Post-Tribune http://posttrib.suntimes.com Latest news from Post-Tribune Online en-us webmaster@suntimes.com (Editor) http://posttrib.suntimes.com/csp/cms/sites/STM/assets/img/logos/posttrib.gif Post-Tribune http://posttrib.suntimes.com 84 34 30 Copyright 2014 <![CDATA[ Turnover drains profits and productivity ]]> Lead story image

Employee turnover is a serious profit-draining issue with small firms and contributes to poor productivity as well as a disengaged workforce. I know of one local small business in Northwest Indiana where turnover is like a turnstyle. Of course some industries, such as gaming have a higher degree of turnover than others. Experts predict healthcare may experience a much higher degree of turnover in the next several years. A recent interview caught my eye regarding employee turnover. David Ossip, CEO of Ceridian (human resources and payroll firm). Ossip shared the following: • Under 8 percent turnover rate indicates a very good … ]]> Sun, 20 Jul 2014 19:02:00 -0500 http://posttrib.suntimes.com/news/hoaglandsmith/28774823-452/turnover-drains-profits-and-productivity.html http://posttrib.suntimes.com/news/hoaglandsmith/28774823-452/turnover-drains-profits-and-productivity.html <![CDATA[ Disengaged employees doom many businesses ]]>

Gallup recently released its annual state of engagement for the U.S. workforce and it’s a must-read for any small business owner, C Suite executive or manager. The cost of disengaged employees is staggering and yet continues to be ignored by the majority of U.S. businesses -- those with fewer than 20 employees. These firms have the most to lose because the lack of productivity cannot be absorbed by other employees. Larger firms benefit by the strength in numbers philosophy, even though they have more people disengaged. In 2013, according to Gallup, 70 percent of any workforce is not actively engaged … ]]> Sat, 12 Jul 2014 12:50:00 -0500 http://posttrib.suntimes.com/news/hoaglandsmith/28624286-452/disengaged-employees-doom-many-businesses.html http://posttrib.suntimes.com/news/hoaglandsmith/28624286-452/disengaged-employees-doom-many-businesses.html <![CDATA[ Employee engagement starts with a shared understanding ]]>

Fourth of July is over and it’s tme to get back to business. Each year, U.S. citizens spend millions of dollars to celebrate this significant day. Those purchases light up the skies for a few minutes to making deafening sounds for a just a moment. The enjoyment is short-lived. Businesses also engage in their own short-lived fireworks. For example, they hire people with celebration and then ignore them. Then at other times, they celebrate their newest talent management (think employee) strategy or initiative only to have it quickly fade and fizzle out. Ask any small business owner what is his … ]]> Sat, 05 Jul 2014 13:00:01 -0500 http://posttrib.suntimes.com/news/hoaglandsmith/28491764-452/employee-engagement-starts-with-a-shared-understanding.html http://posttrib.suntimes.com/news/hoaglandsmith/28491764-452/employee-engagement-starts-with-a-shared-understanding.html <![CDATA[ How to prioritizing your reading list with your busy schedule ]]> Lead story image

Summer is here and what better time than to grab a good book? Yet, with so little time in a day, what should you read? This last column about prioritizing may help with that ongoing dilemma. First, I believe reading should be for both professional growth and personal enjoyment. Sometimes it makes sense to just set a goal to read one business book and another pleasure book within a time frame that works with your schedule. Currently, I have three business-related books and two personal books in my active reading pile. My goal is to read one book every week. … ]]> Sat, 28 Jun 2014 14:40:00 -0500 http://posttrib.suntimes.com/news/hoaglandsmith/28361323-452/how-to-prioritizing-your-reading-list-with-your-busy-schedule.html http://posttrib.suntimes.com/news/hoaglandsmith/28361323-452/how-to-prioritizing-your-reading-list-with-your-busy-schedule.html <![CDATA[ Understanding decisions key to making good ones ]]> Lead story image

Many businesspeople do not understand the influencers behind their decision-making process. One scientist, Dr. Robert Hartman, determined that human beings made decisions using 3 Dimensions of Thought. These three influencers were: • Systems Judgment – Thinkers • Intrinsic – Feelers • Extrinsic – Doers Simply speaking, we make decisions with our heads, our hearts and our hands. What is interesting is we use these 3 Dimensions of Thought when we make decisions about the outside world and when we make decisions about ourselves. Hartman created not only a science, axiology (the theory of value), but one of the few truly objective and deductive … ]]> Sat, 21 Jun 2014 15:36:00 -0500 http://posttrib.suntimes.com/news/hoaglandsmith/28221290-452/understanding-decisions-key-to-making-good-ones.html http://posttrib.suntimes.com/news/hoaglandsmith/28221290-452/understanding-decisions-key-to-making-good-ones.html <![CDATA[ Maybe ‘just say no’ before prioritizing day ]]> Lead story image

For years, “Just say No” was associated with several marketing programs to even school and self-improvement curriculums. Sometimes small business owners to sales professionals might be wise to adopt this strategy first before even beginning to prioritize all those daily must do tasks. When we prioritize there is an existing presumption that everything needs to be done. The question is, is this really true? Must everything be done? What would happen to those daily tasks if several were eliminated by just saying no? From my experience, much of our being overwhelmed is because we say yes to everything. Possibly we … ]]> Sat, 14 Jun 2014 12:58:00 -0500 http://posttrib.suntimes.com/news/hoaglandsmith/28077223-452/maybe-just-say-no-before-prioritizing-day.html http://posttrib.suntimes.com/news/hoaglandsmith/28077223-452/maybe-just-say-no-before-prioritizing-day.html <![CDATA[ Build a bracket for your list of must-do tasks to prioritize ]]> Lead story image

How many times have you ended up attempting to decide between the same two things to do as you begin your daily tasks? Then what happens? Sometimes neither of those tasks are accomplished and carried over to the next day with other tasks. Then do you feel you are just getting further and further behind? Does any of this sound familiar? What would happen if I shared with you a very good exercise that quickly prioritizes all those challenges in such a way that supports you in your ongoing goal to accomplish them by removing the existing prioritizing obstacles? Maybe … ]]> Sat, 07 Jun 2014 14:22:00 -0500 http://posttrib.suntimes.com/news/hoaglandsmith/27934301-452/build-a-bracket-for-your-list-of-must-do-tasks-to-prioritize.html http://posttrib.suntimes.com/news/hoaglandsmith/27934301-452/build-a-bracket-for-your-list-of-must-do-tasks-to-prioritize.html <![CDATA[ Businesses today built around juggling roles, responsibilities ]]> Lead story image

Do you ever feel you should be the circus juggler in the center ring with everything you must do every day? The priorities from marketing to administrative to actually meeting with customers not to mention those “pesky” employees overwhelm your daily plate. Sometimes it seems absolutely everything is a priority. Well, welcome to today’s small business world or a real mad, mad, world. There are more things to do and less people to do them. Prioritization is a skill and one that is not learned to the level of expertise needed in today’s technology-driven world. Many have been lulled into … ]]> Sat, 31 May 2014 10:54:00 -0500 http://posttrib.suntimes.com/news/hoaglandsmith/27788118-452/businesses-today-built-around-juggling-roles-responsibilities.html http://posttrib.suntimes.com/news/hoaglandsmith/27788118-452/businesses-today-built-around-juggling-roles-responsibilities.html <![CDATA[ Community leader says the best ‘listen with their eyes’ ]]> Lead story image

Today is Memorial Day, a day of remembrance for those leaders who died during military conflicts. The military has been essential to American history as well as business. I had the opportunity recenlty to interview Greg Farrall, president and CEO of Farrall Wealth. Although not a U.S. veteran, his father was a surgeon in the Air Force and Greg understands the military because he and his two brothers are graduates of Culver Military Academy. He has since participated in numerous boards at Culver, most recently helping Culver’s Ron Rubin School of the Entrepreneur. Greg continues to give back/pay forward by … ]]> Mon, 26 May 2014 08:20:01 -0500 http://posttrib.suntimes.com/news/hoaglandsmith/27651580-452/community-leader-says-the-best-listen-with-their-eyes.html http://posttrib.suntimes.com/news/hoaglandsmith/27651580-452/community-leader-says-the-best-listen-with-their-eyes.html <![CDATA[ Blogging has become increasingly strong marketing tool ]]> Lead story image

I came across this quotation from Chris Brogan last week: “No matter what, the very first piece of social media real estate I’d start with is a blog.” For those who may not recognize Brogan, he is a nationally recognized expert on social media with more than 278,000 followers on Twitter; in 129,507 circles on Google+ and the author of eight books including his most recent, “The Freaks Shall Inherit the Earth: Entrepreneurship for Weirdos, Misfits and World Dominators.” Blogs can be a powerful marketing channel and can dramatically increase influence as well as positively impact business growth. In February … ]]> Sat, 17 May 2014 14:12:00 -0500 http://posttrib.suntimes.com/news/hoaglandsmith/27506227-452/blogging-has-become-increasingly-strong-marketing-tool.html http://posttrib.suntimes.com/news/hoaglandsmith/27506227-452/blogging-has-become-increasingly-strong-marketing-tool.html <![CDATA[ Social media the next generation of marketing ]]> Lead story image

Social media has become for many small business owners and sales professionals a mud pit where time is sucked away along with the results. Part of the reason some believe that is that many of them probably never had a written marketing plan for their traditional marketing efforts. Now they have no marketing plan for their social media or inbound marketing efforts. A marketing plan originates from the strategic thinking and planning process where time is devoted to identify: • Market segments • Market trends from local to global • Competitor’s strengths and weaknesses • Ideal buying profile including both demographics and psychographics • The … ]]> Sat, 10 May 2014 13:54:00 -0500 http://posttrib.suntimes.com/news/hoaglandsmith/27358843-452/social-media-the-next-generation-of-marketing.html http://posttrib.suntimes.com/news/hoaglandsmith/27358843-452/social-media-the-next-generation-of-marketing.html <![CDATA[ Spring showers bring marketing flowers ]]> Lead story image

April has passed with its early spring showers and now we are looking forward to all those May flowers. Marketing for small businesses is very much like the annual and perennial flowers of spring and summer. The annual marketing flowers are those that come up year after year without any replanting. Content marketing blooms annually without any further attention. For the last nine years I have employed article marketing. In 2010, I added my own blog to my inbound marketing efforts. These postings are continually driving new visitors to my website and eventually some turn into executive coaching clients or … ]]> Sat, 03 May 2014 14:16:00 -0500 http://posttrib.suntimes.com/news/hoaglandsmith/27214782-452/spring-showers-bring-marketing-flowers.html http://posttrib.suntimes.com/news/hoaglandsmith/27214782-452/spring-showers-bring-marketing-flowers.html <![CDATA[ A leader with an edible business shares her thoughts on leadership ]]> Lead story image

Spring is a good time to think of flowers and what could be better if those flowers were edible? For this final column of April, I had the opportunity to interview Ann Lichnerowicz, owner of Edible Arrangements in Valparaiso and Portage. Ann lives in Portage with her husband and family. She shares her free time with several not-for-profit organizations including the Valparaiso Rotary. 1. Share 5 words to describe a leader • Honesty • Conviction • Driven • Fair • Forward thinking 2. How much do positive core values play in the role of being a leader? Core values play an essential role in how we live … ]]> Sat, 26 Apr 2014 13:44:00 -0500 http://posttrib.suntimes.com/news/hoaglandsmith/27072075-452/a-leader-with-an-edible-business-shares-her-thoughts-on-leadership.html http://posttrib.suntimes.com/news/hoaglandsmith/27072075-452/a-leader-with-an-edible-business-shares-her-thoughts-on-leadership.html <![CDATA[ Ignoring human capital is beyond foolish ]]> Lead story image

Human capital is the most expensive asset that any company has. Years ago many considered employees a cost, a burden to the bottom line. The emphasis was on cost-cutting to acquiring new technology and not on developing the greatest asset for any organization – its people. Today good help is not only hard to find it is hard to keep. As mentioned in previous columns, according to Manpower, 83 percent of U.S. employees are seeking new jobs in 2014. What would you do tomorrow morning if you walked in and discovered 16 of your 20 employees left for greener pastures? … ]]> Sat, 19 Apr 2014 12:50:00 -0500 http://posttrib.suntimes.com/news/hoaglandsmith/26937937-452/ignoring-human-capital-is-beyond-foolish.html http://posttrib.suntimes.com/news/hoaglandsmith/26937937-452/ignoring-human-capital-is-beyond-foolish.html <![CDATA[ No. 1 foolish behavior an obstacle to growing business ]]> Lead story image

After 16-plus years of working with small business owners and senior level executives, I have observed a lot of foolish behaviors. Yet there are seven words that consistently top all others: “We have always done it this way.” Wow! How can any business grow with a mindset and behaviors that are always the same? And what is even worse, this behavior many times starts at the top with executive leadership. How many businesses are still interviewing their applicants essentially the same way? Research has revealed that 90 percent of those doing the interviewing are not trained professional interviewers. Also, with … ]]> Sat, 12 Apr 2014 13:26:00 -0500 http://posttrib.suntimes.com/news/hoaglandsmith/26803181-452/no-1-foolish-behavior-an-obstacle-to-growing-business.html http://posttrib.suntimes.com/news/hoaglandsmith/26803181-452/no-1-foolish-behavior-an-obstacle-to-growing-business.html <![CDATA[ Foolish behaviors drive employees and profits away ]]> Lead story image

April is a month known for practical jokes, which makes it a good time to discuss some of the foolish behaviors that some businesses continue to demonstrate. One of the truisms in business is people leave managers not organizations. Poor behaviors demonstrated by bad managers may be one reason 83 percent of North American employees will be seeking new jobs in 2014, acording to Manpower. Within my own executive coaching practice, I have and continue to observe foolish management behaviors. Take for example the sales manager for a global Fortune 500 firm who decided it made sense not only to … ]]> Sat, 05 Apr 2014 12:50:01 -0500 http://posttrib.suntimes.com/news/hoaglandsmith/26656946-452/foolish-behaviors-drive-employees-and-profits-away.html http://posttrib.suntimes.com/news/hoaglandsmith/26656946-452/foolish-behaviors-drive-employees-and-profits-away.html <![CDATA[ A small business leader who seeks the positive ]]> Lead story image

With March being about measurement, having Rick Gosser of Gosser Corporate Sales Inc. of Crown Point, share his thoughts makes a lot of sense. Beyond losing over 135 pounds and adopting a much healthier and positive lifestyle, Rick’s business has improved because of his change. He has much more energy and that energy is contagious. Gosser Corporate Sales Inc. is all about improving the metrics of small business marketing by having people remember your brand through quality embroidered corporate logo wear, T-shirts, business cards and those all too familiar “chackies.” Q: Rick, what five words or phrases would you use … ]]> Sat, 29 Mar 2014 14:36:01 -0500 http://posttrib.suntimes.com/news/hoaglandsmith/26517785-452/a-small-business-leader-who-seeks-the-positive.html http://posttrib.suntimes.com/news/hoaglandsmith/26517785-452/a-small-business-leader-who-seeks-the-positive.html <![CDATA[ Yes, business ethics can be measured ]]> Lead story image

When small businesses to even much larger ones look at metrics, one of the very rare and overlooked ones is the adherence to business ethics. There is documented research from organizations, such as Ethics Resource Center, Gallup and various universities measuring the impact of business ethics or lack thereof on everything from employee morale to the negative impact on workplace productivity. So the reluctance to avoid business ethics as a key metric or key performance indicator (KPI) is illogical. This begs the question of, “How does one measure ethical behavior within the workplace without being viewed as judgmental or worse … ]]> Sat, 22 Mar 2014 15:28:00 -0500 http://posttrib.suntimes.com/news/hoaglandsmith/26379566-418/yes-business-ethics-can-be-measured.html http://posttrib.suntimes.com/news/hoaglandsmith/26379566-418/yes-business-ethics-can-be-measured.html