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Now What?

June 02, 2020

As employees begin slowly moving back to work in the post-COVID-19 world, things are not the same as they used to be. Wearing masks – at least for any interaction in the office, social distancing, frequent hand sanitizing – all are new behaviors we have had to adopt.  But now is the time to consider longer-term impacts on your organization.

The pandemic disrupted firms' recruiting and hiring processes.  Lack of networking opportunities when employees stopped attending conferences and society meetings has restrained the ability to find other people who might want to come to work for the firm.   Many firms have put off hiring until this is all over, and in some cases, firms have withdrawn offers of employment they had already extended, fearing a continued economic fallout.

Now is the time to revisit your strategic plan and perhaps conduct some scenario planning.  What if there is a resurgence of the virus in the fall?  How does that impact your workforce?  How do you re-energize your marketing approach in a post-COVID world?  How will "work from anywhere" affect your firm on a more permanent basis?  Should your real estate footprint be reconsidered as telework expands?  Which markets in your portfolio need to be reviewed for growth and profit potential?  Are new markets emerging?

Strategic planning should challenge you to reconsider what once were "sacred cows" and take a brutal look at the path forward.

If you would like help facilitating a revisit of your strategic plan, please give me a call.

Your Organization's Goals

June 13, 2018

I’ve been re-reading Stephen Covey’s book The 8th Habit.  Covey cited a Gallup poll about how goals are communicated and achieved within organizations.  The poll said only 15% of employees understand their company’s top priorities.  Only 1 in 5 are passionate about their company’s goals.  Most organizations spend only 49% of their time working on them.  And 51% of employees don’t understand THEIR role in helping to achieve them.  Those are scary numbers.  They may have improved a little since the book was published, but I would guess the improvement is slight.  That’s because leaders don’t always adequately communicate the goals. They are developed during a strategic planning retreat then gather dust on a shelf until the plan is again revisited.  If you want the goals to become powerful and motivational, make them a part of the vocabulary.  Talk about them in every staff meeting.  Remind people through posters and whiteboard postings of what your firm is trying to achieve.  Take the words off the page and make them alive.  You’ll be surprised to see how quickly you will begin achieving them.

The Silence Is Deafening

April 18, 2018

Your quietest employees may be sending the loudest message.  They won't speak it aloud unless you ask.  But they likely have plenty to say about your tolerance for the non-performers.


The quiet ones are those who get things done.  They work hard and efficiently every day and do their work done without complaint.  They often pitch in when deadlines are tight with little thanks or recognition.  They are your top performers.  


Compare them to those whose job appears to be trying to convince others how busy they are.  They often seem to be engaged in everything.  In fact, they look busy.  But check their productivity.  When you tolerate non-performers in the workplace, you alienate your best employees.  They pick up the slack for the “busy bee” who really doesn’t get things done but it builds resentment.  They are waiting for you as the leader to have the courage to confront those who take home a paycheck but don’t earn it.  Allow it to continue and you will soon find your top employees looking for greener pastures elsewhere.  Corporate culture is a result of individual behaviors.  Is your culture consistent with the corporate persona you try to project?  Maybe it’s time to check in with your top performers and see what they think.

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