Having shared your inspirational messages with over one million people in 45 countries, what have you discovered is a common trend throughout the world of HR?
I would categorize this common trend as a “missed opportunity”; my experience is that too many organizations view HR as a cost centre. For over 20 years I have been an advocate of the notion that HR needs to be seen and held accountable as a Profit Centre. We should stop spending money on HR activities
and start to invest instead. When we think in terms of investments we expect certain returns from these investments. HR is no different, each investment needs to be analysed to consider the business case rational prior to making the investment and then measured to determine the actual contribution made to the
bottom-line. As a consultant and speaker, one of my greatest sources of professional pride is my track record in helping companies reframe their perspective on HR creating specific strategies to maximize their returns on all HR investments will result in reduced time and cost of hiring, increase levels of productivity, reduce employee turnover, enhance customer satisfaction, improve sales, and increase profits.
What are the biggest challenges to hiring and retaining people in a tight labour market?
The biggest challenge is to be able to differentiate your organization among other employers whom you are competing with for labour. The single best strategy is to be seen as the employer of choice in both your industry as well as your community. Consider how much emphasis and effort you invest in your
marketing and branding to gain new business and keep your existing clients happy. During a tight labour market you need to invest this same amount of energy and creativity in your “People Branding”. When a company is recognized as being an employer of choice several things happen: one, your good employees value working with you and thus don’t want to leave, and your reputation attracts other great candidates to seek employment with you despite any recruiting efforts.
In your book “How to Keep Your Staff Productive and Happy”, what mistakes do companies commit which affect the happiness and productivity of their staff?
From my 20+ years experience as an HR/ Talent Management practioner,
researcher and consultant I have identified the common mistakes made by companies around the world that affect the happiness and productivity of their staff.
Some specifics are: managers forget that people are individual and use a “one-size fits all” approach to dealing with their staff. They try to treat their people
equally which I feel is a mistake. I believe that your peak performers should receive more of your attention. That managers spend too much time “telling” and not enough time “asking”, and not enough energy is invested in getting people engaged with their work.
How has HR changed over the past 10 years?
HR has changed dramatically over the past decade. Some of the more significant changes are: demographics changes including the aging workforce and declining
birth rates in most developed nations and at the same time exploding birth rates in most developing nations; the emergence of four distinctly different age groups
working at the same time; the global nature of business with massive mergers and acquisitions as well as outsourcing of labour; plus technological advances
affecting the need for skills and knowledge upgrading; the proliferation of internet recruiting, flexible HR policies, employment branding; plus an unprecedented
talent and skills shortage that will continue in many countries for the next two decades.
What is the key to pre-screening and selecting the right people for a team?
The quick answer is to “pre-screen for competency and select for character”. What this means is that the entire pre-screening process should focus on answering the fundamental question, “does the person possess the necessary skills, knowledge and experience to do the job?” In other words, are they competent (able) to do the job? Once you are satisfied that the applicant
possesses the requisite abilities then the selection process begins. It is here that you need to “select” the best candidate in terms of best fit with the company. To do this you must focus your energies on examining the person’s character which is made up of their attitude, and personality. The most insightful part of the selection process is the face-to-face interview.
What are some of the main reasons that some sales people are successful and others are not?
Contemporary wisdom suggests that the key to successful selling lies within the sales person’s skills, knowledge and selling techniques. Although I agree that these issues are all important, I believe that the single biggest contributor to selling success is the person’s attitude. Their attitude entails many elements,
such as their attitudes: towards themselves in the role of professional selling, their attitude as it relates towards the selling process; their attitude towards the
company they represent, the products and services they offer their attitudes toward their customers, and their team-mates. These attitudes will ultimately
determine their level of selling success.
As a respected authority on developing client centric organizations as well, how is it possible to turn a one-time buyer into a life-time customer?
People the world over complain to me that there is no customer loyalty and that a client will change suppliers to save even a tiny bit of money. I feel this is
an over-simplification of the issue. Yes, people are always seeking bargains, but at the end of the day it’s value for money that will win out. I don’t believe that
a company has to be the lowest priced provider; rather they need to fully understand the needs of their clients and then exceed the customer’s expectations. This is done by investing in client relationship building, having
highly skilled and knowledgeable, sales, and customer service professionals, and constantly seeking ways to improve the life and or business of your clients. By adopting this “imbedded partnership mindset” you will become the supplier of choice for your key accounts.
In your best-selling book “the ABCs of Making Money”, what are some of the strategies that ordinary people can implement to create extraordinary
Actually, the answer to this question lies within the title of my book; it’s what I refer to as the “ABCs” approach and is doable by anyone who has the desire
to succeed and is prepared to put the effort in. It all starts with adopting the right attitudes. By understanding the attitudes of successful, wealthy people, and then engaging in highly effective day to day behaviours (such as living within your means, investing your money at an early age, develop critical skills in the areas of selling, communicating, negotiating and priority management; and finally applying the principles of creating money by owning your business and developing numerous sources of passive income… the idea of earning money even while I sleep is very appealing to me!
Your work is also renown within the circles of personal development – how can an ordinary per son live the life of his or her dreams? Are you living the life of your dreams?
Yes, I am living the life of my dreams; I have the love and support of my wife and our two daughters. I am a professional speaker, consultant and author by choice; I enjoy both the people and the various projects I accept. I love to travel and learn about other cultures and ways of doing business, and I particularly enjoy helping my clients by providing them with low cost high impact strategies that greatly increase their profits and overall business success. I take a tremendous
pride in each success story. To me, a key element of living the life of my dreams involves personal freedom. I equate that to being able to choose how I invest my time, energy and money and the people I choose to invest it with. By this measure I am truly living a dream life! I believe that everyone can enjoy living the life of his or her dreams and that it starts with defining what success means to you. Consider a highly skilled and well equipped archer. One would expect this
archer to be able to hit the target easily, however, imagine if they were bind-folded and spun around many times, and only had one arrow and no assistance from anyone. The odds of them hitting that target have just greatly been reduced. The point behind this bow and arrow example is that “you can’t hit a target you can’t see”. This is true in life. How likely are you to be able to live the life of your dreams if you first can’t identify what that looks like? Once you see it, you can do it. Once you have set your goals, invest some time in planning your future instead of just letting life pass you by. Then read about other people who have also been successful in a similar way and learn how they did it. Consider connecting with a successful person who can guide and mentor you through your journey. Don’t be afraid to be bold and take some risks. Lastly, remember to enjoy each day both the victories and the failures, they are equally part of life’s journey.