“I want to look back on my career and be proud of the work, and be proud that I tried everything.”
Client Tony Asks: In today’s environment, it seems so many careers get derailed. Things start out promising, then bam! You’re taking a nose dive. What can I do to accelerate my career smoothly—without interruptions?
Coach Joel Answers: We live in a roller-coaster society with booms and busts. But there are ways to safeguard your career and make it much more likely you can keep it accelerating on an upward trend.
Take a look at these seven critical areas of business expertise. As you increase your skills in these areas, you become more valuable to your employer—or any employer.
These skills can super-charge your career to ensure that you give more and more value, and in turn, are appropriately compensated.
1. Become an Expert. Look at the work you currently do—or what you want to do. Find ways to become more skilled and more effective in this field. Research, implement, get mentored. Do what you need to do increase your expertise until you become the person everyone naturally turns to for answers.
2. Communicate Well. Businesses run on clear communication. Mistakes and miscommunication can sink careers. So to keep yours moving forward successfully, master good communication skills. Choose methods that work best for you—in person, email, text, reports. Ask for responses so you can be sure your messages have gotten through as you intended.
3. Invite Feedback. You need to know the quality of your work. When you ask for feedback you can be assured you’re working to the expectations of your boss and others. When you invite frequent assessments, you can stop potential problems when they start.
4. Align Your Vision. Make sure you are focusing on what your boss or the company sees as most important. It’s terribly frustrating to work hard and produce excellent results—only to discover that what you’re doing isn’t part of the core competencies of the company. It isn’t valued as you expected.
5. Team Work. Every job is part of a team effort to create the products of the business. Your ego needs to be neither too big nor too small to work effectively as a team member. Support others. Give credit. Be generous. People enjoy being around and want to work with those who are likeable and produce results.
6. Ensure Ethics. When you compromise your integrity you run a deep risk of placing your career in recession. To accelerate your career, choose a company that matches your ethics. Then monitor your actions to make sure they fit that standard. One of the most important reasons people give for their decision making is trust. Be trustworthy.
7. Customer Service. Even if you are not dealing with the public, you can give great customer service to those around you. Make sure you are giving good value for what you are earning. Think of management and your peers as your customers and serve them appropriately. This will help accelerate your career.
Stephen R. Covey says leadership is not a position, it’s an action. Regardless of your position in a company, you can practice leadership skills. You can make yourself responsible, forward thinking, and you can empower others.
As you do this, you accelerate your career—without any interruption or slow-down—and you reach the goals that define your success.
If your career is not on the upward path you’d envisioned for yourself, contact Joel for the strategy and skills necessary to accomplish your dreams.
Talkback: What steps have you taken to move your career off a plateau? Is there a particular trait or event that boosted your career?
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“If you pick the right people and give them the opportunity to spread their wings—and put compensation as a carrier behind it—you almost don’t have to manage them.”
~ Jack Welch~
Carlos oversees the human resources department for an expanding oil company. As part his goal to educate and improve abilities of HR and the staff to manage human capital, he decided to find and share great articles. “I wanted a resource that would be of value for our employees and managers,” Carlos said.
“I wanted our people to understand that they could have more control over their advancement,” Carlos said. “It’s not just HR that controls talent management, leaders and workers have a say, too.”
Carlos researched talent management articles for human resources he could draw on for information to share. “Often I’ll ask the writer of a great article if I can repost it for my people,” Carlos said. “I know it’s unethical to just lift it from the web without permission.” Even without permission, however, it is acceptable to quote excerpts and provide a link back to the original article.
Great talent management articles can offer education and value nearly equivalent to semesters of coursework. Carlos looked for articles with depth and vision.
Ten Ways to Keep Your Star Employees is a great example of the best kind of article for his managers. “It fit right in with both empowering employees and managing talent, Carlos said. “Look at some of the points it covers!”
- Empowering employees use their own gifts.
- Discovering tasks your top talent loves to do.
- Focusing on what workers are doing right in feedback and less on what’s wrong.
- Communicating effectively so each person- management and staff- understand the task, the company policies, and what’s expected.
- Helping your employees work smarter, not harder.
- Offering quality of life enhancements—even when the tough economy doesn’t let you pay them more.
- Letting employees focus more on what they enjoy.
- Looking for advancement opportunities for your employees and helping them find those openings within the company for themselves.
- Coaching and mentoring as a way to increase skills, value to the company, and chances for advancement.
Carlos also found cost effective ways to improve employee morale with this article: How Managers Can Improve Their Workplaces for Employees. The article covered the value of:
- Keeping lines of communication open so employees feel their comments matter.
- Adjusting work schedules with flex-time and other ways to keep talent that might otherwise leave the workforce.
- Recognizing accomplishments—which have been show to add satisfaction to workers.
- Developing programs and plans for workers to increase their skill levels. This increases the talent pool and makes the job of human resources easier.
“As I looked at talent management articles, some were particularly appropriate from a human resources perspective,” Carlos said. “3 Reasons to Invest in Leadership Development added to my understanding of the value of outside coaching in ways I hadn’t considered.” It said:
- Coaching and training is cheaper than bringing on new recruits. The cost of training them and bringing them up to speed is much higher than training or coaching current employees.
- Outside coaching relieves a burden on managers and allows managers to focus on their company job. Plus, you have an expert trainer teaching your employees, instead of a manager whose skills lie in a different direction.
- Talent development benefits both the company and the employees. The company creates a succession plan of rising leaders and keeps proprietary information within the company. Staff knows they are valued and appropriately challenged.
“I found great value in reading talent management articles to help me with my company’s human resources,” Carlos said. “It also gave me insights into breaking news and new ways of using traditional strategies.” Carlos likes the fast learning that comes from articles and plans to continue mining top articles for more valuable information to help him retain his company’s top talent.
Talkback: Have you read a great article? Let us know so we can all enjoy it.
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“An employee’s motivation is a direct result of the sum of interactions with his or her manager.”
~ Bob Nelson~
Client Joan Asks: We’ve been really struggling with an employee retention problem. I’d like to help my managers determine where the problem may lie and come up with some solutions we can implement to keep our employees productive and happy.
Do you have some articles I could recommend to them that would help?
Coach Joel Answers: I like the direction you are going, Joan. If you allow your managers to read up on the way other people have resolved this problem, you get some buy in.
Then when they come to the table to discuss their ideas and solutions, you already have them taking ownership of the problem. They will be more interested in working toward a solution.
Here are six articles that will get you started.
1. How Managers Can Improve Their Workplaces for Employees. Joan, the fact is, most employees leave because of their boss and the management. The great thing about the suggestions in this article is that you don’t need to bust your budget to accomplish these strategies.
You’ll find seven simple steps you and your managers can take immediately to help retain more employees. Read Employee Retention Article.
2. Ten Ways to Keep Your Star Employees. Anytime you have top talent, you want to have them happy and secure with you. One of the issues that surfaces with rising stars is they will not stay if they don’t feel they are doing fulfilling work. Also, if they feel they are totally inundated with work they may become discouraged. Read Star Employees Article.
3. Highly Engaged Workplace. Sometimes you find workers just “biding their time” at their job. They don’t feel committed to the work. They stick it out because of the down economy, but don’t feel any loyalty to your company. This article helps you identify the key things that bring your employees fulfillment.
When you find those benefits and work situation that engages your workers, you change them from “waiting to leave,” to “wanting to stay.” It changes the entire workplace environment. Read Engaged Workplace Article.
4. How Men and Women in Leadership Can Help Employees Succeed. When employees are properly trained and feel they are using their skill sets to succeed, they enjoy their jobs more.
Use this article to examine the training opportunities you have in place. Do your workers need tutoring, mentoring, coaching or on-the-job training to feel more valuable? Are your employees confused about expectations and how you define success? This article will help you evaluate your workers better. Read Help Employees Succeed Article.
5. Give Employees What They Need. Sometimes as you evaluate your employee retention issue, you may discover that you have not given your staff the tools they need to succeed.
When workers stand on uncertain ground, they seek the security of another job. With this article you’ll find six tips to strengthen your employees’ commitment to succeed at your job instead of looking elsewhere. Read Keep Employees Motivated Article.
6. Why Did They Leave? How to Retain Workers by Surveying Employees After They Resign. What’s the best way to determine whether your employees are happy or unhappy and why? Ask them! This article explains the importance of surveying current employees and provides examples of questions to include on your survey. Read How to Retain Workers Article.
Joan, as your managers look at these employee retention articles, they will see where they can strengthen the workplace and their management skills. When employees enjoy their job, their manager, their work environment, and their pay you will find your retention problem disappears.
Looking for the solutions to your employee retention issues? Contact Joel for options specifically designed for your situation.
Talkback: What articles have you read lately that could help managers keep their workers satisfied?
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