Board Converting News, July 19, 2021

How To Keep Employees Fresh And Focused BY MARK NESBITT

fore date.” Just like that moldy bread, I had to be, for lack of a better word, composted. So, with loads of experience, I think my real-life example may help those looking at an “outdated” employee. The leadership starts to wonder how such a great product went bad. Providing Regular Feedback I sincerely believe there are many causes; most are avoidable if you are strategic about keeping your team fresh. The first and most crucial leadership technique is to provide honest and regular feedback. Timing is critical; too often, we seem to lose the ability to even meet with them and give them any input. Some companies have adopted the annual or semi-annual employee review. For several years I was a big fan of this process. I thought that if my leader gave me some feedback on my performance, they would be forced to follow up on any required actions. For example, a crescent wrench may do the job; however, I’m not confident it’s the best tool for every job. Any parent will tell you that sitting down with your kids once or twice a year and giving them feedback does not work. When disciplinary needs arise, you must act on them at once. You never wait for the annual review to discuss them or get 360-degree feedback. With people, the small things are the big things! Creating Career Roadmaps As leaders, we need to believe in our people and tell them regularly where they are going within the orga-

Most conscious shoppers instinctively know when they are shopping to look at the best “before dates” on a product

before they put it in the cart. Who wants to bring home stale bread or outdated milk only to have it go bad before you have the opportu- nity to enjoy your purchase? It is fair to say that I’m addict-

ed to fresh baked goods. I’m not particular. If it has flour and sugar, it’s got me. There is nothing better than fresh bread. It is soft and squishy and easily molded into different shapes and positions. Over the years, I have noticed that new employees are a lot like fresh bread, the day they start, they seem to be very flexible and forgiving. After they are around for a while, we notice that they are becoming stiff and maybe not quite as flexible as they were at the beginning. Why is that? I am happy to admit that I hit my best “before date” af- ter being with one employer for 25 years. I hit a time when I was no longer as valuable as I was on the first day on the job. My employer also decided that I had hit my best “be- Mark Nesbitt


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July 19, 2021

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