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HR Matters // A Newsletter On: Creating exceptional workplaces and extraordinary results
HR MATTERS Vol 9, Issue 10 - October 2012

I'm making weekly improvements to my new website (www.matusonconsulting.com) so be sure to check back frequently so you don't miss out on new articles, services, and information to help you accelerate business growth and market leadership.

If you haven't done so already, be sure to read my Fast Company piece on The Link Between Productivity and Quietness. This post was the number one post on Fast Company for the month of August! And if that weren't exciting enough, my posting on The 4 Dumbest Rules That Will Kill Your Company Culture was number five on the top ten list of most-read posts on Fast Company.

As we move into the fourth quarter of this year, keep in mind that the fall is the perfect time to work on those projects that will help you begin the New Year from a position of strength. Call me today to get started.

Matuson's Top Ten Tips to Maximize Top Talent

By Roberta Chinsky Matuson

Some people say that top talent is overrated. Funny how these people never seem to be the ones surrounded by outstanding performers. Top talent is what differentiates outstanding services and products from those that are mediocre at best. Here are my top ten tips on how to maximize talent and revenues in any economy.

1. Define what top talent is for your organization. Top talent comes in a variety of shapes and sizes. That's why it's important to define what top talent looks like in your organization before going any further. For example, an employee may add considerable value to a law firm because of his or her ability to work independently. People like this may fail miserably in an environment where teamwork is job number one.

2. Be selective. By that I mean be extremely selective when hiring people to work in your organization. Ask yourself, "Is this person good enough?" before you extend a job offer. If you can't confidently say, "Yes!" then continue to search until the answer is, "Absolutely!"

3. Build on strengths. There is no way that you are going to strengthen the structure of a building by adding additional materials to the top floor; nor are you going to take an average employee and make him or her into a great employee without taking time to strengthen his or her foundation. You do this by building on strengths, not weaknesses.

4. Making training more than a one-time event. Most organizations use training as a one-time event to "fix" people. Boy, if that really worked, there would be no need for ongoing training. Figure out the outcomes you are trying to achieve and then determine if training by itself will get you there. If not, be open to the idea that coaching may instead be a better option, or one that should follow classroom or online learning.

5. Be careful whom you promote. Promoting your best sales person to sales manager or your top engineer to VP of engineering is a mistake that gets made on a daily basis. Doing the actual work and inspiring others to do so on your behalf require two very different skill sets. Consider this the next time you think about promoting a great performer into management.

6. Remain visible. Your company or department may be operating well without you, but that doesn't mean it will continue to do so without your presence. Make yourself visible and be available to those who may need your guidance.

7. Deal with non-performers. Nothing brings down the energy in a workplace faster than non-performers who are allowed to continue to take up space without anyone taking steps to rectify the situation. Deal with non-performers before someone decides to deal with you for failing to do the job you've been hired to do.

8. Acknowledge your strong performers. Recognize those who are going above and beyond the call of duty in a way that let's the rest of your employees know that performance counts for something. Then don't be surprised if others start acting this way because they understand that great performance does indeed get recognized, and in many cases rewarded.

9. Share the wealth. If you are like most companies, you've had no problems asking employees to take pay cuts or to do more with less as you've tried to stay afloat during the recession. As your situation changes and your business improves, share the wealth with those who have stuck with you through good times and bad.

10. Release people whose time has come to an end. I often tell my clients that sometimes the people they've hired to build their businesses aren't the people who are best suited to maintain things in their company. Should the time come when one of your best employees no longer seems fully committed to the work at hand, do everyone a favor—release him or her so that he or she can move on to bigger and better things while you do the same.

© 2012 Matuson Consulting. All rights reserved.

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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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Selecting for Success

50% OffFor a limited time only, we are offering Selecting For Success: The Complete System for Hiring Top Talent for only $49 for the PDF version and $69 (plus $5.95 for S+H) for the Hard Copy. This is a comprehensive program for executives, business owners, HR executives and hiring managers interested in dramatically improving the quality of their hires, significantly improving productivity and slashing costly employee turnover. Click here to order your copy.

Selecting for Success

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© 2012 Matuson Consulting. All Rights Reserved.