Weekly Edge

3 reasons you get bad employees - and what to do about it

Heather Frame - Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Do you ever wonder how people get great employees?  Ever think you’ll never get great employees yourself?  Can’t get them to do what you need?  Can’t get them to stay?  


Before you blame your Team, remember that old adage: ‘You get the employees you deserve.’  Let’s start by taking a look in the mirror. The most common errors that occur are hiring the wrong person, inadequate training or evaluation and, finally, a lack of leadership.  Now, let’s take a look at those issues in greater detail.

1. You’re hiring the wrong person or putting them in the wrong place. Using personality profiles can help to measure a candidate’s qualities before they are hired.  We use DISC and VAK to help make the right match of person and position. The DISC profile measures a person’s natural (away from work) and adapted (at work) behavioural tendencies.  The profile takes about 10 minutes and yields some very useful tips on individual strengths, opportunities for improvement, and keys to motivating.


The VAK (stands for visual, auditory, and kinesthetic) measures communication modalities.  In addition, examine the hiring process and the questions that are being asked.  What do you need to change based on the lessons you’ve learned in the past?  Ask questions that uncover values and look for alignment with your company’s values.  We have found that a “bad employee” is rarely due to the lack of job competence—it’s more often a failure to mesh with organizational values.  You must hire character because that can’t be taught. An employee with a great “values match” will still underperform if you assign them to the wrong job.  Go back through your job descriptions and modify for what the business needs, then hire the person that fits that description. Chaos results when you change the job to match the skill set of the newest hire. 


2. The problem could be that your training, measuring, and evaluation process is inadequate.  When was the last time you revised your orientation process?  Your company handbook?  The initial process for training a new hire?  What KPI’s (key performance indicators) are they held accountable for?  How often do they receive feedback?  Who mentors the new folks and for how long?  We recommend that all employees participate in the regular team meeting (what do you mean “I don’t have one”) and are asked at each one: What can we do to help you succeed in your job?  Many years ago, we heard of a “training method” referred to as “Leave alone, zap”. This means that the new hire is, in effect, turned loose to figure things out and then “zapped” when they make a mistake.  This, or any similar approach, basically sets someone up to fail.  As expensive as staff turnover is (time, repeated re-training, lost productivity, etc), it is certainly worth investing in refining the process so that we do a better job and “start over” less often.

3. The Leader doesn’t know what he/she is doing, so neither does the Team. In order to have great followers, there has to be a great leader.  No team will ever out-perform its leadership.  Are you the kind of leader that a great employee would want to follow?  Are you running the kind of business that a great employee would want to work for?  We can assure you, the team watches everything you do and dissects everything you say.  Start with your communication—do you communicate clearly and regularly?  Are you consistent in your statements and behaviour?  Do you do what you say you will do?  Also, if you “waffle” or delay making decisions, you are viewed as weak and indecisive.  If you have the courage, survey the Team about their views of you as the Leader, and be willing to “sharpen your saw” to make some changes.  Change your outlook, change your results!

Hmmm…. Habits

Heather Frame - Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Something to make you think….


"Motivation gets you going but habit gets you there." - Zig Ziglar


Hmmm….Habits…. which ones do you have that you know you should give up?  And what new ones do you know you need to create?

Dads play differently to Mums

Heather Frame - Wednesday, May 08, 2019

Our little boy loves playing with his Dad. It’s different to playing with Mum. Sometimes it’s faster, more exciting, louder. Is it better? At times, we guess it is. Sometimes Mum’s way is best.
We’ve watched with interest as a Dad at our local play ground does the exact same exercise with his little boy that his Mum does. Only where Mum swishes the little boy side to side in a rhythmic calm fashion, Dad swooshes fast left – right – left suddenly. The little by calmly enjoys Mum’s interaction and giggles with glee at Dad’s.
As business coaches working inside businesses every day we’ve seen the same thing with staff in their work environments responding differently to each different leader.

Some interact as friends, others as confidants, others are the go to person when something needs fixing, others are the expert in different areas, others are feared (slightly!) and some are respected more or less on different topics.
Everyone has their own leadership style. Both of ours have certainly evolved over the years and are completely different to the 21 year old versions of us when we were both so desperate to prove that we were old enough and experienced enough to lead.
Interestingly, there are people who are leaders in our clients workplaces who aren’t business owners.  They’re leaders because of the open and honest way they communicate.  They’re leaders because of their knowledge. They’re leaders because their opinion is respected.
What’s your leadership style? More importantly- what do you wish your leadership style was?
Pick a few words from this list that you wish people through about when they considered you as a leader:
Accountable, Dependable, Ethical, Moral, Honest, Trustworthy, Respected, Knowledgeable, Helpful, Compassionate, Caring, Experienced, Wise, Expert, Dreamer, Vision, Leads by Example, Involving, Well Planned, Fair, Integrity, Gives Credit, Humble, Open, Creative, Dedicated.
Now – why not ask your team to anonymously list up to 5 words they think relate to you as a leader. Is what’s coming back to you representative of what you would like to be putting out?


Who does your taxes?

Heather Frame - Wednesday, May 01, 2019

Heather here.  Louis the weedy tax accountant is my favourite character in the classic 80’s film Ghostbusters.


At the end of the film after the big marshmallow man bites the dust and the roof is pretty blown off the central park adjacent building – Louise is rescued by the Ghostbusters.


Louis: Who are you guys?


Dr Ray Stantz: We're the Ghostbusters.        


Louis: Who does your taxes?


The world is half up in smoke, a giant man made of confectionary had just caused havoc in the streets and he’s just been trapped inside a crispy underworld dog and yet Louis never misses an opportunity to prospect for new business.


When was the last time you asked someone – Who does your taxes?  (Or your hair, or services your car, or gives you personal training, etc)

Lessons from our Anzacs

Heather Frame - Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Tomorrow is Anzac Day… a unique and special day to us Aussies and Kiwis.  Don’t know about you, but we tend to get a bit emotional as we think back and imagine what these men and women went through.  

It took a lot of courage that’s for sure, but more than that, it took commitment, perseverance, and dogged determination.  Sadly, these qualities are in scarce supply in the twenty first century.  These are the qualities needed in business, but from what we see around us reflects a population that expects success without effort.  Business owners who are all too ready to lift the white flag of defeat without even firing a shot!

They want successful businesses but they don’t do a damn thing to succeed.

You, like us are different.  We know that we have to get busy.  We’ve got to hustle, get things done.

Times are getting tougher for many people in business, but we can’t use that as an excuse.  We can’t control the economy but we certainly can control what goes on inside our businesses.  There are many things we can do right now to bring in the money. 

Think Anzac.  Think courage, determination, perseverance and the belief that you will win.  Now is not the time to be coasting with your foot off the pedal.  We need to get busy and take charge of the things we can control.

Things that make you go hmmm... about blended behaviour

Heather Frame - Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Follow up on blended behaviour article from last week.  Here are some of our favourite quotes on blended behaviour to make you go hmmm…


 “Behaviour is a mirror in which everyone displays his own image”
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe 

“The true test of character is not how much we know how to do, but how we behave when we don't know what to do.”
John W. Holt, Jr. 

 “If fear alters behaviour, you're already defeated.”
Brenda Hammond


 “Human behaviour flows from three main sources: desire, emotion, and knowledge”

Blended Behaviour

Heather Frame - Wednesday, April 10, 2019

We’ve been reading a lot (and we mean a LOT!) of books and online on baby sleep at the moment (yes, our second child who is now a mere 3 months old, took a while to settle into sleeping ok at night). 


One of the more interesting concepts we’ve read about is “blended behaviour”. It’s when your child might show some sign of being sleepy such as rubbing his eyes, but then flash you a big smile and coo happily like he’s wide awake.  In short, it’s blended behaviour, and he’s probably very tired! Don’t let the smile fool you. 


Ever had one of your employees exhibit adult blended behaviour?

Snappish one minute and lovely the next? They could well just be tired.

When do you need to take it in hand? When the snappish behaviour continues longer than an “off” day. 


One day they’re dishonest and the next day perfectly pleasant?

It’s likely they’re just simply dishonest.

Confront them at the first instance of dishonesty and explain that it’s not tolerated in your workplace. 


Lazy one minute and interested the next?

You probably already know their heart isn’t in it.

What can you do to help them revitalize their interest?

A new challenge perhaps?

But be sure they know we all have mediocre parts to every job and without that (boring) backbone getting done, the business has no substance. 


Keep an eye on blended behaviour in your employees and look to overcome it straight away for optimum performance in your business.

Accuracy Versus Action…

Marcus Everett - Wednesday, April 03, 2019

Feeling that you always have to be right can cause a lot of stress and anxiety.


The reality is the people that typically achieve phenomenal levels of success did not get there by doing everything right every time.


The main point is that people achieve great heights because they did lots of things with a reasonable amount of accuracy.


When people get stuck on doing everything exactly right, they can’t but help take less action… and achieve less results.


Many a great idea has been lost because the person who devised it wanted to get it just right or, was waiting for exactly the right moment to launch it


Ask yourself how much are you holding yourself back by trying to do everything exactly right.


What would happen if you took 10% more action in your career/business and your personal life?


It’s all up to you!

Positive or negative thinking… Which will you choose?

Heather Frame - Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Today we have short story that’s an oldie, but a goodie to share with you to illustrate the difference between positive and negative thinking


Many years ago two salesmen were sent by a British shoe manufacturer to Africa to investigate and report back on market potential.


The first salesman reported back, "There is no potential here - nobody wears shoes."


The second salesman reported back, "There is massive potential here - nobody wears shoes."

This simple short story provides one of the best examples of how a single situation may be viewed in two quite different ways - negatively or positively.


We could explain this also in terms of seeing a situation's problems and disadvantages, instead of its opportunities and benefits.


So how do you look at things, are you a positive or a negative thinker?

Is your business growing or dying?

Marcus Everett - Wednesday, March 20, 2019

So often business owners ask us why many new businesses fail within the first 5 years.


It’s usually because the business owner(s) doesn’t have the following in place

1. An open mindset and willingness to accept changes that occur and adapt to those changes.

2. An interest in asking and seeking advice from people who are experts.

3. A willingness to take advantage of changes in technology, economic progress and sales processes.

4. Awareness. Business owners who succeed are aware if their profit and cashflow situation, and are ready and willing to make changes when necessary. They take immediate action in implementing changes in their business.

5. Systems. They have typically created a system that is easy and simple that can be applied in their business. And, in the presence of this system, the average business owner can focus on the growth of their businesses.

6. Culture. The successful business owner creates a good atmosphere and culture in their business. Communication between departments is well run, so the business has a solid team that works well together and is productive.

In the development of a competitive business, all six of these things are necessary to support the success of a business. Working with a "Trusted Adviser" who can assist employers, so business owners can achieve their goals, is another method.  A "Trusted Adviser" is now better known as a Business Coach.