forum below.  Thanks so much!

To find out more about Dave and Coachville, please visit: www.Coachville.com.

Treat Loyalty Like Royalty

In this video, my lovely wife Beth brings up a phrase she has often heard me mention in many of my presentations and in various conversations over the years–“Treat Loyalty Like Royalty”–and she asks me to explain what exactly the phrase means to me.  Beth goes on to reveal that she believes just as strongly as I do in the importance of treating people like royalty when they’ve consistently shown you loyalty and commitment in one way or another.

Whether they are employees or people you do business with, if you treat others like royalty when they show you loyalty, your ‘return on investment,’ so to speak will be beyond worth your efforts.  After watching the video, I’d love to hear about some of your experiences where you’ve worked with someone who has been loyal to you and how treating them very well in return has been well worth your efforts . . . or, also, how you worked with someone who you were very loyal to, how they treated you like royalty, and how it paid off for both parties in the long run.  Please share your story/stories in the comment forum below.  Thanks!

3 Signs Your Office Needs a Health Make Over

Last month I posted a blog about changes companies can make to boost employee health & productivity and I got an e-mail message in response to it asking if I had any thoughts on how to tell whether or not an office maintained a mostly healthy environment or a mostly non-healthy environment.

There are always going to be some people in an office who are motivated to be healthy and others who are tied to an unhealthy lifestyle, but there are certainly ways to tell when your office could benefit from positive changes.

 

Here are three signs you office is in need of a Health Make Over:

  1. Negativity in the workplace. People who do not feel well overall tend to have a more negative outlook on life . . . both personally and professionally. When suffering all day with a headache or fatiue, it is hard to feel or act positive and cheerful. If you notice that the overall energy level of your office is low or negative, then perhaps it is time to brighten things up by focusing on recapturing high levels of health in your office.
  2. If one person gets a cold or flu, many others get it. When everyone’s immune system is strong, colds and flus do not get passed around quite so easily. Some offices bring in a healthcare worker to administer flu shots each year, although the efficacy of these shots has not been proven by medical studies. In my own office, the focus on building health takes an approach of building up the staff’s own immune systems to prevent the spread of colds and flus. If you find that your office goes through times where quite a few employees are out sick at the same time, you may want to evaluate whether a health make over is needed.
  3. Many of your staff members are overweight. When the metabolism slows down and people gain a significant amount of weight, other systems in the body are also compromised. The immune system and the liver (which plays a large role in the strength of the immune system) usually do not function as well in people with slower metabolisms. When I focused on boosting my immune system and engaging my liver in the healing process, I easily lost nearly 40 pounds, all while eating four to five times per day. The difference eating fresh fruits, vegetables, and antibiotic-free and hormone-free chicken and seafood was simply amazing. While my immune system became stronger, I naturally and easily dropped the extra weight I’d been carrying for years. Take an objective look at your staff. If you realize that more than 10% of your employees are overweight or obese (with a Body Mass Indicator ((BMI)) of 30-39.9), then your office may benefit greatly from a health make over.

Remember though, you can’t change things over night.  I found that the key to encouraging some members of my office staff into adopting a healthy paradigm at work is to make incremental changes, rather than coming in all at once and making sweeping changes. Not everyone in the office will be excited about embracing a healthy lifestyle, but many will. Most people need to make changes and know it, but they may not know how to make those changes, or they may lack the motivation or willpower to do it. Having a healthy, supportive focus at work among others with whom to share this positive shift can make all the difference.

Have you made changes in your office toward maintaining a healthy environment?  If so, I’m really interested in hearing what you’ve done.  Please share your thoughts in the comment forum below.  Thanks!

 

Expanding Your Overall Sphere of Influence

The foundation of any word-of-mouth marketing effort is people.  Your sphere of influence represents the overall number of people with whom you network. These are people you know either very well or as casual acquaintances.  To evaluate your sphere of influence, take inventory of the people you already know.

Surprisingly, many people have never established effective networking relationships with others they’ve known for a long time.  Preparing your inventory is as simple as asking yourself, “Whom do I know?” or, “Who knows me?” This includes everyone with whom you interact or might interact with, personally or professionally:

  • Clients
  • Business associates
  • Vendors
  • Creditors
  • Employees
  • Friends
  • Family members
  • Others

Go through your software database, e-mail contacts, Rolodex, mobile phone contacts and business card collection. Discard the names of all people who have moved on or with whom you’ve lost touch. Analyze your relationships with the ones you feel are still current. Ask yourself, “How well do I know them?” Then determine whether each individual is a Strong Contact (a close associate with whom you will network actively) or a Casual Contact (an acquaintance with whom you will network passively).

Remember, the more people you network with actively, the greater your sphere of influence will be.

Networking Minus Follow-Through Equals a Waste of Time

Smart, enterprising businesspeople know the importance of networking and how it is a huge opportunity to increase word-of-mouth and gain business referrals. However, one of the biggest mistakes people can make is failing to follow through.

One of my employees recently told me a story that should serve as an important lesson to all of us on how networking without follow-through is nothing more than a waste of time.

Note: The names in this story have been changed to protect the innocent . . . and the guilty.

My employee, whom we’ll call Winnifred (since she’d like to remain anonymous and it’s the most unfitting name for her that I can think of . . . well, aside from maybe Gertrude ;-)), was in need of a graphic designer to assist her with the creation of a website for her father’s business. She attended a local networking mixer where she met a graphic designer, “Blake,” who seemed excited about the project and claimed he could accomplish exactly what she needed at a very reasonable price.

They exchanged contact information and connected the next week by phone to discuss the project in further detail. Winnifred was pleased with Blake’s ideas and liked the examples she’d seen of his work. She told him he seemed like the perfect person to help her with the project and that she’d like him to send her a price quote as soon as possible.

A week went by and Winnifred heard nothing from Blake.  When she called him, he said he was working on a quote and gave some lame excuse about being busy. Another week went by and, again, nothing from Blake. Frustrated, but willing to give Blake another chance because she really did like his work, she sent him an e-mail and left him a voicemail saying that she would love to give him her business and was really anxious to hear back from him.

After two weeks went by without hearing back from him, Winnifred found another graphic designer. To this day, Blake has never responded.

Here is what blows my mind . . . I know for a fact that this guy, “Blake,” is still frequenting local networking mixers (which cost money to attend, by the way) trying to drum up more business. Yet when he had money practically sitting on the table in front of him, he failed to follow through. No matter what his reason was for not getting back to Winnifred–being too busy, too lazy or whatever else–he shouldn’t be out there networking if he can’t follow through on what he claims to be able to deliver. He’s wasting his time (and money) and, more important, he’s wasting other people’s time–which is earning him nothing more than a bad name.

The moral of this story: If you aren’t prepared to follow through, networking is no more than a big waste of time.

If you have a “Blake the Flake” story of your own, I’d love to hear about your experience. Please feel free to share your story in the comments section.

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