4 Choices You Make With Every Employee

“You don’t build a business–you build people–and then people build the business.”
— Zig Ziglar

“Good people are free because they contribute more to the bottom line
than they cost…Poor people are expensive.”
— Brian Tracy

Here are your 4 choices you can make with your employees:

#1: Choose your hires carefully.  Do they have the right technical skills? Do they have good character and positive attitudes?  Will they blend with your organizational culture?  Do they have good interpersonal skills?  Do they have great potential?  Does their professional mission align with the organization’s mission?  If the answers are “yes”, hire them.

#2: Choose to invest in your employee(s).  Help them recognize and develop their strengths.  Find a way to fill in gaps that are holding them back.  In other words, provide training, mentoring and accountability.  Zig Ziglar said, “The only thing worse than training employees and losing them is to not train them and keep them.”

#3: Choose to save $$$ by cutting the training budget. Waiting for spontaneous and accidental growth is a choice. However, you and your organization will eventually suffer the consequences of underdeveloped employees.

#4: Choose to get rid of the zombies.  Sometimes the only right choice is to get rid of the underachievers and disengaged employees.  If they aren’t worth your investment to transform them, don’t procrastinate. Let them go. Parting ways is doing a favor to both you and the employee.

Choose wisely and promptly!

How Hungry Are You?

Unpleasant hunger pangs, that growling stomach discomfort and awareness of sagging energy, are physical reminders that our bodies need to be refueled.  But what about our minds? Do people have a signal like an inner voice that urges them to nourish their minds and hearts? I believe some do – perhaps not everyone.

Based on my observation of human behavior it would seem whatever that voice is saying is gentler than the voice of a grinding stomach and no match for human stubbornness. However, there are some who discover a way to align their free will with their whispering conscience. A person like this responds by making good choices about feeding their body and mind and heart and spirit. No matter how crazy life gets, they are prepared at every level and able to restore balance.

Here’s what I know – people need nourishment and exercise to be healthy and happy and they know it. Still, they are inconsistent in both areas.  Tragic as this is culturally, we are significantly more neglectful about mental, emotional, creative and spiritual health.  How else can we explain the people problems that exist in every sector of society?

Here are estimates on what America spends in a year on our bodies and our physical appearances:

  • Food: Nearly $1.35 Trillion (USDA-2013)
  • Cosmetics: Nearly $60 billion
  • Tattoos: $3 Billion
  • Surgical and nonsurgical cosmetic procedures: $12 billion
  • Fitness Industry: $40 billion
  • Hair, nails & tanning: $10 billion
  • Fashion: $250 billion
  • TOTAL: $1,745,000,000,000 ($1.745 Trillion)

Now, look at how we as a nation, after formal education, continue our personal and professional development.  Businesses and other organizations spent an estimated $55.4 billion on training in 2014.  (That’s less than $25/month per American adult.)  As the numbers show, it’s a tiny fraction of what we spend on our bodies. The ratio is approximately 97 to 3 in favor of the body.  The difference becomes even more dramatic when we add the cost of repairing our broken bodies (i.e. health care.)  Maybe if we invested more wisely, focusing more intentionally on our inner selves, we would make different choices for our outer selves.

Human bodies are like a mobile home.  It’s where a person can reside and a vehicle that moves the person from one place to another.  In these ways, the mobile home is very useful.  Therefore, we need to take good physical care of it.  However, if the person inside is neglected to the point of starvation, what’s the point of the mobile home?

None of these thoughts are intended to place moral judgments on tattoos or nice clothes nor are they to suggest we neglect our bodies.  The lesson is about prioritization. I believe Americans would be healthier, happier and more productive if we would invest more in the person inside.  This suggests we probably need to redirect some of our resources.  Oh NO!

Here’s the good news.  You can do this and you don’t have to wait until the next January 1st, spend a fortune or give up everything that is fun!  You can begin one new practice — today that will put you on a path to a better life.  Ask your self, “What could I read to get started?  What could I sign up for?  What wisdom could I seek?  Who could I reach out to for the help I need?  However, the first question you need to ask yourself I this, “Am I hungry enough to change my diet today?”

The body is a home for people.
We are wise to take good care of ours.
But if we don’t care for the person who lives there,
what’s the point? 
— Clancy Cross

10 Incontestable Truths of Training and Development

“When you invest a dollar in a person, you get $10 back.
When you invest a dollar in a machine, you get $2 back.”

– Clay Mathile (Source: http://www.flyernews.com)

1.  People ARE your most valuable asset.  This is reality, not an empty cliché.  It’s time for more organizations to walk their talk.

“Let us cultivate our garden.” ― Voltaire

2.  People need maintenance and upgrades even more than machines do.  Retraining is maintenance.  Training is an upgrade.  Development is the next generation model.

“If you bought a million dollar machine,
would you use it continuously without inspections,
maintenance and upgrades?  Of course no
t!
Do you care as much about the upkeep of your people?”

3.  Training is NOT for everyone.  Only invest in the employees you intend to keep.  By the way, what about yourself!

“Floss only the teeth you want to keep.” ― Zig Ziglar

“A staff can be no better than the man it serves.” ―David Halberstam

4.  Development is NOT an event.  It’s a continuous, lifelong process, necessary for the health of both the organization and individual.

“No matter how good you get you can always get better,
and that’s the exciting part.”
― Tiger Woods

5.  The outcome of development is change.  Define your change objectives and inspect the results.

“When you reread a classic, you do not see more in the book than you did before;
you see more in you than there w
as before.” ― Cliff Fadiman

6.  Development is an investment, NOT an expense. Paying expenses keeps the doors open.  Investing opens new doors. Investments are for organizations that expect to be around for the long haul. In fact, investments make the long haul feasible.

“If you think education is expensive, try ignorance.” ― Derek Bok

7.  Training is a risk/reward proposition.  Like financial investments, the greater the risks, the higher the potential return.  Choosing the right training programs, the right participants and the right service provider reduces the risks AND increases the dividends.

“Necessity is the mother of ‘taking chances’” ― Mark Twain

8.  Development, like all planned change, is strategic.  Strategic thinkers do not put the training budget in the discretionary spending column. When organizational strategy is being discussed, smart thinkers give the training director a seat at the table.

“Change before you have to.” ― Jack Welch

“If you do not change, you can become extinct!” ―Spencer Johnson

9.  Training builds morale.  Investing in people demonstrates they have a future with the organization. To build a team of loyal, fully engaged, high achievers, hire the right people then invest in their development regularly.

“The mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be kindled.” ― Plutarch

10. The organization must lead if relevant development is to occur.  Use your influence to leverage the change your organization needs.

“Which came first: the change-ready company
or the change-ready employee?”
― Lorii Myers

www.CrossAbilities.com