Setting Your 2017 Objectives

The final weekend of the year is a great time to reflect on your performance against the goals you set for 2016, (or perhaps you didn’t?) and to decide your priorities for 2017.

If this is not something you have previously done I’d really like to encourage you to do so this time, so that you can start the year with clarity. In much the same way as your monthly one-to-ones provide space to agree appropriate objectives and to review progress/discuss ways of overcoming barriers, having annual objectives is an important part of your journey to success.

While this might initially seem an onerous task, remember each journey starts with a single step. I suggest keeping it very simple with a 2×2 matrix, (see link for our template), which lays out objectives not just for your work life, but has a more holistic approach to ensure you avoid burn-out and really think deeply about what you want to achieve.

It’s a good idea to do a first draft with two or three goals in each quadrant and then sleep on it before returning the next day, that way you can be certain that your goals are the right ones. From here create a realistic plan to make them a reality by the end of the year, (rather than a December sprint!)

Don’t miss out quadrant four ‘Well-being’ – this is key to ensuring balance and the avoidance of burnout.

Have a marvellous 2017.

 

About the Author: Fran McArthur is a business coach, trainer and no-executive director with more than 30 years of business experience. She typically works with executives, who lead organisations of up to £10m/100 employees and who wish to effect positive change. She collaborates with them to achieve their goals using her practical, common-sense approach

What It Takes To Be Strong

 

What are the qualities that define a strong character? Some would say bullishness, aggressiveness, loudness and fast-talking. But these are typical of bullies and, as we all know, bullies must be opposed, not admired. How about unwillingness to compromise, or to listen to other viewpoints in the interests of achieving their policies? Well, these are the ways of a person who lacks empathy and who wants the world to conform to their beliefs. Strength should not be confused with such selfishness and rigidity. These people are not really strong, they simply have a fixed mindset, which makes them brittle and ultimately insecure.

True strength of character can be found in people who embrace and believe in a growth mindset*: they keep an open mind and are grateful for their good fortune; they are willing to listen and to compromise for the greater good; they are eager to seek out the things that really matter, always learning, able to live in the moment, adapting and evolving to face the challenges of life. We call this resilience: and it s resilience – not rigidity – that defines strength of character.

The good news is that it is your choice to decide how you want to be strong – I know which one I work on daily.

As Seth Godin, author, writer, speaker – marketing guru (I’m a big fan) says:

“Strength begins with unwavering resilience, not brittle aggression”

 

* Growth Mindset – to find out & understand more check out Carol Dweck’s brilliant Ted Talk – The power of believing that you can improve.

 

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Rachel is a business & educational psychologist. After working for many years in and advising SMEs her current work relates to issues of communication, personal development, team building and motivation. Over the past seven years Rachel has extended her work into the educational field.

7 steps to a robust recruitment process that delivers results

Rather than leaving your recruitment planning until you have an emergency or the moment before you plan to run a campaign give yourself time to do a great job and start right now. Too often we leave these ‘important, but not urgent’ jobs to the last moment and as a result get a second-class result – attracting the best talent is critical to any business, so make sure your recruitment process is truly robust and well planned.

Rather than leaving your recruitment planning until you have an emergency or the moment before you plan to run a campaign give yourself time to do a great job and start right now. Too often we leave these ‘important, but not urgent’ jobs to the last moment and as a result get a second-class result – attracting the best talent is critical to any business, so make sure your recruitment process is truly robust and well planned.

These are the elements of a robust recruitment process you should have in place – if you don’t have them yet, then get started and save yourself the costly heart-ache of recruiting the wrong candidate.

 

1. A clear understanding of your company culture.
Research suggests that recruiting culturally aligned staff improves retention by a whopping 30% and that candidates typically accept a 7% lower salary.
Without knowing your own culture how will you find the right person to fit into your business, contribute fully and remain with you, thus avoiding the costly headache of unplanned recruitment?

Are you clear about your: –

  • Core Values (who you are/what you stand for)
  • Vision Statement, (where you are going)
  • Mission statement (how you are going to get there)

All of these are invaluable in assessing the fit of any candidate

 

2. Job descriptions 
In order to carry out their roles successfully everyone needs to know explicitly what is expected of them. By making crystal clear job descriptions agreed with the role holder it also means that you have taken time to think about how roles interact and what works best.
This applies equally to existing and new staff, so getting this right now will allow you to reap the rewards immediately. NB Process mapping might help you to clarify roles and responsibilities.

 

3. Person profile
The person profile details all the skills and behaviours needed to successfully carry out the role as outlined in the job description. (Remember when recruiting that skills can be taught, behaviours are considerably more difficult to change).

 

3. Profile of your existing team
By understanding how your existing team works together, (e.g. who are the Shapers, Implementers or Finishers) you will see where you have skills/behavioural gaps, which might be addressed either by training or more likely, when next recruiting.
It might also highlight strengths not currently fully utilised.

 

4. Job ad template
Draw up the basic template, which can be used as the basis for any role. Remember that you are showcasing your business to attract the best people – your ad must be appealing and draw them in. Doing this in advance you can quickly and easily populate the information for a specific role and hit the ground running when your recruitment need arises.

 

5. Objective assessment of applications
To avoid ‘halos and horns’ (when a single point taints your view of the candidate either positively or negatively), do you have an objective assessment tool which measures each candidate against your key qualifiers?
This can also help to ensure you stay on the right side of the Discrimination Act.

 

6. Interviewing skills
Are you able to craft effective questions, which drill down to the truth, or have you fallen victim to a ‘good interviewer’, who didn’t live up to your expectations? Avoid hypothetical questions, but instead ask about specific incidents, which illustrate a skill or behaviour.
Again, it is important to understand your obligations under the Discrimination Act and how to avoid costly mistakes, (over £77,000 was awarded to one candidate deemed to have been discriminated against)

 

7. Referencing
Do you know how to get meaningful references, which will help you to avoid selecting the wrong candidate, as well as get the most from the right recruit? It is possible to have candid conversations, which are genuinely helpful for both you and the candidate.

May all your hiring decisions be good ones.

 

 If you think that your business might be a little light in any of these areas and would like to discuss how we might work together to plug the gaps/design a robust process to meet your specific needs just give us a call on 07789 520205 or use the button below

 

Contact Us

 

Fran McArthur 1

About the Author: Fran McArthur is a business coach, trainer and no-executive director with more than 30 years of business experience. She typically works with executives, who lead organisations of up to £10m/100 employees and who wish to effect positive change. She collaborates with them to achieve their goals using her practical, common-sense approach

Now We Are Six

Now We Are Six
When I was one,
I had just begun.
When I was two,
I was nearly new.
When I was three,
I was hardly me.
When I was four,
I was not much more.
When I was five,
I was just alive.
But now I am six,
I’m as clever as clever.
So I think I’ll be six
now and forever.
A.A. Milne

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What did you most enjoy doing when you were six years old? Do you still harbour a passion for that same thing all these years later? One of my best pals when asked the question replied “I loved to dress up and show off”: she subsequently spent her life working in the worlds of dance and theatre and is one of the most grounded, inspirational women I know.

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I reckon that what we enjoyed when we were six was natural and unique to ourselves – not influenced by others – and if we do what we truly love it brings out the best in us: it feeds us the stuff that helps build and maintain our resilience.
And me, I loved to be outside, making camps and going on make-believe adventures. As an adult this developed into a passion for hiking, climbing and adventurous travelling, a passion which always makes me happy when I tap into it. It recharges and energises me: I know that incorporating what I love into my life consistently allows me to #getupgogive www.rachelwl.co.uk

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Check out these TED talks, if you’re not already convinced. They will encourage you to take responsibility for your life and to create the life of your dreams instead of the one that others expected of you: Isaac Lidsky What Reality Are You Creating For Yourself and Jane McGonigal The Game That Can Give you 10 Extra Years of Life.
Take the six-year-old test. Are you still living the dreams you had then?

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Rachel is a business & educational psychologist. After working for many years in and advising SMEs her current work relates to issues of communication, personal development, team building and motivation. Over the past seven years Rachel has extended her work into the educational field.