Roberta's Talent Maximizer - Roberta Matuson's Newsletter on Creating Exceptional Workplaces and Extraordinary Results
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HR Matters // A Newsletter On: Creating exceptional workplaces and extraordinary results

Happy 2014!

I love the New Year. We get to say goodbye to the year behind us and start the New Year fresh. Speaking of fresh, we hope you enjoy the new and improved version of our newsletter. Rather than featuring one article that may or may not be top of mind for you, we have decided to provide you with more variety with the hope that one or more of our pieces will be of interest to you both personally and professionally. Let me know what you think of our new look, since we'll be tweaking things as we go along.

Good to Great to Gone

Everyone wants to go from Good to Great, yet most have no idea why, so they wind up going from Good to Great to Gone. Take Circuit City, for example. Circuit City Stores Inc. grew into a company with 700-plus stores and $12 billion in sales—and then quickly collapsed into bankruptcy and liquidation. There are a host of reasons why this company is in bankruptcy, including failure to listen to their customers and slashing the pay of their top front-line producers.

If you want to go from Good to Great then you need to define what great means for your company. What does it look like, feel like, smell like? Where’s your company today? Is it Not-So-Good, Kinda Good, or Good Enough? Then work backwards. What specifically needs to change in order to achieve greatness?

Be forewarned. Going from Good to Great isn’t always so great on a daily basis. You’ll find that people will resist change and the naysayers will slow you down. You’ll have to make tough decisions regarding who will come along for the ride and who will be left off at the next stop.

I wish you nothing but greatness in the New Year. I’m also here to help you do things right so you won’t join the ranks of those who will soon be gone.

Five Signs That Your Cost Cutting Has Gone too Far

1. You are squeezing four employees into one hotel room to save a few bucks.

2. You’ve fired your HR person and have replaced her with your ex-wife.

3. There’s a sign in your kitchen asking employees to use their tea bags twice.

4. Your fifteen year old is your new IT guy.

5. You've made the decision to replace full-time workers with part-time workers and now you are wondering why your part-time workers are acting like temps.


In the past few days I have met three top performers who have just given notice because they can no longer work for their bosses. One of these people is a well- respected clinician with over twenty years of service to her employer. Another is a multi-million dollar rainmaker who will surely be missed. That is, as soon as the corporate office realizes she is gone.

Not one of these employees has another job to go to. They are simply done working for an abusive boss. You may think these people are the exception rather than the rule. I wish I could tell you this was the case. Last week, I facilitated a two-day leadership session in Orlando. Participants shared countless stories of poor and, in some cases, abusive leadership they've experienced. So much so that I decided to do a quick survey. I turned my back to the room and asked someone to count the number of hands that were raised when I asked how many people would gladly take a call from a headhunter. I'm told that sixty percent of the people raised their hand. I'm actually surprised more hands didn't go up, but perhaps that's because those in the room were at least working for employers that believed in them enough to help them in their development.

It's tempting to put your head in the sand and hope that your full-time job next year won't be that of a recruiter. A savvy leader will take matters into his or her hand and will periodically take the temperature in their organization so they can take preventative steps to keep great people from leaving. I have a free tool that can help you do this. All you need to do is ask me for it and I will send it your way.

Rules of Attraction: Your Monthly Tip on Attracting and Retaining Top Talent

There is more to the "Best Place to Work" awards scene than meets the eye.Making these lists often requires tons of cash. Companies spend money on PRfirms and "application fees" that can range from $1,500 to $4,700 to cover theadministrative costs. Some of the best companies in the world may choose not topay to play, which means these lists are really the "Best Place to Work" for thosewho are willing to pay their way to the top.

My advice is to skip the beauty contest scene and have people appreciate your company for who you truly are. In the long run, you'll be a lot happier and you won't be forced to do work on your organization that only goes skin deep.

For more tips on attracting and retaining top talent, download a copy of Talent Magnetism. Call us today at 413-582-1840 if you are interesting in discussing how to maximize talent in your organization.

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Meet Roberta Matuson

For more than 25 years, Roberta Matuson has helped leaders in Fortune 500 companies, including Best Buy,New Balance, The Boston Beer Company, achieve dramatic growth and market leadership through the maximization of talent. New Balance, The Boston Beer Company, achieve dramatic growth and market leadership through the maximization of talent.

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