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Don’t Let “Bad Apples” Spoil Your Business Success - Column #179

Marcus Straub

Marcus Straub

You’ve likely heard the saying, “Hire for skills and fire for attitude.” Simply put, this means bad attitudes far outweigh the skills people bring to their positions. Failing to take corrective action puts companies at risk.

The typical business has a number of skilled team members, many with decent and even great attitudes. They come to work, perform their jobs to a satisfactory level or above and contribute to the work environment in mostly positive ways.

But what about those team members who, even though they have the skills to do their jobs, damage the culture, morale and operations? Chances are, you’re thinking of these people right now.

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Are You Held Hostage By A Team Member? - Column #178

Marcus Straub

Marcus Straub

Business owners and managers sometimes feel as though they’re held hostage by one or more team members who play key roles in the business. Owners and managers believe these individuals possess sensitive information and perform vital functions. Letting them go or, in fact, taking any action that might upset them would leave the company in a vulnerable or even desperate position.

The feeling of being held hostage by anyone or anything is an uncomfortable one to say the least. Faced with this reality, business owners and managers commonly believe they’re powerless to change their circumstances and remain at the mercy of the team member and the situation. This is only a belief, however, and beliefs of this type must change to free their operations from toxic team members and experience more happiness and success in the business.

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Address Internal Barriers To Business And Succeed - Column #177

Marcus Straub

Marcus Straub

Internal barriers or blockages to business success come in many forms: ineffective hiring practices, bad management, poor on-boarding and training, lack of teamwork, a negative culture and team members whose lack of desire and negative attitudes prevent them from performing at consistently high levels.

There are also less-than-effective systems and procedures, poor customer service, inconsistent quality of products and team members who lack the skills and behaviors necessary to communicate effectively. These are just some of the common blockages I help owners and managers identify and eliminate to improve business performance and success. If you’re like most owners and  managers, you strive to keep operations running smoothly and efficiently with as few interruptions to the flow as possible.

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Do Personality Conflicts Damage Your Business? - Column #176

Marcus Straub

Marcus Straub

The effective and efficient flow of information is critical to consistently meeting and exceeding the wants and needs of customers, foreseeing challenges and overcoming obstacles. The smooth flow of information also is essential to the production and timely delivery of high-quality goods and services. When communication is limited or even impossible because of personality conflicts, the business weakens from within and the effects reach far.

Personality conflicts hurt communication, collaboration and teamwork, in turn hurting efficiency, productivity, culture, team member satisfaction, retention, business growth and profits. The degree to which team members don’t communicate effectively and collaborate presents one of the greatest obstacles to business success.

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Reduce Costly Turnover With Job Benchmarking - Column #175

Marcus Straub

Marcus Straub

Wise business owners endeavor to reduce the high costs of turnover and maximize their return on investment with new hires. Still, businesses experience turnover for a variety of reasons, and the expenses associated with finding, hiring, training and developing new team members are very real.

Studies have estimated the cost of turnover to range from several thousand dollars to upwards of 150 percent to 200 percent of a team member’s annual salary. The costs are high because they include not only loss of revenue, productivity and training expenses, but also the time, energy and stress involved with hiring someone new. 

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Focused On The Competition Or Your Own Business? - Column #174

Marcus Straub

There are two ways to look at marketplace competition. You could focus on others in your sector and take you and your company away from the success you desire. Or, you could turn your attention toward your own company and your path to becoming better.

The second is a self-disciplined approach that will position you to face the reality of how you can improve your operations, make effective changes and ultimately enjoy the fruits of your powerful efforts.

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Are You Happy With Your Leadership? - Column #173

Marcus Straub

Marcus Straub

Whether you’re aware of it or not, you’re a leader. You lead at work, at home and in your community. You lead by your example in all the areas of your life.

Your team members are watching. Your spouse, children, extended family and people you don’t even know are watching for guidance on how to successfully navigate the professional and personal realms of life.

Is your example a consistently solid one with which you’re happy?

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Enhance Your Team’s Skills And Mindset In 2019 - Column #172

Marcus Straub

Marcus Straub

Talented, motivated and competent people are at the very core of successful companies. It’s their skills and the strength of their mindset that allow them to operate at their highest levels on a consistent basis.

Human capability and confidence expands, contracts or remains static depending on whether or not it receives the stimulation it needs to grow and develop. The phrase “I’m in a rut” is born of an individual’s languishing potential. Owners, team members and businesses get in ruts, too. This must be overcome if they’re to expand their potential and achieve success.

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How To Turn Your Team Members Into Raving Fans - Column #171

Marcus Straub

Marcus Straub

Business owners who want to create sound enterprises that survive in challenging times and thrive in easy times should consistently endeavor to turn customers into raving fans.

When your customers like — or better yet, love — your business, they not only patronize your venture, but also happily share their glowing recommendations with others.

How do you go about creating raving fans out of your customer base? The most effective way is to first create raving fans out of your team members.

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Golden Rule Of Business: Care About Your Customers - Column #170

Marcus Straub

Marcus Straub

Take a moment to recall the last time you enjoyed an exceptional customer service experience from a company with which you chose to do business. Remember how pleasant the experience was, how satisfied you were, how good you felt and how the experience affected you and your day in a positive way? I’d venture to guess you’re extremely likely to spend your hard-earned money with this amazing company again and tell others about your experience.

Now, consider a time when you received a paltry customer service experience, one that left you feeling uncared for, unsatisfied and unhappy. Left with a bad taste in your mouth, it’s likely you won’t do business with this company again. If you haven’t already, you’ll advise your friends and family not to do business with the company, either.

As a business owner, which of these experiences do you want to provide your customers?

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Teach Your Team Members To Be Problem Solvers - Column #169

Marcus Straub

Marcus Straub

If you want your company to operate at the highest levels, your team members must be taught it’s acceptable — then continually encouraged — to think their way through situations rather than guessing at a solution or relying on you and others for answers.

There’s an all-too-common tendency among business owners and managers to simply supply answers rather than spend time with team members to help them find the answers themselves. While this approach might save time in the short term, in costs more time in the long run, weakens your business and adds to your responsibilities as your team becomes increasingly dependent on you for solutions.

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