Viewing by month: October 2012

Eight simple tips for effective employee performance reviews

Employee performance reviews are an integral part of any business’ successful operation, as they provide business owners with an invaluable opportunity to openly and honestly communicate feedback with their staff. Nevertheless, this process can bring with it some inherent difficulties – namely, the challenge to strike the right balance between highlighting areas where an employee needs to improve and reinforcing positive aspects of their performance. 


Here are eight simple tips that business owners should look to employ when reviewing the performance of their employees:


1.       Try to create an honest and open dialogue and give employees the chance to ask questions and clarify concerns; for constructive criticism to be truly effective, employees must not only be committed to rectifying relevant issues, they must also properly understand the problems at play;

2.       Create an ongoing formal performance overview: this can help you to construct a feedback process which directly keeps track of your employees’ key performance objectives and fulfilment of business goals;

3.       Use constructive criticism as a mechanism for creating goals that your employees can aspire to; employees are more likely to improve on their performance if you positively reinforce what they can achieve, rather than focusing on their deficiencies;

4.       Strategise and plan your feedback:  to maximise positive outcomes and motivate employees, you might like to consider beginning and concluding your performance reviews by highlighting areas of potential improvement and past success;

5.       Focus on discussing your employees’ work outcomes, not their personal characteristics: by framing your discussions around an objective analysis, you are less likely to prompt defensive responses from your employees – something that often works to impede progress and resolution of issues;

6.       Clear and concise communication is crucial: although it is important to maintain a degree of sensitivity when discussing performance concerns with employees, it is equally important to ensure that they leave reviews with a clear understanding of the expectations placed upon them. To this end, you should try to ensure that issues are articulated in a clear and logical manner, and also provide evidence and examples in support your claims. In addition, you may consider documenting discussion points so that once employees leave their reviews; they have a tangible reference point moving forward to improve their performance; 

7.       Consider an off-site meeting; taking your employees into a comfortable and perhaps informal setting may help to create an environment that is more conducive to open, direct and sincere discussions;

8.   Follow up on performance review discussions: following performance reviews it is important to consistently monitor employees to ascertain if and where improvements are being made; this will enable you to provide further guidance, reinforce concerns if necessary, and acknowledge employees who do achieve positive progress. 

0 comments | Posted by George Tarbey on 25/10/2012 at 12:00 AM | Categories:

How to gain the respect of your employees

It is not uncommon for business owners to believe that they can garner respect from their employees simply through their positional power and superiority. In practice – however, this does not always occur; employee respect is often dependent on the way in which owners choose to engage with their staff.

By creating a workplace founded on mutual respect and collective problem solving, an owner can encourage their employees to become personally invested in the future of their business. This can work to improve employee morale, staff retention, organisational consistency and workplace productivity.

How can an owner gain and preserve the respect of their employees?

1.       Be active and engaged in your workplace:  demonstrate your skills and knowledge by occasionally participating in problem solving activities; this will help to foster stronger relationships with your employees and allow staff to recognise the value in your expertise;

2.       Set tasks which challenge your employees to use their initiative: investing in your employees’ development and encouraging them to challenge themselves can often lead to greater levels of reliability, ownership and dedication towards business goals;

3.       Show genuine interest in the lives of your employees: getting to know your employees is often critical to developing mutual respect on both a professional and personal level;

4.       Structure your business so that all employees have a degree of access to you if necessary: while it is natural for you to interact with some employees more than others, it is important that you make time to communicate with all of your staff regularly; this will likely help to enhance employee morale and transparency; 

5.       Encourage your team to become invested in the decision making process: every now and then, ask for the opinions of your employees when making key business decisions; this will give you the best chance of ensuring that your staff feel valued and factored into the direction that your business is heading;

6.       Remember that actions speak louder than words: make sure that your business’ philosophy is reflected in your own professional practices; this will demonstrate an important degree of leadership integrity, which can then be filtered down and applied throughout various levels of your business;

7.       Take responsibility for your mistakes: demonstrating an awareness of your own faults can help to encourage an honest, open, accountable and inclusive working environment founded on mutual recognition and respect. 

0 comments | Posted by George Tarbey on 19/10/2012 at 12:00 AM | Categories:

The importance of a shop front

Due to the increasing number of individuals using online sources to assess their property prospects, some critics have suggested that a shop front has become a redundant marketing tool for business owners.  Refuting these claims, commercial real estate services firm CBRE, recently surveyed 50 leading international retailers and found that investing in new or existing stores remains a top priority.


Shop fronts arguably remain important promotional platforms for two main reasons: Firstly, a shop front can help to establish a tangible presence for a business within a community and secondly, a shop front can work to reflect important aspects of a business’ brand and character.


Establishing a presence in the community


Having a physical presence in the form of a shop front can be a very important variable for businesses, particularly those that operate solely within one local market; these function to automatically give businesses a visible public identity as well as a tangible foundation to interact with community members face-to-face – something which often works to foster trust, rapport and strong professional relationships.


Reflecting a business’ character


It is important that your shop front doesn’t just ‘exist’ for the sake of existing; it should express, through layout and design, the key characteristics and branding qualities associated with your business. If presented strategically and effectively, a shop front can be a powerful for differentiating your business from those of your competitors, helping you to foster brand equity and reinforce your key value propositions to the public.


The way that you approach executing your business’ shop front should ultimately reflect your budget and overall marketing strategy. For example, “modern” offices may look to employ LCD screens or innovative window displays to advertise their listings, while offices aiming to promote a traditional image may keep their window displays relatively basic. 


Even in the digital age of multichannel communication and marketing, evidence suggests that it remains important for owners to invest in their business’ shop front. As well as helping to establish a place for a business within a community, a shop front can provide a tangible and visible tool for promoting a business’ branding and unique service offerings. 

0 comments | Posted by George Tarbey on 11/10/2012 at 12:00 AM | Categories:

Eight habits of highly effective business owners

To be successful in business is a central goal for any real estate principal. Whether you are opening your first office or have over 30 years’ experience, it is important to understand the types of behaviours that contribute to success. While some people might perceive business success to be largely dependent on chance or timing, this is arguably not the case; success has a number of deliberate components, which all business owners should grasp and look to employ. 

What are these components? Here are eight of the most important:

1. Never underestimate the value of networking:  you should always be looking to develop relationships with other organisations that can help facilitate growth within your business.

2. Find passion in your job: operating a business can be highly stressful at times and, as such, it is important to find both personal satisfaction and financial value in what you do.

3. Surround yourself with a strong team:  collaboration and delegation are two of the main keys to achieving business efficiency and productivity. With this being the case, it is important to employ staff that are not only proficient at their roles, but who can also contribute unique and practical ideas to your business.

4. Learn from your mistakes: it may seem simple, but if you aren’t able reflect on your own downfalls, it can be difficult to improve. Therefore, if things go wrong within your business, take some time to examine the reasons for such and implement measures to prevent these mistakes from happening again.  

5. Focus on time management: as the leader of your business, you will often have a large number of competing deadlines on your plate. As such, it is important to be able to not only prioritise deadlines, but also delegate tasks and adapt to changing circumstances.

6. Continuously educate yourself: no matter how experienced you are, you can always enhance your business’ value by learning more. To this end, it is important to stay up-to-date on news, events and trends within your industry and look for opportunities to expand your knowledge.

7. Maintain a work/life balance: you aren’t much use to anyone if you’re tired all the time and can’t concentrate. Therefore, it is important to make time to engage in activities that allow your brain to decompress and rest. If you place adequate importance on your time spent outside of the office, you will likely find that your time spent at work is much more productive.

8. Understand your competitive advantage: to guarantee the growth of your business, you must have a comprehensive understanding of what makes your business different from those of your competitors. As such, it is important to develop a unique service proposition that can be clearly and strategically communicated to the public.

0 comments | Posted by George Tarbey on 05/10/2012 at 12:00 AM | Categories: