You Know An Employee Is Ready To Take Responsibilities Off Your Plate When…

You Know An Employee Is Ready To Take Responsibilities Off Your Plate When…

As a business owner, one of the most important things you do is delegate. After hiring the right people and setting standards for each role, you’ll be faced with new opportunities on a daily basis to delegate tasks and projects, and help employees move to new heights in performance and skill.

It’s satisfying to see an employee grow. So how do you know when someone is ready to take on more responsibility?

One of the first signs that an employee is fully invested in your company (and ready to take more responsibility) is when his or her vocabulary shifts from “mine” and “yours” to “ours.” It’s not just about the employee’s success, and it’s not just about the success of the company. It’s about “our” success together.

This sounds great, especially with that goal in the back of your mind to get to a place where you can let go of the day-to-day and watch your business run itself. You want your hard work to pay off in a self-sustaining way. The specifics of “when” and “how” come down to human resources and recognizing when an employee’s growing skillset can mean bigger opportunity for your business.

Here, I’m going to break down how to identify when an employee is ready to take on more responsibility and carry your business forward.

When an Employee is Ready and Knows it

An employee who is ready for more responsibility and shows it

There are employees who are hungry for more responsibility and make it known to you and your team.

Naturally, any employee you’re considering handing new responsibilities off to will have excelled in meeting his or her current accountabilities. Take a look at any energetic or ambitious employee against the key performance indicators (KPIs) you have in place to ensure that existing tasks are being completed consistently and correctly.

Then look at the telltale signs below that signal an employee is ready to take on even more:

  • Ingenuity: If an employee actively looks for solutions to problems, this demonstrates a drive to exceed expectations, play to the success of the business and ultimately take on more responsibility.
  • Prioritization: Taking on new tasks requires excellent time management practices. In the face of new responsibilities, an employee has to know how to stay on top of current duties and work new ones in while keeping priorities clearly outlined.
  • Managing deadlines: Hand-in-hand with prioritization is the employee’s ability to watch deadlines and take charge of follow-up. Meeting deadlines, and proactivity communicating when a deadline may not be met, are key practices that become more essential when the employee’s plate is even fuller.

When an Employee is Ready and Doesn’t Know it—Yet

An employee who is ready for more responsibility but doesn't know it yet

Maybe you have an employee who’s showing signs that he or she is ready for more responsibility, but lacks the spark to ask for additional tasks proactively. In this case, get curious and speak with the employee about what’s going on. It’s possible he or she has a concern about biting off more and being successful, or simply isn’t aware that there are additional ways he or she could bring value to the organization.

It’s your job to see the possibilities for this employee’s skillsets and strengths and match them with organizational needs.

These are some of the signs that an employee is ready for more responsibility, whether or not he or she knows it:

  • Excelling in existing responsibilities: This is the basic metric when thinking about handing off more assignments or tasks. If your employee is excelling in tasks on his or her plate now, it may be time to start building that employee up to bigger things.
  • Strong performance reviews: If your recent reviews of the employee outline strong adherence to KPIs, that’s one sign that he or she is ready for more. And if your reviews include any type of self-assessment where the employee has shown confidence in work done, that’s an even bigger push to start giving that employee more to do.
  • Acting as the go-to: If other teammates are reaching out to this employee for help with technical or theoretical questions, and he or she has the answers, this may signal that the employee is ready to take on more.

    Expert tip: If other employees are going to one person with questions, this also signals an opportunity in your training program. Make sure team members are cross-trained and have access to the information they need to do their job well.

Align Appropriate Rewards

When an employee takes on more responsibility, consider what type of recognition is most appropriate. If the employee is up for a promotion or raise, celebrate the hard work that went into it. And if you hadn’t thought about a promotion or a raise yet, ask yourself what that employee would need to demonstrate in order for a promotion or raise to be appropriate, and share the criteria with him or her to build up that employee’s momentum.

That said, a raise isn’t the only way to show an employee your appreciation. You can also recognize your employee (and encourage the same behaviors from the rest of your team) using one of several reward approaches. Handing more responsibility to an ambitious and resourceful employee will be good for you, good for the employee and good for your team if done right.

Once you do identify an employee who is ready for more responsibility, the art of delegating is another practice you’ll want to master. And coupled with the recognition and rewards that will keep employees motivated in their new tasks, you and your team will be on the path to bigger things.

Do you have a specific case to ask about? Or an employee who’s shown some of these signs, but not others? Leave me a comment below with your question, or reach out here.

5 Steps To Train Staff To Work To Your Standards

5 Steps To Train Staff To Work To Your Standards

When applying for a new job or considering a job offer, “opportunity for growth” is the second most important thing people look for—right after salary.

When looking at the millennial audience, in particular, a whopping 46% of survey respondents said they left their last job for growth potential.

The point here is that your employees actually want to work to your standards. They want to learn and grow. They want to be engaged, and they want to get more involved over time.

You would think that this hunger to grow means that each new hire will, thus, always be ready to work and work hard—and even up to your own standards.

And yet, there’s a disconnect somewhere along the way. New hires choose to work with you, having measured what room there is to grow. So, why aren’t they growing? How can you motivate staff to work consistently to your standards? Where’s that hunger gone?

The short answer is: training. You have to train your staff correctly in order to work to your standards, or that expectation will never be met.

The long answer brings us to these 5 essential steps.

1. Know Your Standards

A funny thing happens when we communicate. Whether it’s a conversation, an email, or a job description, we have a very clear idea in our heads of what it is we want to transmit.

But then the receiving side doesn’t always picture what we had in mind.

If you want your staff to work to your standards, you must explicitly outline those standards. Start with a little soul searching to find the words, and take notes: what standards do you hold yourself to? What inspires you to meet those standards?

This exercise is a necessary starting point. Anything we feel or expect in life that’s even a little abstract only takes form when we put words to it. It’s how we catalogue our world. So, take a few minutes, close the door to your office and write out what standards you have. Get specific, and include the “why” and other motivators behind each one.

2. Communicate Your Standards

Now, you’ve done the soul searching. You’ve spelled out your standards, where they come from, and what they mean to you.

Next, ensure you have the right language and channels in place to communicate those standards.

When it comes to training staff, you need to have role-by-role key performance indicators (KPIs) in place, communicated openly to each employee. Your KPIs, when clearly identified for each staff member, can help you quantify and qualify those standards you want to train staff to work to.

To measure staff properly on your key standards using KPIs, harken back to the goals and motivations behind those standards. KPIs have to be as objectively measurable as possible, or you risk opening the floodgates of inconsistency that can undo your “standards metrics” altogether.

For example, let’s say it’s your standard to “go the extra mile” for clients. What does that mean? How do you measure it? That could mean a KPI of client retention, or of clients contacted just to “check in” during a given week.

3. Streamline Training

What a buzzword—streamline. What does that mean, “streamline training?”

Streamlining anything means locking in a system to make it happen. This includes an outline of what the process needs to achieve, the steps to get there, and the accountabilities to make those steps easy to follow for all players involved.

In training your staff to work to your standards, your system starts with those same KPIs we just talked about. What training does an employee need to meet all those metrics?

Now, list that training out.

Next, ask yourself, how much time will that training take? Just like you need to schedule in when you check email during the day (and how much time you plan to reply to messages), you need to put real numbers on how much training can be done with your staff and in what frame of time.

Last, and equally important, you have to gather the resources you’ll need for each part of training. For example, if you’re training a client service rep, do you have all needed training documents and tools in one place? Lead sheets? Call scripts? CRM training docs?

This is where most companies’ training stops. If you really want your staff to work to your standards, let’s see what comes next.

4. Offer More Training And Ask For Feedback

One of the standards I’m willing to bet you hold dear is the hunger to continually learn and grow.If you want to support this standard for your staff, the key is offering them opportunities to learn with purpose.

Ongoing training serves two purposes:

  1. It builds staff knowledge and skills
  2. And it keeps staff engaged

Once an employee is trained in and technically knows how to do their job, if you’re at a loss for what other training to offer, there are a couple directions you can go.

First, you can consider adding new responsibilities to offer more training.

Second, you can check in with staff for feedback on what they want to learn. This gives employees a stake in the training they’re about to receive, and emboldens them to view the world through the lens of “what else can I do?”

Share this nugget with your staff, too: asking for advice or training actually makes you look smarter, according to a recent study from the Harvard Business Review. Encourage the company culture where team members know they can come to you (or go to the right person) and ask for more training in order to live up to the standards you’ve set—and even surpass them.

5. Reinforce With Company Culture

This brings us to the hardest part: promoting the same passion you have and getting your staff equally interested in what they’re doing. But how can you get employees to work to your standards, the owner of a business, when it’s not theirbusiness?

For one, make sure you share company successes along with individual successes. You can permit yourself to brag a little if it opens an opportunity to talk about how awesome your business is, along with each of the employees who work there.

Permit me a minute on my soap box. There’s a big difference between confidence and conceit, right? With confidence, you strut and say, “I’m awesome.” But with conceit, you puff your chest out and say, “I’m better than you, and you, and you…”

Most of the time, we want to be confident, but not conceited.

In business, and to create the company culture that will promote standards of excellence, however, a little conceit is a good thing. Tell your brand story and make sure your staff knows the character roles each of them play. If you believe your brand really is better than the competition, how do you back that up?

One of the biggest factors is almost always the team that makes the company up. So make sure your staff knows that.

The right company culture will pay off in many ways. And combined with these other steps, you’ll finally be able to zero-in on that age-old question of how to train staff to work to your standards. If you haven’t already, get out your pen and paper and start with step 1 right now.

Questions? Leave us a comment below!

3 Tips For Delegating The Correct Way

3 Tips For Delegating The Correct Way

Your business is “your baby” and nobody can do it like you can, right? WRONG! SO many business owners get caught up believing that they’re the only person who can do the work in their business to keep it running, and this thinking is what keeps them stuck, working around the clock.

Sure…you’re unique and no one is exactly like you. But doing everything yourself is a quick road to frustration, exhaustion and burnout. Not to mention business stagnation.

Delegating work effectively is absolutely crucial to your long-term success.

The prospect of delegating may make you cringe because of the amount of time and effort it takes up front. In the long term, however, it will save you exponentially more time and help you conserve exponentially more energy, allowing you to focus on bigger, more important aspects of your business.  

Not sure if you’re ready to “let go” and allow your team to help you? Here are three tips for delegating the correct way.

Decide What Needs To Be Delegated

To decide what you can delegate to team members, first start by examining yourself. You undoubtedly have many fantastic skills. You probably even have a few skills that are unique to only you and nobody else on your team. There are also things that make you jump out of bed in the morning, eager to get into the office. But what about the tasks that aren’t your expertise, your motivation or your passion?

Starting out by delegating things you aren’t the best at or don’t enjoy doing, is a perfect place to begin. If there’s a task or activity that you aren’t very good at, chances are there is someone on your team that is excellent at it, or that you can find someone who would be excellent at it and add them to your team. Delegating that activity or task to them will not only allow them to excel, it will also give you a much better end result.

Delegating those things you simply don’t enjoy (or maybe even dread) doing is also a great place to start. Just because you may not like a task or activity doesn’t mean everyone dislikes it. By getting it off your plate, you are getting rid of negative energy and are able to focus more positive energy and efforts on the work you love and excel at.

One pro tip here to consider is that while getting everything you are not great at or dislike off your plate all at once may be tempting, don’t go overboard. Start small to make sure the process runs smoothly and orderly and you’re satisfied with the outcome. As delegated work gets done and your systems get ironed out, you can then continue to delegate bigger and bigger tasks and activities.

Set People Up To Succeed

As you are delegating, remember that you want to give your team members every opportunity to succeed.

Part of doing this successfully is granting them the true authority to perform the work you are delegating. Do anything less, and you will place a potentially insurmountable obstacle in the path of your employees, requiring them to rely on you and causing yet another bottleneck. Examples of authority include monetary or personnel resources, decision making power, etc.

Equally important to empowering team members with the authority required to complete a task or activity, is making sure you are extremely clear when making the request. This includes communicating a deadline, providing a detailed explanation of the physical outcome you expect (what it will look like, etc.), conveying why the work is important (it’s purpose), and sharing any and all information, training, messages, etc. the person will need in order to have the background necessary to complete the work to your level of satisfaction. This is often where the delegation train goes off the rails. Take the time to plan your delegation, and err on the side of over-communication and overtraining.  

Evaluate And Refine

Another very important factor to take into consideration as you delegate work to your team members is to keep the lines of communication open and establish a structure to regularly discuss how tasks and activities are progressing. Doing so will allow team members to surface any breakdowns more quickly, and to share their recovery plans to address those breakdowns. This is the way that you stay in coordination with the folks doing the work, without needing to be involved directly in the doing.

As you delegate more and more, and you start to see common breakdowns or pitfalls, you’ll be able to establish practices, guidelines and procedures that minimize those same issues from surfacing in the future.

Delegating tasks and activities in your company may feel daunting, but the rewards and gains in productivity you’ll see from it will pay you back exponentially in business growth and scalability. At Kleriti Business Solutions, we partner with business owners to build the muscle of effective delegation, grounded in the processes and workflows that allow their businesses to operate consistency and with high quality. If you want to be able to delegate more, step away from the day to day of working “for” your business, and begin working “on” your business, contact us today.

The Way You Set Your Business Goals Guarantees Failure

The Way You Set Your Business Goals Guarantees Failure

We’re almost two months through 2019. How is your business doing? Do you have your goals written down and visible? Are you making progress toward accomplishing those goals? Are you tracking that progress?

No business achieves success without clearly defined goals to guide decisions and actions. And those goals must be grounded in a meaningful and intentional purpose to make them stick. Clear goals, such as “complete launch plan for new service line by the end of Q1” provide the direction that leadership and team members need to align, commit and act.

Yet so few entrepreneurs prioritize the time to set goals, and even fewer maintain focus on goals that have been set.

A  recent Gallup study showed that only 22% of employees strongly agree that their organization’s leadership has a clear direction, and only 33% of employees are engaged. Without goals, team members flounder, unsure what success looks like or how to achieve it. They show up, punch the clock, keep themselves busy during the day, punch out and go home. And organizations suffer as a result, never reaching the level of success they could reach. If your company falls into the category of lacking direction and employee engagement, have no fear. Now’s the time to reset your course and take a more strategic approach to business planning.  By setting realistic, clearly defined, measurable goals and having a more clearly defined purpose for your business, you can start down this path today. Here are steps to start the process.

Define Your Purpose

As mentioned above, you must have a purpose behind your business goals. Every person on your team, no matter their position in the organization, needs to be clear on why they’re doing what they’re doing. On why their role, their project, their piece in the puzzle is necessary to get the organization to where it’s going. This is what enables everyone in the boat to paddle in the same direction at the same speed like a well-practiced crew team.

How do you determine your purpose? Here are some questions to begin the conversation:

  • What do we care about?
  • What brings us meaning, value, satisfaction and fulfillment?
  • Why does our company exist?
  • What promises do we make to our team members? to our clients/customers/patents?
  • What results do our clients/customers/patients care about?

When everybody knows the purpose of your business, it sets a universal standard for the direction you are moving. It also guides every conversation, commitment and action that every member of your team makes. Every initiative you and your employees look at taking on throughout the year can be compared to this purpose to ask the question, “Is this in alignment with our purpose, and does pursuing it take care of what we care about?” If the answer is “yes,” it makes sense to pursue further conversations to define goals around it. If the answer is “no,” drop it.

Operating in this fashion will set your business up to not only reach its goals but to have the best year in business it’s ever had. For your convenience, we have a handy worksheet you can download and use to help you along this process.

Use SMART Goals

Once you’re clear on your purpose and the initiatives that align with it, it’s time to get into goal setting. We recommend quarterly leadership team meetings where you look back at progress made on last quarter’s goals and set goals for the quarter ahead. This framework ensures everyone is on the same page as it relates to business direction and focus for the next three months, and also gives members of the leadership team a forum to voice their aspirations and concerns, and break apart issues standing in the way of accomplishing goals.

During these sessions, be sure you’re setting SMART goals. Specifically, SMART stands for:

  • Specific: Goals must be clear and well defined. Vague or generalized goals are unhelpful because they don’t provide sufficient direction.
  • Measurable: Include precise amounts, dates, etc. in your goals so you can measure your degree of success. Without a way to measure success, you miss out on the celebration that comes when you achieve something.
  • Attainable: Make sure that it’s possible to achieve the goals you set. Set realist yet challenging goals that require you to “raise the bar.” These bring the greatest satisfaction.
  • Relevant: Goals should be relevant to the direction you want to go in, and to your purpose.
  • Time-Bound: Your goals must have a deadline. When you are working on a deadline, your sense of urgency increases and achievement comes that much quicker.

Using this technique when defining your goals allows you to frame them in a way that ensures they’re clear, actionable, trackable and attainable. And once the quarter’s goals are set, don’t change them. This shows that your leadership team has a clear direction and is not wavering from it.

Make Progress Visible To Everyone

Once your goals are defined, communicate them to everyone in your organization. Following each quarterly leadership team meeting, hold an all-staff meeting where you report out on the three most relevant data points for each of the following:

  • Where you’ve been — successes and progress over the previous quarter
  • Where you are — important headlines
  • Where you’re going — newly set company priorities for this quarter 

And don’t stop there, or else it’s easy for goals to fall into the“out of sight, out of mind” category. Instead, visibly track progress toward reaching each goal, holding team members to weekly to-dos.

Aligning your team on your organization’s purpose and making sure everyone is focused on your goals can be challenging. These elements are essential to the growth and long-term success of your company. If you are looking for assistance in defining and aligning your goals, contact us today for a free, one-on-one, no obligation consultation.

Attracting Top Talent To Your Business Isn’t As Hard As You Think

Attracting Top Talent To Your Business Isn’t As Hard As You Think

Ask any business owner and they will tell you how difficult it can be to find and retain top talent. Recruiting and retaining excellent team members is critical to the growth of your company. It’s remarkable how much extra productivity an organization can realize from having top talent on board. A recent study of more than 600,000 researchers, entertainers, politicians, and athletes found that high performers are 400 percent more productive than average performers.

Studies of businesses show similar results, and also reveal that the increase in productivity continues to rise as a job’s complexity does. In highly complex occupations, high performers are up to 800 percent more productive. So it’s easy to understand why every company wants to scoop up top talent. Finding those high performers, though, can be the ultimate challenge!

The secret to attracting high-quality team members is differentiating yourself from other industry players, and showing those folks how joining your company can help them reach their career goals. Today I want to share with you a few tips on how to do this.

It All Starts At Home

Before you start posting your job openings on job sites, consider the fact that you may be able to source a great new employee simply by having conversations with your current employees and referral partners. The truth is that these folks know you, like you, and trust you, and may know others that would be a great fit for your company.

By letting your employees and referral partners know what positions you are looking to fill, and arming them with a card they can hand out to anyone they run across that might fit the bill of a great candidate, they’ll be able to help you on this journey.


Sometimes the best way to find top talent is as simple as hanging out where they do. Industry-specific events where top performers are most likely to be attending or participating offer fantastic opportunities. You’ll not only get a feel for what top talent is up to in your industry, but you will also get the opportunity to get some facetime in with potential candidates, learning more about them and in the process, familiarizing them with your company.

The biggest advantage of this type of recruiting is that the people you are coming into contact with more than likely aren’t actively looking for a new job. This means that there is less competition trying to recruit them and gives you a leg up should you decide to discuss with them the benefits of joining your company.

How Does Your Company Stand Out?

This is very important, and an often overlooked question. It’s important to remember that you are competing against other companies to try and woo top talent to come and work for you. One of the most important questions to ask yourself is what makes you different and/or better than other companies in your industry?

Having a strong and unique value proposition is critical to attracting top talent. People at the top of their game in your industry are not looking to be part of an organization that is simply trying to mimic what others are doing. They want to work for a company with a vision. One that they feel they can not only contribute to but that also will offer opportunities for growth and advancement. You have to be able to share how the company value proposition is lived every day, along with the vision and mission of the organization. You need to clearly articulate this so that they can put themselves in the shoes of an employee and get excited about the prospect of working with your team.

Attracting top talent for your company isn’t a walk in the park. Start by utilizing these three tips to be on your way to locating the next unicorn that is going to help you and your team realize your vision.

4 Reasons Your Business Needs To Be Self Sustaining

4 Reasons Your Business Needs To Be Self Sustaining

If you ask any business owner why they started their business, you are bound to get some flavor of, “I wanted more control over my life,” or “I wanted to be financially independent.”

While these are fantastic reasons to start your own business, the reality of the situation is that most business owners, eager to grow their businesses and make a future for themselves, end up in a different place than they originally expected, losing sight of that control and independence. They often end up getting overly involved in working “for” the business and become its key asset to sustainability.

Business self-sustainability should be a goal of every business owner, whether your business is large or small, no matter what industry you are in. There are many key benefits to running a self-sustainable business. Here are the top four:

Self Sustaining Businesses Are Worth More

If your goal is to build your business and one day sell it, know that businesses that are owner-operated traditionally net a lower sale price than businesses that are absentee-owned.

Why is this? It’s simple economics. A potential buyer isn’t buying your company because they think you are great. They are buying your company because they want cash flow. If the business survives only with you being in it, working for the business, buying your company would require more effort on their part. They will have to find somebody to replace you and/or get involved in the day to day operations of your business. And they probably don’t want that.

This added effort on their part makes the purchase less attractive and they, therefore, will offer you less money for your company. Designing your business to be self-sustaining takes this obstacle off the table, making your organization more attractive to buyers and ultimately getting you a higher price for your business.

Self Sustainability Decreases Risk To The Business

Another advantage to having a self-sustainable business is the lower overall risk it poses to your business’ success. If you run a business, and the majority of its survival and day to day operations depend directly on you, what happens if suddenly you were no longer there? What if you were to get in a horrible car accident on the way to work and were in the hospital for an extended period of time? How would your business continue?

Of course, nobody wants to think of horrible scenarios such as a tragic car accident, but it is something that should be considered. If your business cannot survive without you in it, you are putting your employees and their family’s lives in potential risk. How would they continue to be gainfully employed in a company that can’t function because you physically cannot go to work?

Even more realistically, what about when you need to secure additional funding? The fact of the matter is that banks and investors are much more comfortable with and willing to get into business with companies that have evolved beyond the owner-operator stage. Putting the time in to become self-sustainable will work to your advantage when you are ready to expand and need a loan or are looking to take on investors.

Self Sustainability Turns Your Business Into An Annuity

What if you have no intention of selling your business? If you are in this category, developing a self-sustaining business model is actually even more important.

The truth is even if you love working, you cannot work forever. Eventually, there comes a time in all our lives when we want to slow down, enjoy the life we’ve built and enter retirement. The problem with this is if your business isn’t self-sustainable, and you don’t sell it, it can’t survive. Without you doing the work to make the money, the business, and the money, dries up.

A self-sustainable business can easily become an annuity for you when you retire. You can be the hands-off owner, enjoying the cash flow the business brings you and essentially treating it just like another investment in your portfolio.

Self Sustainability Frees You From Your Business

Looping back to the reasons you started your company in the first place, one of the most important reasons to consider setting your business up to be self-sustainable is personal freedom. You started your business because you wanted to be your own boss and have more control over your life. Why would you stay stuck in the position of feeling like you are a slave to your company?

Creating a self-sustainable business allows you to take a step away when you want to, while your business does what it does every day, unaffected by your absence.