High performance culture

High performance culture – how do you generate one?

High performance culture

Improving business performance

High performance culture – performance is key to your organisation’s survival.  You cannot afford to under perform.  But how do you generate a high performance culture? 

Here are some tips!

1. Show leadership from the top

Those at the top of the organisation must be committed to a high performance culture. If necessary, they must be prepared to change to ensure this. The performance management framework  must operate throughout the organization from top to bottom. Those at the top need to model the desired behaviour.

2. Develop business plans

Business planning should be positive. But it must also must be realistic if a high performance culture is going to exist . Be clear about what can be delivered with the resources available.  How will those available resources change over time?  Take into account the people management implications. If you invest in training, how will that effect your business plan? Once plans and priorities have been established, they need pervade the organisation. Your plans need to be translated into department, team and individual performance plans. These need to be throughout the organisation. Can you see the the organisation’s objectives reflected in the most junior employee’s performance plan?

3. Establish what good performance looks like and how it can be measured

All performance indicators and other criteria used to measure performance must be clearly communicated. This should be to all staff and contractors supporting the organisation. Think about what really matters. And focus on measuring the essentials. Keep the number of measures to a minimum.  Want to know more about performance measures? Follow this link

4. Monitor and evaluate

Systems need to be set up to ensure that performance can be monitored and evaluated throughout the year.  You need to understand the effect of changes in levels of performance on the services delivered to your customers or users.

5. Agree specific performance objectives

The organisation’s plans and priorities must be translated into department, team and individual performance objectives. This will usually be by using your existing performance appraisal and staff development processes. Individual plans are most effective when both manager and employee agree them.  Objectives should be SMART. That means;

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Agreed
  • Realistic
  • Time bound.

Is the existing performance management system for your staff  up to the job? If not, take some advice and change it. See Paragraph 7 below.

6. Develop an internal communications’ approach

Effective messages should target your intended audience in the whole range of ways available to you. So, develop a plan for how you will use different media to target various communities within the organisation using for example:

  • Email
  • Intranet (inside the organisation)
  • Internet
  • Newsletter/house magazine
  • Notice board
  • Team briefs
  • Video and in-house TV (you can even use YouTube.)

In addition, regular surveys and suggestion schemes are important ways of ensuring that employees have the opportunity to tell you what they think. This can be on a wide range of issues that impact on  performance.

7. Ensure that performance framework systems are truly in place

A performance review/appraisal system is traditionally used to

  • Set objectives,
  • Identify support needs and
  • Measure progress against objectives.

For it to work effectively, the system must be clearly understood by both managers and employees. This requires:

  • Managers have access to guidance. And the training needed to ensure they manage performance effectively throughout the year
  • All employees have the necessary support, guidance and training to help them engage fully in the performance appraisal process.

If you don’t have these in place it is unlikely that you can become a high performing organisation

8. Support employees to succeed

Effective induction and probation processes for new employees are extremely important. They set the right expectations of performance for both the employee and the manager. Personal development plans (PDPs) should explain how development needs will be met.

9. Encourage performance improvement

Sometimes performance will not meet the required standard. You will need to identify what is getting in the way. Don’t assume anyone chooses to perform poorly. Put in place a plan to deliver improvement and give support. The principle is the same at both the team and individual level. So you need to have clear procedures for dealing with poor performance.

10. Recognise and reward good performance

Good performance needs to be recognised and rewarded. Recognising performance should include sharing success stories. And share the knowledge gained across the organisation. Highlight how good performance helps the organisation as a whole.

Working with an executive coach really can help you get your organisation to perform well. Why not take advantage of my offer of a free half hour coaching session to find out how I can help

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in organizational development, management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at wendy@wisewolfcoaching.com

Wendy has written a little eBook on how to get on with your boss and a book on job search – you can find her books on Amazon at this link

         

Are you feeling stuck at work?

Are you feeling stuck at work?

Career development: What To Do When You Feel  Stuck!

Are you feeling stuck at work? So you took this job full of enthusiasm.  You thought it was the right job, at the right time, in the right place.  It looked interesting and you liked the people who interviewed you. They told you how the company was committed to good management and developing their people.  There seemed to be really good opportunities to advance your career. And everyone told you how lucky you were to get a job.

You’ve been there a year now! And things have not turned out as you expected. Yes, the job was interesting when you first started. There was a lot to learn. Your manager is good at her job but these days she never seems to know what is going on at the top.  Everyone’s budget has been cut. A member of your team who left to go travelling has not been replaced.  You and the rest of the team are having to work harder. Provide cover is difficult. So, there is very little possibility that you will allowed to go on that part-time training course. Even if you fund the training yourself.

Right now you are feeling stuck at work

You are feeling stuck and wonder if you made the right decision. But all those people who told you were lucky to get the job are saying you would be foolish to leave.

Sadly, you are not alone! I keep hearing this tale from clients and from people I meet in social media. There are lots of good organizations, and good managers. But right now they are not offering many career development opportunities for their staff. Training budgets were cut a long time ago cut and vacancies are being held again.

Uncertainty means people are reluctant to move on. And that means opportunities for promotion, and for moving round inside the organization, may be less.  Everyone in the public and private sectors seems to be working harder and longer.

So what can you do?

Well, first of all see this for what it is; it isn’t personal.  These tough conditions are likely to continue. But there are job opportunities out there. And job search is much better done while you are already in employment. But don’t just jump to thinking that leaving this employer is necessarily the best move. Instead, start to think creatively about where you are now and the job you do.

Are there changes you can make to improve how you and your team are working? Can you show you are improving productivity and efficiency? Can you make improving things a special project that will benefit you, as well as the company?

What about forming a learning group with your own team? How about developing an action learning set as a regular lunch time activity? Perhaps you could learn in your own time how to facilitate the set.  That way everyone will benefit.

If you are in an organization that has other people at your level, could you organise a job swap? It would give you and a colleague some wider experience.

If your manager really doesn’t know what is going on at the top, can you find out more yourself? Could you use the internet to find what is happening in the sector? What is the world outside saying about your company and its major customers?

It’s up to you in the end!

Of course it is always sensible to keep your CV up to date and keep your eyes open for other opportunities. Even though the best move is not necessarily out.  All jobs have periods when they are more or less interesting. Much of the motivation to do the work is going to need to come from within you.  What is special about what you do and how can you take pride in it? At the end of the day, you, not your employer are responsible for your career development.

Working with a career coach really can help you get passed the block. Why not take advantage of my offer of a free half hour coaching session to find out how I can help

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at wendy@wisewolfcoaching.com

Wendy has written a little eBook on how to get on with your boss and a book on job search – you can find her books on Amazon at this link

         

Get on with the interview panel

Get on with the interview panel

How to get on with the interview panel – most job searches mean you have to deal with panel interviews.  Many large employers use panel interviewing as a part of their recruitment process.  It means a number of different people can be involved in the decision-making process.  They can be from different parts of the organization with an interest in the role. This gives a range of perspectives. Job interviews conducted by a panel are seen to be fair. There are seen as valid because a number of different opinions and views are taken into account..

Usually, each panel member will take turns to ask questions about your fitness for the role; your background, experience and interests.  It can be difficult to build rapport with each panel member . And sometimes, unfortunately, there might be one panel member that you find it particularly difficult to get on with.  This can happen at an interview, just as it can in other parts of your life.

Get on with the interview panel – tips

    • Knowing who the panel members are beforehand is a great help.  If you can, research people on the internet using LinkedIn, for example!  If this is not possible, use your knowledge of the company and the position to prepare to respond to questions from different parts of the organization. These could be human resources, line management, technical and finance.
    • Your introduction is important to creating the right first impression. This is a good opportunity to connect with each panel member on a personal level before the interview questions begin. Make initial eye contact with each panel member. Try to respond warmly and with interest.

When the questions start, listen carefully to what is being asked

  • When the questions start, listen carefully to what is being asked and don’t be afraid to ask for clarification. Make sure you understand correctly.  It is important to answer the question that has been asked.
  • Make initial eye contact with the person who asked the question. And then include the other panel members in your answer. Scan from one face to the next, pausing briefly on each. Focus on speaking to each individual As you finish your answer, return your focus to the person who asked the interview question. Stay calm and answer each question thoroughly.

Keep it pleasant

  • If you do get into a discussion, or you are asked to consider an alternative point of view, again stay calm. Do not expect to be successful if you let anger or annoyance show. Take time to respond with a considered view. Watch your body language. You can show frustration without saying a word.
  • If there is someone on the panel that you really cannot get on with, then don’t ignore how they make you feel and why.  Is that person to be your immediate boss in the new organization, or someone further up the line to whom you will report? Think seriously about whether the role is right for you.  Do this even if you are successful and it is a generous offer. I have worked with a number of clients who sensed at interview that all was not well. They ignored those feelings, only to have regrets later.

With the right preparation and approach, I hope you will get on well with all the members of any interview panel that you meet. If you need advice, get in touch.

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at wendy@wisewolfcoaching.com

Wendy has written a little eBook on how to get on with your boss and a book on job search – you can find her books on Amazon at this link

         

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Fed-up with Job Search

Fed-up with Job Search

“I am unemployed and bored. I’m tired of applying for jobs and not getting any replies!”

Fed-up with Job Search – I heard from someone recently who is getting very tired Fed-up with Job Searchof the whole process of applying for work. He wants to work. But he is really fed up of making applications that don’t get replies. He is bored staying at home every day.

His routine is now to stay up late watching television and get up at noon the next day. Then he just hangs around the house.

It is all too easy for this to happen when you don’t have a regular routine. On top of that, constant rejection, or worse the feeling that you are invisible, adds to feeling down. Eventually it can lead to depression.

The slippery slope

My friend may need quite an intervention to get him moving again.

What about you?  Do you feel yourself slipping down into the well of despair? You need to act!

First, you need to establish a new and healthier routine.

Go to bed and get up at the same times as you did when you had a job. This doesn’t apply to those who had a long commute, obviously. If you can, stick with your previous sleeping pattern. Not sleeping? Talk to your pharmacist about trying a gentle herbal remedy to help with sleep.  If that doesn’t work talk to your medical adviser.

Fed-up with job search – now is time for a new routine

Make a new routine for yourself during the day and set some new goals.

How about going to the gym or taking a long walk first thing in the morning? During the day take pride in eating well but healthily.

Allocate a certain period each day for work at home on your job search but please don’t spend all day, every day on it! Make time for a hobby that has nothing to do with your job search. Make it something you really enjoy.

Now is the time to review and refresh your job search material, CV etc.  Could this be the time to widen your job search field?  Think about things you have enjoyed over the years. What have you not yet considered as a work opportunity?

If you have got to interview stage in any of your applications, what feedback were you given?  If you didn’t ask for feedback, there may still time to make a phone call to the recruiting manager.

Meeting people

Don’t forget to meet up with friends or contacts outside the house. Make a point of getting out and meeting people at least once a week. These meetings won’t be to ask for work but you can let them know that you are looking. Mainly this will be an opportunity to keep up with people and find out what is going on around you.

If you belong to a professional association, now is the time to go to meetings! It is important to keep up with what is going on in your field.  Make some time during your days at home to follow up developments on the internet. It is much cheaper than buying magazines.

Think as well about investing in a training course; either to refresh your present skills or to gain new ones. It could make you more valuable and give you some new contacts.

Think about taking on a voluntary role.  It is very good for self esteem and it helps to be able to show potential employers that you are using your time productively.

Fed-up with job search – now is not the time to brood or become that couch potato. Get up, review, revise, refresh and get out there!  Set yourself some new goals and move forward, there are still opportunities around – it is time to look for them in some new places.

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at wendy@wisewolfcoaching.com

Wendy has written a little eBook on how to get on with your boss and a book on job search – you can find her books on Amazon at this link

         

Leadership at all levels

Leadership at all levels

Creating Leadership At All Levels

Leadership at all levels – leadership is about creating positive change in a group leadership at all levelsto achieve a long-term objective. It means having a vision, setting goals and knowing how to move  people towards them. The key skill is knowing how to best use your resources, mainly  your people and their talents, to get you to where you need to be.

As the leader, you should be able to show why you should have the authority to be in the leadership role. You have to understand the organization and the world in which it operates. That way you can win the confidence and trust of the people you will lead. If you are new, you need the best brief you can get. Then ask questions that will show people you are really interested in them and what they are trying to do.

If you are leading a team, you will need to develop and motivate individuals and groups. That means helping people find meaning and purpose in what they are doing. They need to see it as worthwhile. And, as a leader, you have a responsibility to create more leaders throughout your organization. You can do that by setting a positive example. Allow people to learn and develop on the job, as well as encouraging them to be proactive. Let them know they really can influence the way the organization achieves success.

If you are the leader, you will need resilience and be able to overcome obstacles that others find daunting. You should know how to find new solutions and inspire others to do the same thing. Make sure people throughout the organization know that their ideas are welcomed and will be rewarded. Help them to have confidence in you, and themselves, when times are hard.

Be prepared to recognise and reward positive leadership

Be prepared to recognise and reward positive leadership wherever you find it. Let some of your own power be passed on to those around you. Just make sure they share your vision. And that you have a way to know whether they are staying on the right track. Accept, that letting go of power means taking risks and be ready to step when things go wrong. That is part of leadership too! Support your emerging leaders and what you will win is their loyalty. They in turn will support you.

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at wendy@wisewolfcoaching.com

Wendy has written a little eBook on how to get on with your boss and a book on job search – you can find her books on Amazon at this link

         

How to look confident

How to look confident

Tips To Help You Look Confident

Why is looking confident important?

How to look confident – if you want people to have confidence in you,  you need How to look confidentto look confident. If you want people to be drawn to you, you need to look confident! It is even more important than looking good or being good at what you do! That might seem a little unfair but in the real world it is only too true!

So, do you look confident?

If I met you for the first time, what would I see and what would I hear?  What would your body language tell me?  Would I want to get to know you better? Would I have confidence in your ability to do that job I might have available? Or, would I buy that product or service from you?
The need for confidence permeates all parts of our lives. People like others who are confident as friends and potential partners.
When it comes to appearing confident, remember that over 70% of our communication is transmitted by our body language. So, while you are working to increase your  confidence, how do you change your body language to make you look confident?  Here are some tips to help:

Six Tips To Help You Look Confident

      1. Start with your feet.  Stand with them at least 12 inches apart and have your weight distributed evenly between them. Plant the soles of your feet firmly and evenly on the ground. Let them give a firm support to the rest of your body. Now, you are rooted but not rooted to the spot! Don’t lock your knees – instead keep them soft and very slightly flexed.
      2. Let you spine be proud. Your spine protects and supports your internal organs! Feel your spine lifting you to the sky – that is what it is there for!  Lift your upper body out of your pelvis and stand upright.  Feel yourself “lengthening your spine” – stand proud!  Try thinking of a piece of string attached to the top of your head gently pulling upwards. But don’t stand rigidly – you are not a soldier on parade.
      3. Keep your shoulders relaxed. Let them drop – don’t lift them high. The shoulders and neck often show how tense we are – let yours relax.
      4. Let your shoulders widen rather than pull back. Open your chest up so that you can breathe freely.  That in itself will make you feel more relaxed.
      5. Smile. Work on learning to smile naturally at home. Practice some affirmations giving yourself some positive messages, for example; “relax and smile”, “calm and smile”, “wonderful people make me smile.” Bring that smile to your eyes and let it broaden to fill your whole body and mind. Practice sensing how it feels.  Now when you meet other people say quietly to your self; “these are the wonderful people who make me smile.” Find yourself smiling.
      6. Change your focus. When we go into a new situation if we lack confidence, we tend to focus on ourselves and how we feel. You can change your focus to the people about you. Start to be really interested in them rather than how you are feeling. You will seem more approachable and look more confident.

Finding help

Practice my tips above nd you will be surprised at the effect.  You may well find yourself, not just looking more confident, but feeling more confident too.  It helps to work with a coach of course and I just happen to be a qualified confidence coach – so feel free to get in touch!

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at wendy@wisewolfcoaching.com

Wendy has written a little eBook on how to get on with your boss and a book on job search – you can find her books on Amazon at this link