25 Aug

The secret to successful project implementation

Starting a new project can be extremely exciting. The thought of getting your teeth stuck into a new venture can literally motivate you to get up and out of bed in the morning. It may even get the creative juices flowing after a dry uncreative spell.
The reality of new projects
The thing about new projects or introducing something new into your life, personal or business, is that it is new. It doesn’t have a place yet in your daily routine.
So after all the excitement and day-dreaming of what you could achieve with this new idea it comes down to asking the realistic question. How will this new pursuit fit into your already hectic life?  And unless you are a hermit living off grid, you do have a full and busy life.
 Making your new project work
How do you achieve this merging of something new into your schedule?
Before we get to the answer, first answer this question. Have you ever tried to add more water into a already full glass of water? Well the logical answer is no and why would you? The glass is already full. By adding in the extra water, it will just overflow.
So why try to do that in your own life? Fill your own already full glass with more “water”? Add more stuff to your already chaotic to-do list?
The secret to not letting the water overflow from your glass, is that you need to take something out of your life first. Remove an existing project from your routine in order to make room and time for the new, exciting venture.
Making space for new ventures
That does seem like a hard ask. What would you give up in order to make room for something new?
By introducing something new into your life you’ll need to spend time, energy, efforts and money on “making it happen”. If you jump in, boots and all, without considering the consequences of how this new project will affect your existing life and lifestyle you will either fail, develop a hatred for the project, or you will lose out on something else in your life. Rather set yourself up for success from the beginning than walk into failure. Rather be in control of the letting go than be forced to unwillingly let go in a pressured situation.
So before adding the extra water into the glass, ask yourself:
1) What am I happy to give up on to allow for this new project to become successful.
2) What am I not enjoying in my life that can be removed to make place for my new project?
3) If I cannot remove something from my life, what resources do I need to make things work?
4) If I don’t remove something from my routine and I don’t bring in additional resources to assist, what will happen?
 If you are going to spend time, money and energy on a new project, make sure you set yourself up to win from the very beginning.
Need some assistance? Contact me nicole@tikumu.co.nz for professional business coaching.
18 Aug

How do you motivate your team?

Motivation is a tricky concept and depending on who you are and where you sit on the motivation spectrum, you are either someone who can happily self motivate or you are the type of person who requires a good boost of external motivation to get you moving.
Find the motivational balance
The people who work in your organisation including yourself will sit somewhere on this spectrum. You will be able to clearly see this through your team’s  behaviour and work ethic. Even though it’s a business owner’s biggest dream to have a team of solely self-motivated individuals, this kind of dream is just that, a dream. A fabulous dream, which also probably showcases a few unicorns, pots of gold at the end of beautiful rainbows and permanently happy employees being 100% productive 100% of the time. Sigh.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that aiming to have self-motivated people in your business is unrealistic. However it is unrealistic to think you don’t need to motivate your team. There needs to be a good balance between internal and external motivators. Absolutely, hire people who are self-starters and don’t need to be booted into action. Then ensure that you are motivating them when they need it the most. Motivating your team is a key part of your job as a business owner or manager.
So how do you motivate your team?
Do you motivate with a stick or do you dangle a “carrot”? Do you motivate through pain or pleasure? Do you motivate through rewarding them or through fear?
The concept behind Freud’s pain-pleasure principle is that people will instinctively move away from pain and move towards pleasure. As a business owner or manager you may see that using pain or the “stick” method is a win-win situation. Motivate through pain or the idea of pain or fear such as,
  • “If you don’t complete this project on time, you may lose your job or your supervisory status” 
  • “If you aren’t in the the top 10% of the sales team you won’t receive your commission”

You may see that this type of motivator triggers a response. The team seems to work harder they are more competitive and driven to reach their goals. And I can tell you that the majority of them are hating their jobs and the first sniff of alternative employment and they are outta there.

 As a business owner you want your team to work harder to be competitive and driven. But it should be for the right reasons. Let’s relook at the motivational pitch.
  • “If you complete the project before the deadline and it measures all the necessary criteria, you could be in the draw to win the employee weekend away “
  • “ If you are in the top 10% of the sales team, you earn an additional 5% commission on any additional sales completed over and above your set target.”
Motivate the right way
Do you motivate through pain or pleasure? Reward or fear? This is an important question as depending on what your answer is, it will radically affect your team’s working environment. Your motivational style will influence and define the corporate culture within your department or within the business as a whole. Your business reputation will be affected by how you motivate your team. Do you need to change your motivation strategy?
 Need some assistance? Contact me. nicole@tikumu.co.nz for professional business coaching.
11 Aug

It Doesn’t End at Recruitment

Businesses spend a huge amount of time, energy and money on recruiting the right people. There is either a specific person or even department assigned to this function, or for some the recruitment task is outsourced. Either way, a lot of resources are dedicated to finding the perfect people.

Hidden Recruitment Costs

The costs don’t end there. Once the person has been hired there is training time needed to get the new hire up to speed, and they are never 100% productive from the outset. It takes months for the person to reach their full potential. In the mean time there is pressure placed on the existing team to carry this person whilst they learn the ropes. These hidden costs are rarely quantified in dollar terms, but they are still costs which need to recognised.

State of the Art Recruitment Processes

I’ve seen the rigorous selection processes which some businesses utilise when recruiting new talent. Candidates are expected to jump through hoops in order to make it through the first, second, third, fourth and in certain situations final panel interviews.

My question is, do you spend as much time and are you as attentive with these new hires once they have been brought into the fold as you are when following the recruitment process?

People can be wooed with talk of a bigger pay check, a romantic story of a dynamic corporate culture and awesome benefits, but after the honeymoon period has worn off, what is making them stay?

 It Doesn’t End at Recruitment

To receive a good return on your investment, you must acknowledge that the work doesn’t end once you’ve recruited the new employee. If anything, you should be spending more time and energy thinking up ingenious ways of how to retain your talent.

Questions to Think About
  1. What does your employee development plan, retention plan or employee engagement plan look like?
  2. If the business has one, how active is it?
  3. What makes your business unique and why should people want to be working for your business as opposed to the competition?
  4. Is your business as invested in these types of initiatives as they are with recruiting the next employee?
  5. How often are the managers engaging with new hires?
  6. Do you believe your new recruits and existing team members feel supported in their current positions?
  7. Do you believe your team members feel as though they can develop within your business?

As a business owner or manager, your job only really begins once the right people have been hired for the job. Dusting off your hands and walking away after they walk through the front door on their first day is a sure sign that they won’t be staying long.

Need some assistance? Contact me. nicole@tikumu.co.nz for professional business coaching.

04 Aug

Reward and recognition results in repeat behaviour

I still have a smile on my face and a skip in my step. Why, you may wonder? Well, the other day I was publicly acknowledged for a job well done. I can honestly say it felt fabulous and yes, it does give one that little extra boost to keep moving forward. I acknowledge that as a business owner we do what we do because we love what we do, not just for the external gratification and accolades we receive from others. However, I do know that it doesn’t matter who you are, every single one of us appreciates being told, “Job well done!”
When I look around me at fellow business owners I often witness them being their hardest task masters and their biggest critics. I wouldn’t discredit the fact that there is probably a lot of negative talk going on in their heads than just positive self-assurance. Unfortunately this is pretty common behaviour when owning your own business. We don’t stop enough to smell the roses and acknowledge our own performance.
So, if we aren’t acknowledging our own performance, who else are we not acknowledging? Look around you. Who are the dedicated individuals working for you? Driving your business goals and representing your brand to the world? When last did you praise them for a job well done?
Being your own worst critic may work for you. It may push you forward and drive you to succeed, but that tactic won’t work for your team members. Yes, set high standards, let them work hard, expect the very best from your team, but don’t forget to acknowledge them and praise them for their efforts and results.
Here are a few ideas of how you can instil the “rewarding and recognition culture” into your company culture.
1) Start every meeting with a gratitude –
Before you get into the thick of things, start the meeting off with gratitudes. Move around the table so that every person is provided with an opportunity to either thank some one or acknowledge someone there.
If you repeat this practise at the beginning of every meeting, your team will start thinking about who they will thank or acknowledge even before the meeting has started. It gets people thinking. It gets them to start catching people doing good work around them.
2) Employee of the month – an oldie but a goodie.
This is a formal acknowledgment of good performance. If you development, implement and drive this programme well in your company it will become something that all team members will strive to be. This type of programme becomes a definite win-win for the business and the team members.
3) Develop an employee incentive programme, which is measured on performance.
I know there are many fantastic performance recognition initiatives out there, however the  objective behind this article is quite simple. Its about acknowledging your employees for a job well done. You may not implement a fancy programme due to time or cost issues. That’s besides the point.  If there is anything you should start doing right away, it is to  get into the habit of rewarding and recognising. This costs you nothing and the recognition will lead to repeat behaviour.