Viewing by month: January 2014

Rebound from setbacks

Every business experiences setbacks once in a while, whether as a major interruption to the steady flow of business, such as an emerging competitor, or as a smaller hiccup, such as a customer dropping out on an individual transaction. Regardless of the magnitude of the setback, managers and owners can actually use these negative incidents to implement better practises by learning how to avoid a repeat occurrence. The following three tips could help you learn from your setbacks:

1. Analyse.

It may be worthwhile to spend some time away from the office objectively analysing what created the setback, otherwise the probability of repeating the action which lead to the setback is enormous. Once you’ve taken some time to analyse the setback and the circumstances surrounding it, you may want to share your thoughts and findings with a mentor or colleague to gather some feedback on your analysis.

2. Prevention.

Just knowing what went wrong isn’t enough – once you’ve taken some time to critically and objectively analyse the setback, you may want to put in place measures to prevent a similar event from reoccurring. These don’t need to be set-in-stone policy documents, rather could be as simple as checking in more frequently with key staff members to give them your guidance.

3. Educate.

Staff members uninvolved in correcting the setback may still benefit from the lessons learnt. It may be worthwhile booking in some time to constructively educate team members on what can be done to prevent similar mistakes from happening in the future.

0 comments | Posted by George Tarbey on 29/01/2014 at 12:00 AM | Categories:

Managing staff departures


Staff members aren’t static features of any business – inevitably, an employee may move on to seek new challenges or simply for a change of scenery. As such, it’s important to have plans and procedures in place so that when a staff member does resign, your franchise is able to continue running smoothly.

The most essential part of these plans and procedures is to periodically update your employee’s job descriptions. These don’t have to be multiple page dictionaries of every task each team member completes daily – having a short overview of the position and key responsibilities will allow you to start searching for a replacement much sooner.

Keeping employee’s job descriptions up-to-date is only one measure you may be able to take to ensure minimal interruption if a staff member resigns. Below we have four tips which may help you to more easily manage a staff member’s resignation.

1. Don’t panic: while it may feel like the employee will be leaving the next day, most employees are required to give 3-4 weeks’ notice when resigning. This may be enough time for you to find and start training a replacement;

2. Contact a recruiter: if you are worried about finding a new staff member before the current employee departs, consider contacting a recruiter to assist you. Recruiters specialise in quickly filling vacant roles, and they may have the perfect person lined up waiting to fill your newly vacant position;

3. Maintain the relationship: it’s best to maintain a positive relationship with outgoing employees, as they will likely continue to promote a positive image of your franchise. You may want to consider offering to write the employee a letter of recommendation, as this sign of goodwill may help keep the relationship positive.

Tap into your networks: letting people in your network know that you’re looking for staff could help you find a replacement sooner. You may also consider using services such as LinkedIn to assist in your search.

0 comments | Posted by George Tarbey on 20/01/2014 at 12:00 AM | Categories:

Have the tough conversations

A great franchise is only ever as good as its staff and even with the best recruitment practices businesses will usually experience challenges with staff. It’s best to quickly deal with these issues, as leaving them to fester could contaminate the great team culture you’ve been working for months, or years to build.

When dealing with these types of employees, it is best to have a constructive meeting as soon as you identify an issue. In having this meeting, you will likely discover the root cause of the issue and may be able easily resolve it, preventing the issue from escalating.

While these conversations can be difficult for managers and staff alike, you’ll likely find that having them will lift a weight off everyone’s shoulders. With this in mind, we have prepared four tips to help manage unproductive staff.

1. Start the conversation: managers may simply avoid discussing any performance issues with employees, leaving the issue until they can’t avoid dealing with it. You may find that employees are having issues outside of work that are affecting their performance, and be able to provide flexible working solutions to help solve these;

2. Be prepared: clearly explaining that you are meeting to constructively discuss the employees’ performance may help keep the tone of the meeting upbeat. It may also help to bring along documentation of instances that unwanted behaviours have damaged the employees performance, adding credence to your arguments.

3. Ensure confidentiality: office gossip at its best is disruptive, and at worst, malicious. When meeting to discuss performance issues, set out firm ground rules that ensure the employee won’t gossip about your conversation with other staff. This can avoid embarrassment for both you and the staff member in question;

4. Keep records: documentation of these issues allows you to keep track of an employee progress. These may include a variety of forms and paperwork including records of verbal and written warnings as well as performance management plans.


0 comments | Posted by George Tarbey on 13/01/2014 at 12:00 AM | Categories:

Share the load – stop doing everything on your own

For business owners and managers, it’s tempting to attempt to do everything yourself. However, this may not be the most efficient or effective use of your time and by assigning reoccurring administrative or operational tasks to other staff members you may add valuable time to your working week. Unfortunately there’s no straightforward way to identify tasks that you can share with your team as this depends on your personal leadership style and your team’s capabilities.

With this in mind, below we’ve shared three key reasons for you to work with your team to identify tasks which they can carry out for you.

1. Unlock your time: by having a team member conduct some of your weekly administrative responsibilities for you, you may find yourself with additional time to focus on providing leadership to your team. One way to effectively use this time could be to conduct regular training sessions with your team to pass on your valuable experience;

2. Grow your team’s capabilities: giving a team member responsibility for a task that you previously carried out yourself will likely grow their abilities and in turn, their confidence. Through growing their confidence and abilities you may be able to in turn, hand them responsibility for large more complicated tasks and free up more of your time;

3. Lower your stress levels: if you’re spending the majority of your time dealing with routine administration matters, it’s likely you’ll find yourself stretched for time to focus on your core activity – transacting real estate. By distributing your workload more effectively you may find yourself with more time to focus on your past, present and future clients and in turn, grow your business.

0 comments | Posted by George Tarbey on 09/01/2014 at 12:00 AM | Categories: