LEADERSHIP RESOURCES BLOG

Guidance on leadership development & strategic planning.

Hiring new team members? 5 Important Decisions to Make Before Giving Raises

By Leadership Resources 12/11/2020
Roll of $100 bills and the word "hire"

Among all the challenges you face as a business owner, few things are more difficult to approach than employee compensation. Between establishing base wages and salaries, distributing bonuses, and giving out raises, you’re bound to get a headache or two managing it all. That said, these issues cannot be ignored. Your people might like working for you and your business, but they won’t stick around if they don’t feel fairly compensated, especially if they can find a better paying job elsewhere.

Employees expect their pay to be fair from the beginning and increase over time (beyond just keeping up with inflation). Indeed, without delivering this expectation to new hires, businesses would have a hard time getting anyone on board, and developing leadership talent would be impossible. The hard part for you is figuring out how to broach this subject, how to decide who gets a raise (and when and why), and how to keep your people from turning on each other in favor of the almighty dollar.

So, if you’re hiring new team members, here are five important decisions to make before giving raises.

What to Do Before Giving a Raise

1. Create a Compensation Structure

As your business grows and you hire more people, you need to establish a system of compensation that works best for you. Some companies keep things simple with a one-size-fits-all solution that delivers the same percentage pay increase to every employee on a regular basis (usually annually). While this approach is equitable and easy to manage, it can negatively impact productivity and employee morale, as there is no clear correlation between performance and pay.

Other businesses might decide that performance and compensation management go hand in hand. These companies conduct regular performance reviews for each employee and give out raises based on how well they’ve done. All employees might receive raises, but the best performers will get a higher pay bump. This method can help motivate individuals to work harder and remain engaged, but it can also create tension between employees, splintering unity.

Both approaches have their merits, and you may decide to create a system that falls somewhere in between. Just make sure that your compensation structure benefits your employees and business as a whole.

2. Match the Market

No business exists in a vacuum. You must pay attention to what your competitors are doing if you plan on thriving in your industry and retaining your top talent. Companies that offer the best compensation packages tend to have a competitive edge. You may need to work with a business coach to give you a broad perspective of your industry’s outlook on compensation so you can match or exceed those expectations. This will allow you to attract and retain the best people.

3. It’s All About Value

When budgets are tight, giving out raises might seem like a burden. Indeed, doing so might result in short-term losses. However, you have to think long term and focus on building your business’ value over time. Your people bring value to your company, after all, and without them, you wouldn’t be able to grow or thrive. By reciprocating and delivering value to your employees, you’re creating a feedback loop that will propel your enterprise forward. In this way, compensating your people accordingly is a major component in talent management and succession planning. If you want your organization to be its very best and last for years to come, you need to invest in your people.

Download A Whitepaper On Succession Planning

4. Exercise Care With Pay Compression

As you calculate wages for new hires and percentages for raises, be mindful of pay compression. This phenomenon occurs when newcomers make the same amount as those who have been with the company for a long time. Not only might this offend long-standing employees, it may actually devalue their position, as the newcomer’s wage accounts for inflation while theirs does not. In other words, a dollar is worth less today than it was a year ago, and even less so than 10 years ago, and so on. 

Pay compression can toxify your workplace culture in more ways than one. Therefore, it’s important to adjust all salaries for inflation and always factor in longevity so senior employees are rewarded for their commitment and experience.

5. Be Upfront About Pay When Hiring

When seeking employment, people appreciate transparency. Companies that clearly outline their compensation packages and potential for growth often entice the best people. So, if you’re looking for top talent, don’t shy away from discussions around pay. This includes mentioning how, why, and when raises are dished out. The more open you are about these matters, the better, as it establishes expectations and minimizes confusion.

There’s nothing easy about raises. But if you take your time and think in the long term, you can develop a compensation system that attracts top talent, keeps your best people from leaving, improves your culture, and ultimately adds value to your business.

At Leadership Resources, our purpose is making the impossible possible through people. We aim to do so by helping individuals develop patterns of success that will decrease stress levels and maximize productivity. Contact us here to learn more about what we do and how it can help your business succeed and grow.

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How to Retain Employees as They Grow Professionally

By Leadership Resources 11/11/2020
Woman looking at her shadow with a cape

Sourcing the best candidates for your business is challenging enough — keeping them around for the long haul can be even more difficult. In such a competitive global economy, employees that exhibit strong leadership skills are in high demand. As your people continue to develop, then, they may come closer to abandoning ship to explore other opportunities. While you can’t force anyone to stay, retaining your top talent is integral to the growth and legacy of your enterprise. So, how can you retain your employees as they grow professionally? Here are some thoughts.

Continue Focusing on Leadership Development

If you adopt a cynical mindset, you might think that developing leadership talent will only serve to pry your best employees away from your business — after all, the more skills they develop, the more leverage they have in the workplace. As it turns out, though, focusing on leadership development is actually one of the best ways to keep your employees around. By offering ongoing, rigorous training and education, your company provides value to your employees, which they will reciprocate in direct and indirect ways. For instance, the more adept your people become, the more productive and creative they will be — these outcomes benefit your bottom line and broaden your business’ prospects. In other words, investing in your employees will encourage them to invest back into the company, ideally for the long-run.

Open New Doors For Top Talent

As your people grow professionally, you want to make sure they don’t outgrow the scope of your business — otherwise, they’ll likely move on. No one likes feeling stuck where they are or overqualified for their position, after all. If you want them to stick with you, then, you’ll need to expand the number of opportunities you offer your employees. This might mean creating brand new roles to better suit a specific employee’s skill set, shifting around teams, tasking top talent with fresh challenges and responsibilities to keep them sharp and engaged, and so on. These efforts tie directly into your long term succession planning as well — by challenging your people and letting them explore new positions, you can better gauge who is fit to take over key roles within the company.

Commit to Strengthening Your Company Culture

Never underestimate the importance of your organization’s culture when it comes to retaining your employees. Simply put, most people would rather stay with a company that respects them, recognizes their achievements and efforts, provides ample growth opportunities, and promotes a healthy work-life balance as opposed to the alternative (even if said alternative offers a slightly higher salary). This isn’t to say, however, that merely putting on a happy face and patting your people on the back is enough to keep them around. The key to cultivating a company culture that encourages people to stay is maintaining transparency, being flexible, and compensating employees for the value they bring to the company.

Growing With Your People

Employee retention and succession planning go hand in hand. While it’s true that helping your employees grow into capable leaders runs the risk of losing them to other opportunities, you won’t be able to secure the legacy of your company if you can’t foster the growth of your people and incentivize them to stay. By focusing on continual leadership development, granting your people with new opportunities, and cultivating a strong company culture, your business will grow right alongside your top talent, and vice versa. At Leadership Resources, our purpose is making the impossible possible through people. We aim to do so by helping individuals develop patterns of success that will decrease stress levels and maximize productivity. Contact us here to learn more about what we do and how it can help your business succeed and grow at times like these when you need it most.

Unlock The Leadership Potential Within Your Organization. Download this whitepaper.

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4 Ways to Ensure Your Sales Team Can Consistently Improve

By Leadership Resources 04/07/2020
Group holding upward arrow

Your sales team has their work cut out for them, especially in today’s trying times. That said, the overall success of your business is directly tied to the success of your sales department. So, no matter how challenging the current economic landscape can be, you must do everything possible to ensure that your sales force doesn’t collapse entirely.

Every company is unique and therefore requires an individualized approach to proper sales team management. Still, there are certain steps every business can take to maintain its sales arm during the current pandemic. Let’s explore four ways to ensure your sales team can survive.

How to Consistently Improve a Sales Team

1. Create and Clarify Goals

Most people work their best when headed towards a goal, no matter how near or far it may be. The same goes for teams. By clearly laying out the company’s short- and long-term goals, your sales team will suddenly have a concrete reason to perform at its highest capacity.

That said, in most cases, sales are really hard right now. There is a lot of instability and uncertainty in the economy, which makes customers hesitant to sign new agreements. Short term goals during this “new normal” might be as simple as making X amount of calls per day. Or maybe making connections to have phone or video meetings to check in with clients – see how they are doing, listen to them, and ask how you can help, without even trying to sell. Once you hear their concerns, ask them if you can send them resources that your company provides related to those issues. Not sales material, but actual things they can use, even if your company isn’t the one that developed them. Unfortunately, the sales cycle might be a few more steps of relationship building for now.

2. Create a Positive and High-Performance Culture

Despite becoming another business buzzword, company culture does indeed play a major role in an organization’s success. In order to create a high-performance culture, you can’t neglect other cultural aspects in your workplace, such as employee morale, open communication, mutual respect, recognition, collaboration, etc. For your sales team to grow and improve, individual members must feel comfortable not just working with one another but also being with one another.

These issues can be a challenge- but certainly not impossible- during this time. With many companies working remotely, it is important to still maintain productive working relationships. Your company will most likely want to utilize video or phone conferencing systems to continue cultivating a sense of unity and team-based culture among staff. 

11 Ways To Create Accountability And Increase Productivity At Your Organization. Download this whitepaper.

3. Streamline Your Processes Together

The modern economy moves fast, so complex, cluttered sales strategies tend to fall behind the curve. If there is anything this situation has taught us, it is how important simple, seemingly boring processes are. If you have solid, well-thought-out processes in place that everyone is used to, it makes it much easier to address the more pressing and often more serious decisions of the current environment. Get your processes established quickly, communicate them clearly, make sure everyone has the tools necessary to follow them, and then start using them to ensure the continued success of your organization.

4. Conduct Regular Reviews

People have a hard time improving if they don’t receive regular feedback, and that is especially true in this untested climate. There is so much uncertainty in the air; your sales staff is likely to feel unsure of their performance as well. You can help this by having frequent conversations with salespeople to ensure they are doing ok. This should include ensuring they have all of the tools and technology they need, asking what their concerns are and addressing them whenever possible, and having more personal, intimate conversations that you previously might not have had. Ask about their families, their spouses, make sure they are well. It will help reinforce and build that culture we addressed earlier. 

The four measures outlined above all come back to one essential ingredient for every business’ success: communication. In these trying times, we must all be extra vigilant about checking in on all fronts – salespeople with clients, management with staff, etc.  Without an open line of communication between team members, sales managers, and other teams within your organization, you will struggle to set and achieve any goals. Conversely, a highly collaborative, communicative sales team will continue to adapt and navigate these unchartered waters. 

At Leadership Resources, our purpose is making the impossible possible through people. We aim to do so by helping individuals develop patterns of success that will decrease stress levels and maximize productivity. Contact us here to learn more about what we do and how it can help your business succeed and grow at times like these when you need it most.

Schedule A Call To Learn More Read More

Team-Building in Omaha, NE: How to Encourage Leadership from More Reserved Employees

By Leadership Resources 02/24/2020
Women working and looking at a laptop

While it’s true that some individuals naturally possess certain leadership qualities, many of the best leaders weren’t “born with it” at all. Rather, they became leaders over time with the help of good mentors, experience in both life and business, and a network of support, all of which gave them a sense of ownership and confidence necessary in a strong leader. Indeed, your Omaha, Nebraska organization might be filled with hidden leaders that simply need direction and encouragement to reach their full potential. 

Facilitating this leadership development should be a major priority for your business, as it will boost productivity, stimulate strong and innovative decision-making, strengthen your culture, and secure its future. Here’s how to encourage leadership from more reserved but promising employees in your company.

How to Get the Most Out of Shy Employees

Be a Good Leader Yourself

Good leaders have a tendency to pass on their qualities to those near them. Don’t shy away from expressing what you’ve learned on your journey to becoming a leader, but don’t limit this expression to mere words. You must also act the part. Communicate, collaborate, listen, and prioritize transparency. Setting a strong example for your team is the first step toward developing leadership talent in your organization.

Cultivate a Team-Oriented Culture

Leaders must be good listeners, but they can’t be afraid to speak up, either. The less vocal employees in your company will be more inclined to share their ideas and opinions if they feel comfortable and encouraged to do so. Building a team-based culture can go a long way toward achieving this level of openness. You might start hosting more team-building events, developing projects that require coordination, or actively asking your employees to share their thoughts on a given matter.

Deliver Consistent, Constructive Feedback

People struggle to grow if they’re not fully aware of their strengths and weaknesses, and your reserved employees might not actively seek help or ask questions about their performance. Delivering constructive feedback on a regular basis helps keep your employees on track, and lets them bolster their strengths while working on areas of improvement. Maintaining this honest line of communication will also encourage them to reach out to you and other leaders for guidance in the future.

Unlock The Leadership Potential Within Your Organization. Download this whitepaper.

Expand Employees’ Responsibilities

If you see potential in an employee, entrust them with more responsibility. Soft-spoken employees might initially lack the confidence to take on certain tasks and roles, but giving them more responsibilities can actually empower them and show them a side of themselves they didn’t even know existed. This can have a domino effect, where a once-reserved team member suddenly shows an appetite for accountability, growth, and other skills needed to be a leader. And if it turns out they weren’t quite up to the task, dial things back and help them gradually work their way back up.

Offer Leadership Training Programs

Ultimately, there’s only so much you as an individual can do in terms of team building and leadership training. You may need to create and/or outsource specialized leadership development programs to give your employees the resources they need to develop as leaders in the broader sense. Investing in these programs can be a major boon for your Omaha, NE organization. After all, your business’ growth and success depends on the growth and success of your people.

At Leadership Resources, our purpose is making the impossible possible through people. We aim to do so by helping individuals develop patterns of success that will decrease stress levels and maximize productivity. Contact us here to learn more about what we do and how it can help your business succeed and grow.

Schedule A Call To Learn More Read More

Hiring in Omaha, NE? 5 Important Decisions to Make Before Giving Raises

By Leadership Resources 01/20/2020
Roll of $100 bills and the word "hire"

Among all the challenges you face as a business owner, few things are more difficult to approach than employee compensation. Between establishing base wages and salaries, distributing bonuses, and giving out raises, you’re bound to get a headache or two managing it all. That said, these issues cannot be ignored. Your people might like working for you and your business, but they won’t stick around if they don’t feel fairly compensated, especially if they can find a better paying job elsewhere.

Employees expect their pay to be fair from the beginning and increase over time (beyond just keeping up with inflation). Indeed, without delivering this expectation to new hires, businesses would have a hard time getting anyone on board, and developing leadership talent would be impossible. The hard part for you is figuring out how to broach this subject, how to decide who gets a raise (and when and why), and how to keep your people from turning on each other in favor of the almighty dollar.

So, if you’re hiring in Omaha, Nebraska, here are five important decisions to make before giving raises.

What to Do Before Giving a Raise

1. Create a Compensation Structure

As your business grows and you hire more people, you need to establish a system of compensation that works best for you. Some companies keep things simple with a one-size-fits-all solution that delivers the same percentage pay increase to every employee on a regular basis (usually annually). While this approach is equitable and easy to manage, it can negatively impact productivity and employee morale, as there is no clear correlation between performance and pay.

Other businesses might decide that performance and compensation management go hand in hand. These companies conduct regular performance reviews for each employee and give out raises based on how well they’ve done. All employees might receive raises, but the best performers will get a higher pay bump. This method can help motivate individuals to work harder and remain engaged, but it can also create tension between employees, splintering unity.

Both approaches have their merits, and you may decide to create a system that falls somewhere in between. Just make sure that your compensation structure benefits your employees and business as a whole.

2. Match the Market

No business exists in a vacuum. You must pay attention to what your competitors are doing if you plan on thriving in your industry and retaining your top talent. Companies that offer the best compensation packages tend to have a competitive edge. You may need to work with a business coach to give you a broad perspective of your industry’s outlook on compensation so you can match or exceed those expectations. This will allow you to attract and retain the best people.

3. It’s All About Value

When budgets are tight, giving out raises might seem like a burden. Indeed, doing so might result in short-term losses. However, you have to think long term and focus on building your business’ value over time. Your people bring value to your company, after all, and without them, you wouldn’t be able to grow or thrive. By reciprocating and delivering value to your employees, you’re creating a feedback loop that will propel your enterprise forward. In this way, compensating your people accordingly is a major component in talent management and succession planning. If you want your organization to be its very best and last for years to come, you need to invest in your people.

Download A Whitepaper On Succession Planning

4. Exercise Care With Pay Compression

As you calculate wages for new hires and percentages for raises, be mindful of pay compression. This phenomenon occurs when newcomers make the same amount as those who have been with the company for a long time. Not only might this offend long-standing employees, it may actually devalue their position, as the newcomer’s wage accounts for inflation while theirs does not. In other words, a dollar is worth less today than it was a year ago, and even less so than 10 years ago, and so on. 

Pay compression can toxify your workplace culture in more ways than one. Therefore, it’s important to adjust all salaries for inflation and always factor in longevity so senior employees are rewarded for their commitment and experience.

5. Be Upfront About Pay When Hiring

When seeking employment, people appreciate transparency. Companies that clearly outline their compensation packages and potential for growth often entice the best people. So, if you’re looking for top talent, don’t shy away from discussions around pay. This includes mentioning how, why, and when raises are dished out. The more open you are about these matters, the better, as it establishes expectations and minimizes confusion.

There’s nothing easy about raises. But if you take your time and think in the long term, you can develop a compensation system that attracts top talent, keeps your best people from leaving, improves your culture, and ultimately adds value to your business.

At Leadership Resources, our purpose is making the impossible possible through people. We aim to do so by helping individuals develop patterns of success that will decrease stress levels and maximize productivity. Contact us here to learn more about what we do and how it can help your business succeed and grow.

Schedule A Call To Learn More Read More

How to Keep Top Talent from Leaving Your Lincoln, NE Company

By Leadership Resources 01/06/2020
Group of people with their hands in

You work hard to find the best people for your business. All the time and resources spent screening, interviewing, following up, and making the final decision are worth it in the end when you finally land top talent. 

However, hiring a well-suited individual is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, you’ve added value to your company. On the other hand, there’s no guarantee that this person will stick with you for the long haul. In other words, hiring top talent is only half the battle. Retaining this talent is perhaps even more important, and, in many ways, more challenging.

Opportunities are abundant in Lincoln, Nebraska and other major cities around the country (and the world). In this increasingly global and mobile economy, holding on to your best employees is more important than ever. Here’s how you can keep top talent from leaving your company in Lincoln, NE.

How to Retain Great Talent

It Starts With Recruitment

Companies that boast the highest retention rates attribute much of their success to their hiring process. Indeed, keeping employee retention in mind during recruitment efforts will help you narrow your search by honing in on aspects of your business that matter most. For instance, you should seek candidates that are well-suited not only for the position at hand, but also your workplace culture. You might pose certain questions to potential hires that will give you a sense of their values, loyalty, commitment, etc. Additionally, look for people who have histories of longevity with their past jobs.

Fortify Your Company Culture

Maintaining a well-defined company culture will help you choose candidates that will stay with you. That said, this culture must also be flexible and inclusive enough to continuously engage your people and give them a stake in your business. Simply put, if you want to keep your top talent around, let them at least in part shape the culture in meaningful, constructive ways. You must also keep up with the latest technologies and industry developments. If your business can’t evolve with your best people, they will grow beyond it.

Focus on Leadership Development

On that note of personal growth, one of the best ways to keep top talent from leaving your company is by investing in their continual development. Developing leadership talent within your organization doesn’t just convey your commitment to your people, but also adds tangible value to your business. As your employees expand their skill sets, they become integral parts of decision-making processes that improve your organization. In this way, fostering leadership development increases loyalty and buy-in. Additionally, developing your top talent is a key element in succession planning. The future and legacy of your business depend on retaining strong leaders.

Unlock The Leadership Potential Within Your Organization. Download this whitepaper.

Allow for Some Beneficial Breathing Room

You seek top talent for your business because you want to increase productivity and innovation. Keep in mind, though, that your best people are still susceptible to burnout. Pushing your people too hard is a losing strategy for keeping them around. 

If you want your employees to continue adding value to your company, you need to offer them some value as well. You can consider things like offering more flexible hours and remote work privileges. Also, reconfigure your benefits packages to remain competitive and entice top talent for your company. And don’t skimp on your paid time off allowances. Getting away from work is paramount in managing leadership stress and maximizing productivity and retention in the long haul.

Offer Regular Feedback

Communication is crucial to keeping your top talent. Employees deserve praise when performing well, and they need to know when they’re falling behind. Without regular performance management feedback and constructive criticism, your people will remain clueless regarding their performance, potential, and value. This can lead to feelings of frustration and underappreciation, which can result in abandonment. 

To avoid these outcomes, remain open and honest with your team members. Conduct frequent one-on-one meetings and don’t rush quarterly or annual reviews. And be open to feedback as well. Your top talent can clue you in to your own shortcomings to help you improve, too.

Onboarding the very best people is challenging enough. Don’t let them slip away. Your employees are your most valuable assets, and you must invest in them accordingly if you wish to continue reaping the benefits.

At Leadership Resources, our purpose is making the impossible possible through people. We aim to do so by helping individuals develop patterns of success that will decrease stress levels and maximize productivity. Contact us here to learn more about what we do and how it can help your business succeed and grow.

Schedule A Call To Learn More Read More

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