Archive for category People!

Happy staff, yes they make a difference

Well after all who likes to be unhappy? You start the day with good intentions, you want to go home happy, you want to have a good time while doing what you do, you hope the stress levels will be low. Overall you want to be happy.

Then you find out there are things that cause you to not be happy, it can be lots of little things, things you figure you can’t control, the things you can control well you tend to shrug those off fairly quickly.

If it’s your business then you want to get a few things to happen right, you want, profitable outcomes, customer satisfaction, and things to run smoothly, ok so it’s a short list, but hopefully you get the idea.

So imagine if something happens to throw things out of alignment, what if you were the cause of that… What if you thought you were doing a good thing but, oh no, you slipped up. oops. That can be a bit embarrassing.

Most organisations agree that talent is their most important asset, but the results of a new survey show that most businesses are not in tune with employee perceptions around key talent imperatives, including engagement, training and career development.

Let’s get something straight, you may not know everything about how to keep people happy while creating profitable outcomes and no one expects you to be expert at analysing every detail of how the human side of your business operates. However it would be wise to at least learn some of the aspects of what keeps your staff effective in what they do.

Here’s a few points to consider;

  • Happy staff are more productive – They generally do more in the time allotted and or are more willing to come in early, stay late or do extra out of hours
  • Happy staff cause your customers to be happy – That’s a good thing right… Yes it is, sales happen more readily, more items can be picked up as add ons, and referrals can be more readily obtained
  • Happy people can – Do so much, like problem solve better, interact more effectively, lighten a stressful workload…

The thing is figuring out how to create and maintain happy staff so they can do these things. Of course there will be things out of your control but the things in your control need to be looked at and developed.


  • PIP Communication – People love feedback, especially positive feedback, if there is negative feedback, make it a minor issue by giving positive feedback first, then finish off with more positives, leave the negative chunk to sit in the middle, P.I.P. Praise, Improve, Praise. It makes giving the improvement chunk so much easier to deliver
  • Take a long term view – Your team may be on a go slow today, but will probably be on a go fast phase on another day. Some will even sense the go slow and the reduced outcomes and readily do more at a later stage to compensate. Seeing a bunch of workers not putting in for a while might look unproductive, but the camaraderie they are sharing might be worth it for the positive vibe it can create for the rest of the day. Avoid looking like a grump, aim to see past the extra time chatting today and see the increased outcomes achieved later on.
  • Lead… – Most people like to be led, most will respect a good leader, setting objectives and goals and discussing way to achieve them can be a big part of that. Learn how to lead, discover better ways to get your message across, get consensus, get engagement, get people on your side, then and only then will you get people doing more, being more and exploring better ways to do what they do in their job
  • Love people – In business you sell to people, not robots, well not yet… Therefore if it’s a customer, people buy from people they like, if it’s staff, people still buy from people they like, so be a fantastic person to “sell” more of the right ways to do things, so they become positively engaged in making your business do more, be more, have more… Figure out ways to love, and share the love so your team says yes more often, then figure out if they love you back…

Put in some effort to knowing more about your people and how they tick… Then work with them to create more happiness and watch the team glow, it’s a good feeling!

They left, so what…

A current saying that is so true, “People leave because of the Manager, not because of the company”.

Basically you can have a good company, but a bad department in that company can account for most of your staff turnover. Chat to the Manager and you might find a range of excuses, justifications and reasons why. Ask some of the staff and you might find some other issues.

Managers can cause tensions, often through not knowing about ‘things’, which can build up to become a sore point for a team member. Sometimes it can build up to become a “Homer Simpson Moment” You may remember the scene where Homer says to his Daughter, “Lisa, everyone knows that you don’t protest at work, if you don’t like the job, you just go in and do it half assed”.

Managers can;

  • Annoy people with a ‘do as I say, not as I do’ approach, possibly not following systems and procedures and creating excuses as to why that happened and “oh it’s a one off…”
  • Talk about and possibly undermine a team member behind their back, causing others to think differently, or wrongly about that person
  • Be disorganised and blame others for the poor performance of the team or one person, planning seems to be ad hoc at best
  • Create more drama than required, by pushing deadlines, fumbling through chaos, over reacting to situations, and a host of other things only drama creators will probably understand fully…
  • Flaunt Health and Safety guidelines, procedures etc… Causing people to play one against the other when they don’t want to use personal protective equipment for their own safety.
  • They don’t look for problems, they wait for the problems to come to them… When they do they have multiplied in strength and become a major issue, rather than a thing that may have had a quick fix if caught early
  • Busyness becomes them… Yep they are tangled up in ordering, allegedly organising and dealing with things that keep them away from the real work. Good planning and organisation will mean they can have time to do lots of little things to make things run effectively, and time for the bigger things like supporting, discussing and exploring, in short coaching…
  • Train, empower and motivate, that’s probably the main task of most Managers, yet in failing divisions or departments, these three key things are done poorly, one thing done badly is bad enough, but all three can spell disaster

Do  your business a favour and find out how you can support your team leaders, managers and supervisors to be better at eliminating these issues. When you become the coach, you can then expect more staff to stay for the long term, supported and happy in the role they play.

Bullying in a Warehouse Environment and How to Deal With It

Bullies are, sadly, part of life. Some people derive a great deal of pleasure from making others feel bad. This can be done physically, emotionally and with social media. Unfortunately, many of these individuals don’t get such behaviour out of their systems during childhood. Some even carry it into the professional world, and few people are equipped to deal with them in a meaningful way. Warehouse businesses need to understand not only how to identify bullying behaviour, but also how to instruct employees to deal with these individuals. The process is simple, at least on paper, yet can have a huge impact on the way a business is run and the morale of its employees.

Identify What it Means to Be a Bully

There’s much more to bullying than the typical schoolyard insults that you might remember from your youth. To combat bullying, it’s necessary to first identify how it presents in the workplace. While bullying can be physical, it can also consist of shunning people, gossip, and berating others for their ideas. Simply put, bullying is any activity undertaken to put another person at a disadvantage. It doesn’t have to benefit the person doing the bullying, necessarily – what is important is that another person is put down, and that the workplace environment becomes hostile.

Accepting the Realities of the Warehouse

When dealing with bullying, it’s also important to realise that a warehouse is also largely different than a white collar environment. While many of the same motivations and personalities might be at play, bullying can have dangerous consequences in an environment that is fully of heavy equipment. Bullying doesn’t just slow down the work day and make people upset – it can lead to distractions, which can in turn lead to accidents. Bullying is an issue that’s even more dangerous in a warehouse environment, and thus must be handled with extra care.

Dealing with Bullies in the Warehouse

Dealing with a bully can be difficult, but there are options available to anyone who feels like they are being targeted. There can often be a stigma against going to management to deal with such issues in a warehouse, and it’s often recommended that bullying victims ‘stand up for themselves’. Unfortunately, this simple statement is not only often difficult in reality, but can also cause further problems. Instead, the best way to deal with bullying is to document the issues as they occur and then go to the management with definitive proof. While it’s good to be firm, it’s even better to provide proof that the bullying has occurred.

Dealing with bullying isn’t an easy task, nor is it one that is always as effective as one might hope. Identifying the behaviours, realising the problems they can cause, and coming up with plans to deal with troublemakers should be a primary concern for any warehouse business. Workplace bullying can be eliminated, but only with the cooperation of workers and management. Without a solid plan, bullying will continue to cause workers distress and cost businesses hard-earned money for years to come.


Ways to engage staff

I saw a recent article on ways to engage staff and had a chuckle, this stuff was perfect for the corporate world of go getters and the eager beaver types, but they failed to mention the Desperados, those who have had to give up the chase and were more intent on the work, be paid and be thankful types and yes there are plenty of them.

Those who have watched their buddies and friends face redundancy, the sack etc and are fearful of their own situation. People with Mortgages, kids education bills, life costs in general and all the trappings that cause us to ‘hi ho, hi ho, it’s off to work we go’.

To engage this type of employee, all you need to do is offer them a job, where the toxic manager types and nasty co workers are kept at bay, turfed out or made to redress their sins. where the sense of security is solid and the days are predictably neutral with a touch of happiness sprinkled in, and they will reward you with productive outcomes for a long time.

Oh the article mentioned

  • Goals linked to the bigger picture
  • A culture of ongoing feedback
  • Collaborate on their development
  • Simplify performance management
  • Develop leadership skills

and being flexible in your approach to doing all this is vital.

I agree with all those points of course, they are all good, however in the harsh reality of work and life, just having a job can enough engagement for some, going the extra mile to make it work for them is like a cherry on top.

Let’s keep a sense of reality here and make sure our perspective is not skewed by chasing our tail and thinking we need to go all out and spend up big to keep people on side, but let’s make sure the results we want are not fettered by our sense of reality rather than the reality of those we are trying to look after.

You need these five things for business success

Business people need these five points to ensure they can be on top of their game, especially in highly competitive markets. Do you have or can you develop these five things?

1. I know it’s good, but will others like it?5 business

What you offer to the world that they will pay you for, is probably the ‘best thing since sliced bread’… You might know or believe that, but how will you find out if others believe it too?

Find ways to connect to your prospects

People are the target market, robots don’t buy, yet… and specific people from within the billions of people on the planet, are who you are after. If what you have to offer is only available to people in a small area, then you need to get in front of more of those people to ask them if they like it.

This could be in social media groups, where you are a member and can post a poll, it could be in a shopping centre where you survey people, it could be via a phone call to specific businesses where  you survey them, perhaps you take what you have to them to discuss it.

Doing this kind of research is vital to ensure you are able to get valid feedback from the target audience, otherwise you could spend a lot of time and money creating something no one wants.

2. My development is vital

And so is yours… Your personal and professional development may mean reading a few books on business, attending seminars, short courses, doing whatever it takes to learn more and sharpen your mind.

One idea can really set your business apart

But where can you get the idea? Learning more about things can give you vital mental connections to a whole range of options and possibilities, you might explore five ideas and then settle on one that provides you with the solution to your challenge. Make time to learn more, so you can do more, be more and have more.

3. There’s only one me…

You can’t do everything, as much as you might like to. You can however work smarter and not harder. Outsource some of the work you currently do that you don’t want or need to do, to ensure you have the time and energy to do what you need to do properly.

Teams can do more than an individual

The internet has given us Virtual Assistants, and a range of ways to utilise the services of others by contracting various services out and of course you could always hire a staff member to do the things your business needs to do.

4. What do I do with all the ideas I have?

You have got your brain into action and the ideas are flowing thick and fast. Know that you will only be able to make a few of the ideas become reality

Start a journal

I have a Journal to keep track of a range of insights and key information I have learnt along the way, the same can be done for ideas. It could be a simple word file on the computer that you add to and review from time to time, or it could be a wish list on a whiteboard in your office. Whatever it is, start recording the ideas, prioritise them and then work to take action on the key ones.

5. Me time, business time and them time, how will I juggle all this?

There is only one you right, this can create a range of pressures on your time, business, family and yourself. Finding time for each is very useful to keep a balance and keep you happy. So schedule time for everyone, including yourself in your diary.

Time is in short supply use it wisely

While this is easy enough to say, it’s not necessarily easy to do. Outsource tasks to free yourself up, delegate tasks to your staff, even if you feel you might have to check it later on and tweak some details. Of all the things business people say is important, it’s having a balance in their lives, now you need to make sure it happens.


Steve Gray

incredible people for your business

You know that people keep your business going, they do so much to bring together the products and services in a way that causes customers to say “oh yeah we want that.” However for many of us choosing the right people becomes a major challenge. In a competitive business world the last thing you want is the hassle of recruiting another person to make more mistakes and create a mess. But there are ways to select more of the right people to get more of the right results.

What I am about to outline will give you the chance to make more informed staffing decisions for your business. At the very least you will get some understanding of the factors to give you starting points to hiring quality staff.

When you put the word out that you want people to join your business you want to make sure you have a good understanding of people and what makes them tick, here are a few of the factors, armed with these your people management path will soon get easier to follow.

Key people factors

  • Personality type
  • Motivator/driver type
  • Communication style
  • X factor/s
  • Leader/follower

Each of these key people factors, are vital components within the new recruit, who will sit right in front of you at the interview.

What about skills, ability and qualifications?

NOTE: No skills or abilities have been mentioned, this is all about the person. Often the resume and a preliminary phone chat will give you the details for those, so at the interview you can delve deeper to see if the person is going to be a good fit for your business and the team they are about to be part of.

The five factors that form the structure of the person will give us an insight into the person, often these will just be starting points to assist us to assess if the person will be of positive value or not. If your business needs to be more effective then hiring more effective people makes sense.

Personality type

  • Look into Emotional Intelligence, DISC inventory and the Platinum Rule to provide solid starting points to making evaluations based on this, the more you practice these skills the more you will find they will happen more automatically and you will be able to read people more effectively. The personality types can give you clues then to how they might perform as a leader, an influencer or sales person, a detail oriented person or a warm and fuzzy relator type.


  • Dr David McLelland is the Pioneer of this area of study, coming up with three main motivators, Achievement oriented, Power and control, or Affiliator. His research showed it was possible to ascertain what motivates people to do what they do, a bit of reading in this area can be incredibly useful. Imagine you want someone for a sales role and you want an achievement oriented person, only to choose someone who is power and control motivated, oops! that could be a disaster.

Communication style

  • Really what you want is a person who is flexible in their communication ability so they can relate to a wide range of people, in effect there are few that do this. Note there are main communication styles and sub groups, from Visual, to audio, kinaesthetic, audio digital and some other mixtures. Knowing about these can give you insights into selecting the right communication type for the role, and be able to address any issues when a visual communicator is trying to get a message to an audio digital person.

X Factor/s

  • If you have little knowledge or training in any of the above you probably dump your whole people selecting strategy into this basket! but over time there are things that you can’t put you finger on, but you can “feel the vibe” with people and know that your gut instinct is telling you they are a good fit.


  • If you want a bunch of followers don’t pick a leader, and vice versa. Of course there are times when you require both, so ask, if being a follower sometimes will cause a problem.

As you can see selecting the right person can be a craft worth your learning. If  you get more of the right people to assist you in your business, there are more chances of creating a business that can naturally grow. Developing your skills in these areas can be a very useful activity.



Steve Gray

New recruit blues

Recruit circleThe good people on the twentieth floor in the HR Dept decided to place a new recruit in your department. Sweet! you need an extra hand, you know the person has been through the induction program on the fifth floor and is “ready to make a solid impression”.

After a short while you find things ending up in the wrong place, time is lost searching for those ‘things’ and training the ‘newbie’ in the job specific details they need to get going, is taking its toll on the work you need to get done.

You knew it might happen, the new person has to find their feet,and in time you get the impression they will be a solid contributor to your team. So what to do to make their start positive, get to a productive point fast and not lose the ‘things’ that everyone needs?

Firstly, know as much about the person as possible in advance… Hopefully you don’t find out about the new person at 5pm Friday with them starting at 9am Monday! If you have been part of the hiring process you might know them very well, if not chat with HR about what’s in their resume, how they handled the interview etc, then check out social media for more details on likes and dislikes.

Secondly, be nice… If  you are a grumpy pain the the butt type of person and are not willing to change long term, see what you can do in the short term. Make the person feel at home, be polite, show them around, introduce them to the other team members. Show them their workspace and where the important things are… toilets, lunch room etc.

Thirdly, give them a buddy… A person who can relate to the ‘newbie’ pass on all sorts of vital information, how things work and has a good grasp of “who’s who in the zoo” this person can do most of the training part with you as a go to sidekick.

Finally, meet chat and listen… The new person can settle in fast, so find time to sit with them and have a chat about how things are going, any specific challenges they might face and ways they might overcome them.

Oh sure there are about a hundred other things you can do to add to this list, like checking their productivity at relevant stages every so oftem against Key Performance Criteria, and even asking them for suggestions on ways to improve things (remember to listen…) and the list goes on.

Make the person feel part of the team fast, then you can sense the notion of having set someone on the right path with the right support.


Steve Gray Free Business Tips

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