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Roberta Matuson
Identify the best talent in the world.
  • Identify
  • Acquire
  • Nurture
  • Retain

Roberta's Recent Publications

The Magnetic Leader

Employees don’t work for companies; they work for people. The more irresistible you are as a leader, the more pull you have for employees to want to stay and for your customers to remain loyal. Read Excerpt

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Roberta's Recent Publications

Talent Magnetism

Your company is only as good as the talent you keep. Learn the new rules for attracting top talent and getting them to stick around. Excerpt

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Roberta's Recent Publications

Suddenly in Charge

Honored by the Washington Post as a Top 5 Business Book for Leaders.

Learn how to manage up, down, and succeed all around... Excerpt

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Roberta's Recent Publications

Suddenly in Charge

Learn how to save your company millions by improving the quality of your hires, while improving productivity. Slash costly employee turnover.

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Resources

Top Ten Common Mistakes Business Owners Make... and How to Avoid Them

I've been in business for 13 years and have seen my share of mistakes made by business owners – many that certainly could have been avoided. Here is my top ten list of common mistakes business owners make, along with advice on how to avoid following suit.

1. Failure to hire for fit.

Think about a job that you worked in that didn’t work out. Was it because you didn’t have the skills to do the job, or was it because your values did not align with the organization’s? I’m betting most likely it was because you didn’t fit into the culture of the organization. Hire for fit, train for skill, and you should be able to slash costly turnover.

2. Poor interviewing skills.

I recently had a former business owner tell me that he would hire people who volunteered to help him out at the events that his company was working at. These people wound up being “Mr. Right” for right now, but turned out to be some of his worst hiring decisions. Learn how to use behavior-based interviewing techniques to assess whether this should be one date or more of a long-term relationship.

3. Expecting employees to act like owners.

The only people who act like owners are people who have a stake in the business. If you want your people to act like owners, share the profits.

4. Tossing people into management based on seniority.

I’ve heard this story so many times I could repeat it without looking at the script. Employee number 5 has been in the department longer than anyone else, so this employee is promoted to management. It doesn’t matter that he or she is not interested in managing people or that they don’t have the qualities one usually seeks in a manager. This story never has a happy ending. Either the employees who are saddled with this boss get frustrated and quit, or the manager goes down in flames because they never really stood a chance. Hire or promote people who have the desire and the aptitude for a leadership role.

5. Dropping new employees into their chairs without any training.

I understand you may be hiring experienced people who should know exactly what to do, but the reality is that work gets done differently in every organization. Have a well-designed onboarding plan to smoothly assimilate employees into your organization and watch productivity of new hires soar!

6. Failure to manage performance.

Please don’t tell me you don’t have a performance management process in place because that sounds like something only the big companies use. There is a reason they have these processes in place. People like to know what’s expected of them and they also like to know when they are not meeting expectations so they can improve. Don’t believe me? Ask your employees. That which gets measured gets done. If you want to maximize productivity, then manage performance.

7. Retaining poor performers.

I hear, "Well, this person really isn’t working out" all the time. Really? Then why the heck are they still here? Start replacing your B players with A players and you will see performance improvements all around the organization.

8. Lack of structure.

Most entrepreneurs come from bureaucratic companies and vow to keep things loose in their own organization. Loose is one thing, chaotic is another. At some point you have to put a strong foundation in place in order to maintain or increase revenues. It will cost ten times more to fix a mess than to prevent one from happening. Put the right structure in place so that you can focus on what you do best: growing your business.

9. Treated people the same.

Equal is not fair, yet owners often give everyone the same autonomy or pay increase, regardless of contribution or experience. Telling a top-performing three-year veteran employee that he or she cannot telecommute one day a week because it wouldn’t be fair to others will do little to inspire additional commitment. Treat people like individuals. Reward those who deserve to be rewarded and be prepared to tell others why they are not receiving the same treatment.

10. Doing everything on your own.

If you can really do everything on your own, then why isn’t everything getting done? I just outsourced a project that I knew was going to take me a full day to complete. This would take away from time I could better invest in marketing my services. Know thyself. Stop holding yourself back and use outside resources to strengthen your organization. In the end, you’ll be glad you did.

You can avoid making all of these common mistakes by doing things differently. What are you waiting for?

Testimonials

"Roberta's guidance has dramatically increased my ability to pull in and retain the talent we need to take our organization to the next level. She's proven to be a trusted advisor and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend her to other CEOs who are looking to accelerate..."
Tom Hopcroft, President & CEO
Mass Leadership Technology Council

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"The coaching that Roberta Matuson provided for one of our retail store managers renewed the manager’s excitement in her work, provided her with increased skills in the selection of new employees and gave her the tools she needed to better manage her staff..."
Mary G. Rahal, VP, Human Resources and Administration
Morgan Memorial Goodwill Industries, Inc.

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"Roberta was able to clearly define our project objectives and the methodology that we needed to reach those objectives. Roberta helped us pinpoint the root cause of our problem by using in-depth probing techniques that gave her access to important data we did not have..."
Amy Waryas, Director, HR
The Boston Beer Company

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"Roberta worked with us to create a comprehensive onboarding program. With her guidance, knowledge, and expert HR advise we have successfully launched our company-wide training initiative. We now assimilate new hires into the company more effectively than ever..."
Ted Winston, Co-Owner
Winston Flowers

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"When it comes to management of people, Roberta sees through all the noise and gets right to the heart of the matter..."
Mark Spitzer, President
Photonic Glass Corporation

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"As we have grown, Roberta has provided continued support to help us work through complicated personnel issues while allowing us to focus on other areas of our business. Our employment practices truly support our business goals..."
Paul M. Zavracky, Ph.D., Former President and COO
MicroOptical Corporation

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"Roberta has saved us time and energy on situations we may have needlessly wrestled with. We consider her a partner and look for her guidance often. Roberta has provided a welcomed service to Six Red Marbles..."
Sarah Smith White, President
Six Red Marbles

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"Roberta was tenacious about keeping us focused on completing our project on schedule. The finished project was comprehensive, professional and passed the scrutiny of legal experts. I would definitely use Matuson Consulting again..."
John Blake, Former COO
Advanced Results Marketing

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"Roberta has been a tremendous mentor and coach to me over the past year. She has partnered with me on multiple professional development fronts, as well as helping me through some very challenging situations. I found Roberta to be wise counsel!"
– Allison DiSiena, VP of Recruiting, Marketing, Interactive and Creative Services Division, 24 Seven Inc.

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"Roberta Matuson was our answer. She met with us, developed a plan, walked us through the process to record our policies and procedures. She helped identify areas where policies were non-existent. She then developed and produced our employee handbook. We still use it today..."
Tim Slattery, CEO
CFSmail.com

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"Roberta presented an engaging and informative webinar on “Managing Up in a Top Down World” for Northeastern University’s alumni. This thought provoking session provided practical strategies for navigating office politics and building effective relationships for career advancement. Roberta’s extensive expertise and knowledge of workplace trends was apparent as she skillfully answered a wide range of questions from participants. Her well-organized presentation made it easy for the audience to commit to implementing her advice."
Michele Rapp, Associate Director
Northeastern University

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"Roberta’s ability to provide new leaders with insights on matters that few are willing to discuss is refreshing and will serve our members well. As a CEO, I'm especially impressed with her ability to quickly distill difficult situations and provide pragmatic advice that can be quickly and successfully implemented."
Aradhna Malhotra Oliphant, President and CEO
Leadership Pittsburgh Inc.

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"I have had the opportunity to experience Roberta Matuson’s “fast track” coaching. Her candid, succinct and concise approach provided positive reinforcement toward my professional goals."
Cheryl Schondek, VP of Food Acquisition and Supply Chain
The Greater Boston Food Bank

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Talent & Your Bottom Line: The Employee Turnover Calculator

Gain access to Matuson’s complimentary Employee Turnover Calculator.

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