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Analyzing Analytics

Anal Ana SML WEBNumbers and I have never been real friends. This is especially true if I must add, subtract, divide, multiply, take their square root, or label geometric shapes with them. My head is spinning already! However, now numbers in the form of big data and analytics are all the rage. Are these the latest business buzz words or is there any real substance to data?

Data is an important measurement tool. Analyzing that data is where the real power comes in. We all know from statistics class that groups can manipulate data to support their own agendas. Errors in collecting data, prevent achieving true measurements – regardless of how much analyzing you do. The point is that the data must be reliable, and collecting it must be accurate, and consistent. Managing data efficiently and accurately is also essential to the process and the results. The next big question is, how can data help in measuring the human aspect of business, giving organizations a competitive edge, find solutions to strategic challenges, be more productive, and profitable? A tall order indeed. Here is how human analytics can help in several areas.

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The Changing Role of CEOs et al!

CEO Roles SML WEBAn article caught my eye which led to the topic of this week’s blog. The article discusses the changing job description of CEOs. Those of you who are kind enough to read this blog regularly (and MANY THANKS!) know research plays a big role in most every article. Well, anyway, doing as little more digging, it is evident that everyone’s job description in the C-Suite and beyond is changing and will continue to change and most likely the change will continue at a rapid pace.

Furthermore, whole industries are changing. Two examples are banking. Banking is still struggling with transitioning from a service industry to a sales industry. Today a loan officer must morph into a sales person – no easy task! The field of medicine has its hands full as well. Not only with technology changes, but rapid changes in medicine, and how the doctor/patient relationship is changing. You can thank the Millennials and the information age for much of the change in the doctor/patient interaction. Trusting your doctor was once the norm. Now Millennials in particular, see the newest medications on media, and insist that a doctor prescribe it, regardless of he doctor’s recommendations.

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Consistent Management for the Inconsistent Performer

bcgd good bad day SML WEBThe inconsistent performer on your team is one of the most difficult management challenges managers, especially new managers, face. It’s like flipping a coin, you never know if a good day or bad day will be the performance de jour for this employee.  This blog looks at how to recognize performance signs, causes of poor performance, and some solutions.

How to Recognize Inconsistent Performance: The most obvious way is to recognize performance patterns. Everyone at every level in any organization has a bad day occasionally. You can use your top performers as benchmarks to understand performance patterns. For example, observe the number of days of good performance and how consistently these top performers produce quality projects. At the other end of the spectrum, here are some items to observe in an inconsistent performer:

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Overturning Turnover

Somersault SML WEBWe all know that turnover is expensive. The Society for Human Resources Management suggests that the average cost per employee is around $4K. This figure considers direct costs such as advertising, recruiting fees, and interviewing time.  Costs travel even higher when including more non-direct items such as lost productivity, low morale due to increasing workloads for employees who stay, and the impact on customer service. Now the cost soars anywhere between $10K to $200K depending on the position. Such costs can have a definite and negative impact on profits. There are ways to overturn these expenses through better hiring practices, but after the fact there are also numerous ways to be more proactive about reducing turnover.

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Emotional Intelligence – Built In or Built Up?

Angry Man WEB SMLUnless you’ve been living on another planet, you know a little something about Emotional Intelligence (EI). Therefore, you no doubt know that EI is important in the workforce and why, that everyone has emotions, how to recognize them in others, and that we, as humans, have certain emotions built in or “hard wired” into us. However, other ideas are now coming to the forefront about these built in emotions.

Daniel Goleman, author of Emotional Intelligence, gives us a set of EI Competencies. They are:

  • Self-Awareness
  • Self-Management
  • Social Awareness
  • Social Skills

Importance of EI at Work: One source suggests that self-awareness forms the foundation of the other factors. An example is someone who is a bully, or obnoxious, or argumentative, and they are unaware of their behavior.  Therefore, none of the other factors will become tools that individual incorporates into his/her coping skills. The behavior will not change, and the office workforce will continue to experience disruption resulting in low morale and poor performance. If the leader is the individual with these types of behaviors and is unaware, crisis can ensue. EI at work remains important. Other ideas have a new spin.

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How to Lose Excess Weight

bcgd Ball Chain WEB SmlLosing weight and managing have a lot in common. Both losing weight and managing people are difficult. If you’re overweight, you may often receive negative feedback about how your weight is affecting your health from family, friends, and your doctor. One of the most difficult tasks in managing people is giving negative feedback or terminating them. It just so happens that employees with bad attitudes, low performers, and the good days/bad days employees are weighing you and your department down just as excess body weight slows your body down.  

Of course, the idea is to always try and keep employees by finding a way for them to add value. The employee might be able to contribute by performing different tasks on your team. They may be a better fit for another team in the same area, or they might be able to move to a different area of expertise, or location. On the other hand, allowing a poor performer, or a person with a bad attitude, or an employee who engages in unethical behavior to remain on your team is like carrying around 600 pounds of excessive baggage. However, if you feel the employee is salvageable, to ensure both yourself and the employee that you have made every effort to give them a fair chance, a good idea is to create a performance improvement plan (PIP).

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How to Enhance Your Management Skills

bcgd Teacher WEB sml

Whether you’re a wannabe manager, a new manager, a seasoned manager (at any season), or at the executive level, you will always want to be learning new skills – or should! Oftentimes people become stuck on how to do this. Some think you must go for that MBA to be a successful manager. I am one who loves education. On the other hand, much of the knowledge that academia imparts is so far from real life that you may think you stepped onto a different planet once you graduate. Further, school fails to prepare us for real life in many instances.

Having to learn new skills is not just for the wannabe or even the newly minted manager, it happens to everyone. One common example, is of course, technology Even those who have grown up with technology will still need to learn new technology. Examples of new technology include driverless vehicles, AI, flying cars, bullet trains, or the new Hyperloop train. No doubt it will be easier for them, but there will be learning none the less. Technology is not the only new skill, look at the millennial generation and the new skills seasoned managers have had to learn to cope, manage, and communicate with this unique generation.

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Leaders, Leaders Everywhere and Not a Drop of Chaos Around

Leadership has certadisorganized WEB smlinly become a hot topic. Employee engagement is another hot topic. Some people might want to add to both of these…“or the lack thereof.” Some of you may be asking, “What has this got to do with the price of tea in China?” The topics of and solutions to both good leadership and positive employee engagement are joined at the hip and here’s how.

Poor leadership can lead to poor employee engagement. On the other hand, employees want to be more autonomous and want to be and recognized as leaders in organizations. So, is achieving effective leadership and employee engagement a wash? Not at all, in fact, one hand washes the other and here’s how.

“It’s lonely at the top” is a metaphor we often hear. Top echelon leaders need all the help they can get. Some leaders fear that giving everyone leadership status will cause utter chaos.  However, we cannot expect our leaders to be all things to all people. In fact, one source suggests that organizations could use a good restructuring in that the pyramidal organization puts too much pressure on the few at the top. Ideas and accountability for an organization’s success needs to be spread throughout a company.

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