Winning the team GOLD!

On a list of 12 Foundation Essentials for Building a Winning Team by Bent Ericksen & Associates, we find that #5 on the list of what staff members indicate would contribute to their productivity and job satisfaction is:

Competent, supportive, and compatible team members.

Watch this video as I compare olympic teams to the teams in your business or organization.

What will you do to help your team win the GOLD?

Got Horse-Sense? Change Your Track Record!

You have employees. You hired them because you felt they had the right skills, experience and personality for your team.  

What do you think your employees want most from you?   If you think money is #1 you’d be wrong.

On a list of 12 items that employees say they want, compensation is #11.  The first 3 items on the list are:

  1. Ethical Standards 
  2. Fair Management 
  3. Harmonious Environment 

#4 on that list: an adequate facility, instruments, tools, equipment and supplies.  Surprising? 

Watch this video of 8 thoroughbred horses before race #4 at Emerald Downs in Auburn Washington.  Here’s a list of the horses by name:

  2. GO JACKIE GO (My personal favorite for obvious reason)

Beautiful animals, all! When hiring your staff members I’m sure you wanted thoroughbreds. If you’ve ended up with anything short of that, then perhaps you need to take a close look at what you’re providing your team.  What are you doing to help them be successful in their “race”? tells us that confirmation of a racehorse is the blending of various body parts and how well they fit together to create a running machine.  They ask us to compare Michael Jordan to Rosanne Barr when deciding who might excel more athletically.  

Watch these same 8 horses race in the 4th at Emerald Downs…

It may not be as obvious a choice as Jordan or Barr when deciding a horse race or hiring team members, but I suggest that what you provide your team to enhance their performance should be utmost on your mind. 

In the race itself, the horse is influenced in the moment of the race by the surface of the track, how close the horse is to the inside barrier, the jockey, and even the trainer.

What are you providing your staff so they can succeed in the moment? 

  • Do they have adequate hardware and software? 
  • Do they have the right tools in top shape to be able to do their job right?  
  • Are you providing sufficient leadership and training?
  • Do they know that you’ll provide them the tools they need?

One employee I know sat in a dark corner straining to see the computer screen on her desk because the light bulb above her desk had burned out, and the business owner took two weeks to purchase a replacement bulb.  Silly, isn’t it?

What does it take to make a winning race horse?  A paycheck?  Of course not.  The paycheck comes after the performance. Therefore, if you don’t take the time to provide an adequate facility, instruments, tools, equipment and supplies for your employees, you may end up with another type of staff member than a thoroughbred race horse. 

For example, the same day that those 8 beautiful horses graced the track at Emerald Downs, there were 8 other racers on the same track.  HARLEY won that race.

Watch this video of heat #2 featuring 8 other types of racers on the same track….

The choice is yours:  

  • Michael Jordan or Roseanne Barr
  • A thoroughbred race horse or a wiener-dog hound.

You have the means to create winners in your employees.  What will you change about your “track” record to make it happen?

Protect Your Assets from The Liability MONSTER!

When most business owners think about protecting the asset value of their business, thoughts naturally revolve around insurance:

  • Malpractice (in the case of healthcare)

  • General liability

  • Workers’ compensation

Each of these has a specific purpose and, therefore, provides coverage for specific issues, but…. 

Is this enough to protect your retirement?

Today there is a BIG LIABILITY MONSTER that now represents an even greater risk to you.

This MONSTER is the risk and liability associated with lack of employment compliance.  This MONSTER is putting businesses in financial jeopardy, perhaps even more than you may realize.  Malpractice, liability and workers’ compensation insurance will be of no help to you.

You may have a strategy to minimize your risks.  These strategies may include:

• “At-will” prerogative

• Incorporation

• Arbitration

• The very popular “just don’t put anything in writing”

Employers unknowingly undermine “at-will” by creating contracts with their employees that take away the flexibility to discharge “at-will.”  Language such as…

  • Probationary period

  • Permanent employee status

  • Long-term employee

  • Career employee

  • Tenure

….both verbally or in writing, may create a contract and undermine “at-will” prerogatives.

 Incorporating, whether that be PC, LLC, S, or C, is designed to separate you and your personal assets from those of the business entity. Unfortunately, the “line” between you and your corporation is commonly blurred (auto expenses, vacations, supplies), making it easy for an attorney to “pierce the corporate veil” and join you personally with your corporation.

The advent of arbitration for resolving disputes was an attempt to solve problems in a more amicable manner, and without the protracted legal expense involved to fight claims such as wrongful discharge, discrimination, harassment, and the like.  One mistake that employers make regarding arbitration is thinking that it covers all disputes, which it doesn’t.  The Supreme Court has upheld the EEOC’s right to pursue victim-specific judicial relief, even when an employee has agreed to submit discrimination disputes to arbitration.  Thus today it appears that arbitration doesn’t fully protect you anymore.

The “Just Don’t Put Anything in Writing” idea is a huge mistake.  Unwritten policies can often result in inconsistent treatment of employees, which can lead to charges of discrimination. In this situation, employees begin questioning why others received something different, in most cases more beneficial, than they did. When they cannot conclude that the inconsistent treatment was based on legitimate reasons, they conclude it had to be based on discrimination and may think the remedy is to file a claim against the employer.  A court or a government agency will generally expect the employer to have a personnel policy manual in place and will request, among other information and documentation, to review it.


Download the entire article referenced in this post by Bent Ericksen & Associates.

Protecting Assets part 1
Protecting Assets part 2
Protecting Assets part 3

How Leaders are MAID

Do you desire to have not only a winning team, but a team that will help you win?  

Bent Ericksen & Associates surveyed employees in order to determine what they wanted most from their employers.  There are 12 items on the list.  If you want to know what your employees want first and second, please tune in to those previous posts.

The third item on the list of what employees want most; and what will make employees most productive is: A pleasant and harmonious work environment with minimum stress.  Ahhh…that would be nice, wouldn’t it?  Is it possible to achieve?  Really?

Ralph Smedley, founder of Toastmasters International  said,

“Leadership is the capacity to influence others to achieve worthwhile results”

Having the capacity to influence others in an ever changing environment is a prime example of leadership.

Leadership in a healthcare practice, or any other business is characterized by:

Manifesting your power through example and action

Allowing yourself to be led by your team

Inspiring others to achieve more

Developing the capacity to influence others toward worthwhile results

The question has been posed by almost every generation, “Are leaders born, or are leaders made?”  The answer, based on this acronym is that leaders are MAID.  

What do I mean by this?  I mean that as a leader, you must serve.  A true leader is someone whom others WANT to follow because they believe in the leaders vision, not because the leader DEMANDS that he/she be followed. This is most likely achieved through collaboration.

Collaboration can:
– dramatically reduce turnover
– naturally stimulate practice growth
– Allows team members to use their skills and talents successfully
– Lower levels of discord and frustration

An effective team leader will foster collaboration with the team through:

  • Team building
  • Delegation
  • Coaching
  • Encouraging an attitude of service

How can you encourage an attitude of service in your business, or as an employee working in a business?

It is possible to achieve a pleasant and harmonious work environment with service and collaboration!

HR Thursday: Step 5 to Prevent Harassment Claims

Tim Twigg is the President of Bent Ericksen & Associates, and Rebecca Crane is a human resource compliance consultant with Bent Ericksen & Associates.  In March of 2010 these two wrote an article titled “Harassment: avoiding the nightmare“.

The last several Thursday’s on this very blog, I have been giving you snippets of information from this article.  I have whittled down for you the most vital information you need to know to protect the investment you’ve made in your business.

I have worked through each step of prevention with you:
Step 1: Provide written policy and regular communication
Step 2: Provide antiharassment training
Step 3: Investigate complaints
Step 4: Take necessary disciplinary action

Today, Step 5 is: Follow up!

When a complaint has been brought before you, even if each of the preceding steps have been accomplished, you’re still not done.  You must respond to the employee making the complaint regarding the findings and resolutions.  Periodically follow up with the victim to ensure that the harassment has stopped, the remedy was effective, and no retaliation has taken place.

Avoiding harassment charges is primarily addressed through prevention.  Make sure employees are aware of your policy and procedures, and act when necessary to stop inappropriate conduct. 

Tim Twigg and Rebecca Crane will tell you that the benefits of doing all of the above are:

  • A more harmonious work environment
  • Better job performance
  • Less turnover
  • More profit

I’m sure that’s exactly what YOU want!