Take the lead when it comes to money and boundaries

We have an employee who keeps stretching the limits. Asks for reimbursement of expenses that we don’t usually reimburse. Frequently requests salary increases. Asks for special favors regularly. Tends to take it personally, as if I’m not doing a good enough job of meeting his needs. I need to realize it’s just who he is and draw the line before things get out of hand.

THOUGHTS OF THE DAY: Talking about compensation and what people should earn can be uncomfortable for many people. Knowing your company’s limits is crucial. So is knowing what the policies are and applying them uniformly. Often fear of losing someone at a critical time results in making an unsustainable offer.

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How do Trainers Train Themselves to Train?

42248149 - instructor running fitness boot camp

42248149 – instructor running fitness boot camp

I’m not a good trainer. I need to be mindful of that while ramping up a business development person — our next important hire. And I need to use this opportunity to get better at training because it’s a critical skill to have.

Thoughts of the day: Be a role model. Have patience. Let your trainee make mistakes and learn from them. Let your passion show through. Don’t try to teach everything at once. Learn about the person you’re training. Back up your training with reference materials.

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Building a more flexible employee

Wondering about how to solve this one. Got an employee who is good at things, as long as there are no changes. But we need more. Stuff always comes up and we can’t always put him in a place where he won’t be interrupted. We can’t protect him from problems that crop up, in fact, we need him to attack the problems, not just get in a groove and do what he’s always done. There are go-getters who solve problems and he’s an obstructionist. How can we turn him around?

Thoughts of the day: Change and uncertainty are hard for some people. Flexibility and adaptability are great skills to have. Build up training programs to help your less flexible employees.

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Demotion is never easy

We’re worried about how one of our supervisors is going to react. We don’t want to lose him, but we’re going to have to bring in a manager over him. This employee is clearly our star technical person. But he doesn’t have the scope or experience to manage the department as it continues to grow.

Thoughts of the day: First and foremost, your job as CEO and owner is to do what’s best for the company. Make it clear this is a reorganization in preparation for a growth spurt. Make the changes you need to make and be prepared for all variety of outcomes.

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The challenge of changing company culture

Feels like over the last year I’ve put an extreme amount of effort in to change the company’s culture. Things are getting better, but there’s still a lot more to go. Still have people here who aren’t drinking the Kool-Aid. Suggestions?

Thoughts of the day: Getting buy-in to change can be challenging. Expose everyone to your message. Walk it, talk it, wear it — you’re the leader. Figure out where the lack of buy-in is coming from. Give people a reason to want to change.

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