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HR Matters // A Newsletter On: Creating exceptional workplaces and extraordinary results
HR MATTERS Vol 9, Issue 1 - January 2012

Happy New Year! Leaders around the globe are hoping that 2012 will be a vast improvement over 2011. Yet from all indications, 2012 will continue to be challenging for business leaders. That's why I am offering business owners and executives the opportunity to participate in my free Profitability Accelerator Teleconference Series, which begins on Tuesday, January 10th. MP3 downloads will be automatically sent to all who register.

Here's a sneak peak of what's in store:

January 10, 2012: Back to the future
Everyone wants to catapult his or her organization into the stratosphere of high growth, yet few of us have a plan in place to make this dream a reality. We'll talk about the specific steps you can take to clearly define the strategy you will use to ensure your organization is prepared for growth. We'll discuss how you can quickly evaluate which employees will be joining you on this journey and which will need to be left behind. I'll even share my top tips on how tactfully terminate employees who should have been gone a long time ago.

Ready to Accelerate Profits? Register for the January 10 Teleseminar

Give us a call today to make 2012 your best year ever.


The Biggest Winner: How to Get Your Small Business in Tip Top Shape

By Roberta Chinsky Matuson

Small businesses are running lean these days, but that doesn't necessarily mean they are in good shape. No doubt the coming year will be challenging for many. Making it over the finish line will require being in tip top shape. Here are some tips to get your small business in fighting condition:

Strengthen your strategy. A strong business strategy, combined with alignment and discipline, can yield impressive results for small business owners. Small businesses have the advantage of being nimble. They can respond more quickly to market conditions than larger businesses can. This can be both a blessing and a curse. If your organization is waffling every time the wind shifts, then it's time to take a closer look at your strategy. Ask yourself the following:

  • Does our business plan still make sense given today's market conditions?
  • What products and services can we add that will make our profitable customers even more profitable for our business?
  • When is the last time we communicated our strategy to those responsible for implementation?

Trim the fat. You may be wondering how you can trim the fat when you are running so lean. Let's not kid ourselves. Many small business owners have a difficult time separating their business relationships from their personal relationships. You may have an employee who has been with you since you started the business, and whose performance has deteriorated over the years. You keep thinking things will get better. Alas, they never do. Or, you may have hired someone to do a particular job that no longer exists. The employee is doing a great job in their newly assigned role, but do you really need the added expense of paying a PhD to do a job that only requires a high school diploma?

Be honest with yourself and ask the following question: If I were to hire someone to fill this role today, would this be the person I would hire? If the answer is no, then you know what you have to do in order to cut back on excess fat in the organization.

Building human capital. A business is only as good as its people. How would you rate your people? When it comes to building human capital, there really are only two choices. Dump what you've got, or work towards improving existing human capital. Dumping what you've got isn't necessarily a bad strategy given the abundant pool of talent waiting in the wings. However, building on what you've got and strengthening employee loyalty may be a better route to go, especially if you are concerned about the potential loss of institutional knowledge.

In years past, the strategy has been to cut out funding for employee development. It's no wonder that we have teams of people drowning under poor leadership. It's time to strengthen both the management team and those interacting with clients and customers. With your people, select one or two development opportunities and begin building bench strength. Support this learning with coaching and it won't be long before your people are teaching you a thing or two.

Alignment. World-class athletes know the importance of keeping their bodies in alignment so they can compete with the best. The same holds true for small businesses. A well-tuned strategy, along with the hiring of the right people in the right positions, can only take you so far.

People, programs, and processes must be aligned in order for businesses to optimize the resources on hand. Only then will you be able to achieve high levels of business success. The best people in the world will not be able to move the organization forward with faulty programs and processes, especially if they are not empowered to make changes. Alignment is best achieved through strong communication and the removal of barriers that are preventing people from doing what you've hired them to do. Invest the time necessary for alignment and reap the results associated with world-class organizations.

Increase trust. Small business owners are often trapped by their own success. They subscribe to the belief that if you want something done right, you have to do it yourself. In the end, these micromanagers crash and burn.

It's impossible to grow the business while doing all the work. Small business owners must surround themselves with people they trust, so they are freed up to work on the business rather than in the business. The key to building trust is credibility. Do you do what you say you will do? Do your employees follow through on their commitments? Do you have the capacity to apologize when you make a mistake? It takes time and effort to build trust, but the rewards are bountiful. What will you do today to increase trust in your organization?

Do something every day to get your small business into tip top shape and you'll be well positioned for growth in the coming years.

© 2012 Matuson Consulting. All rights reserved.

Roberta Chinsky Matuson is the President of Human Resource Solutions (www.yourhrexperts.com) and author of the highly acclaimed book Suddenly in Charge: Managing Up, Managing Down, Succeeding All Around, Sign up to receive a complimentary subscription to Roberta's monthly newsletter, HR Matters.

Upcoming Teleconference:
"Am I Your Therapist or Your Boss?"
Strategies to Keep You Sane during Insane Times

January 24, 2012 @ 1:30 - 3:00 pm ET

Roberta will be presenting the teleconference "Am I Your Therapist or Your Boss?" Strategies to Keep You Sane during Insane Times

  • Are you finding that you don't have enough time to get work done, because you are busy playing referee to your employees?
  • Are you spending your days counseling employees who are going through tough times—and spending your nights doing the work that should have been done during the day?
  • Is the stress of managing people getting to you and impacting productivity in your workplace?

Survive and thrive during insane times! Join me as I share my expertise on the how to keep your employees off the couch and engaged in their jobs. Discover the secrets of how word-class leaders stay sane during insane times.

Click Here to Learn More & Register Today!

Upcoming Speaking Events

Roberta will be presenting Making Dollars and Sense Out of Gen Y: Y Sized Strategies for Business Growth at the 2012 Craft Brewers Conference in San Diego.

The Boston Chapter of the Women Presidents' Organization has invited Roberta to be a guest speaker at their May meeting.

Dates are filling quickly so call us today to book Roberta for your next meeting or conference.

Suddenly in Charge Management Round Tables

We know what it is like to be suddenly in charge. In fact, we wrote the book on it! Imagine how different your life might have been if you had been given access to a management peer group to help you quickly work through challenges faced by most new leaders. Think of how unproductive you were when you were left to figure everything out for yourself.

We believe there is a better way to build strong leaders. That's why we developed Suddenly in ChargeSM Management Roundtables. Our one-of-a-kind program combines group coaching with peers, and one-on-one support, to boost front-line performance of newly minted managers.

Learn more or Contact Us

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About Roberta Matuson

For more than 25 years, Roberta Matuson, president of Matuson Consulting, has helped leaders in Fortune 500 companies and small to medium-size businesses create exceptional workplaces leading to extraordinary results. As a seasoned consultant, Roberta is considered a leading authority on leadership and the skills and strategies required to earn employee commitment and client loyalty.

She is the author of the highly acclaimed book, Suddenly in Charge: Managing Up, Managing Down, Succeeding All Around and is a highly sought after speaker, consultant and executive coach.

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Read an Excerpt of Suddenly in Charge

Buy Suddenly in Charge

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Suddenly in Charge Corporate Training Program

Are you interested in optimizing productivity and performance of new leaders? Would you like to increase collaboration up and down the organization? Would improving internal and external customer relations increase your top line growth and bottom line profitability? If you answered yes to any of these questions then check out our Suddenly in Charge® Corporate Training Program.

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Visit Roberta Online:

Email: Roberta@YourHRExperts.com
Tel: 413.582.1840 | Tel: 617.566.8978
Fax: 413.582.7111

© 2012 Matuson Consulting. All Rights Reserved.