Building Bench Strength

We need to build depth in people who can handle critical responsibilities. If one or two of our key players were out for an extended time, we’d be in big trouble. But I’m not sure who to move up, or when. How do I do this?

Thoughts of the Day: Find out what departments are backed up. Build certification courses. Hire for capable and potential. Get organized for growth.

Building bench strength – what does that even mean? Think about a company that can expand easily by 30%, 50%, 100% or more, confident that the workload will be handled correctly and profitably. Who would need to step up? And who would back them up? That’s bench strength.

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Practicing Teamwork

We’re trying to build more teams, but finding that it takes a lot of time to get everyone we want involved and working together. Some people want to work on their own, some take charge and don’t inform their teammates, some hang back waiting for teammates to figure things out or do the heavy lifting. The quiet ones are often the best team candidates but they get overruled or ignored by the more vocal ones.

Thoughts of the Day: Set up goals so everyone is clear about what’s to be accomplished. Teach your people to work together productively. Give the team tools to track and analyze data, and access to other performance enhancing tools. Make sure team meets regularly to exchange information.

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Teaching People to Lead

We have a supervisor who doesn’t come forward with solutions. He doesn’t talk in meetings. He just listens and comes to my partner or me for solutions. He’s way too dependent on us, and we’re tired of giving him all the answers. What can we do to get him to initiate more on his own?

Thoughts of the Day: A take-charge attitude can be learned. Make sure your supervisor knows what’s expected. Encourage your people to be innovative and independent. Talk through solutions to improve the chances of things going right. If you’ve made a hiring mistake, own up and fix it.

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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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