SMT Learning Blog

Performance Problem Solving Approaches

Posted by John Prpich on Nov 24, 2014 4:11:57 PM

Problem solving is an important skill for business and life.  We realize how important it is to be a competent problem solver when we move into Supervisory, Management and Leadership roles. Someone once told me, we wouldn’t need managers if there were no problems, people could manage on their own.

So what’s the key to problem solving performance issues? 

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Topics: Performance Management

Leveraging Patience and Tolerance in Performance Management

Posted by John Prpich on Nov 19, 2014 7:30:00 AM

Whether you’re a supervisor, manager or hold a leadership function, you are tasked with getting the best from your people, not only for your benefit or the companies, but mostly for their own personal benefit. People that do great work are happy and being happy can become infectious.

Throughout my career I’ve had the privilege of holding several leadership positions, I’ve had anywhere from 1-20 individuals report to me, and during that time I learned a valuable lesson about patience and tolerance.

Let’s start with the definitions:

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Topics: Performance Management

How Managers Can Measure What Is Important

Posted by John Prpich on Nov 11, 2014 8:30:00 AM

As children growing up and going to school, we first begun to understand the importance of measurement once we received our first report card.  The report card was a way of measuring our successes and failures, which inevitably were tied to a grade, A, B, C, D, and then the famous F. (E never had a chance)

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Canada's Job Grant Program Offers Exciting Opportunity for Employers

Posted by SMT Learning Staff on Nov 7, 2014 6:30:00 AM

It is an exciting time to be an employer in Canada these days. Employers, workers and training institutions are working together through the Canada Economic Action Plan, Job Grant Program. 

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Workforce Performance: From Mediocre to Excellent

Posted by John Prpich on Nov 5, 2014 8:31:00 AM

Well, there we were all sitting down in an auditorium, waiting to hear a new and compelling message from our leadership team.  There were about 100 employees sitting in the room, we knew that meeting was going to last about 30 minutes and that the company had scheduled these meetings throughout the week.  This wasn't the first time that we attended a meeting like this, it happened two or three times a year, depending on what was going on in the company at the time.

As we sat around I could hear several conversations taking place, always the same comments always the same questions.  So, what do you think they are going to ask us to do this time?  Remember when they kicked off that empowerment campaign and told us we were all going to be empowered, that only last about two months.  Remember when we were asked to create vision statements for each of our units.  We had these banners splashed all over the building, the customers thought we were crazy, that last about 4 months, a little longer than empowerment.  Why do they insist on these programs, they never work and they never stick to them?  

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16 Ways Managers Can Retain Top Talent

Posted by John Prpich on Oct 29, 2014 4:00:00 PM

During the last 20 years, I've had the pleasure of working for several organizations, many of them best in their class. One area of a business that seem to provide employers with multiple challenges is the process of bringing new employees on board. What we used to call orientation is now referred to as the on-boarding process.

Even though the orientation process has evolved to on-boarding, a process that produces better results, most organizations are still using dated techniques of orientation (telling everything you can about the organization in a compressed time frame). The fact of the matter is, these old-school methods are no longer effective in retaining the best-of-the-best in their workforce. 

Onboarding is the process of acquiring, accommodating, assimilating and accelerating new team members, whether they come from outside or inside the organization. Effective onboarding of new team members is one of the most important contributions any hiring manager or HR professional can make to have long-term success.

Onboarding done right drives new employee productivity, accelerates results, and significantly improves talent retention. Yet few organizations manage the pieces of onboarding well. Based on staggering statistics that 22% of staff turnover occurs in the first forty-five days of employment, it makes perfect sense to delay a hire if you don’t have the time to onboard an employee properly.

So How Can My Organization Retain Top Talent?

Have you ever heard the quote by John Wooden, “If you don’t have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?” This is what ultimately happens, 45-60 days into their new position; employees begin to feel very dissatisfied about their new position, boss and company. It doesn’t seem that what the company described is what I’m experiencing, hence, time to leave. There are some simple remedies and some complicated ones as well.


Let’s start with the simple remedies

Easy to-do's you can implement right out of the gate. 

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Workforce Performance: How Managers Can Have Difficult Conversations

Posted by John Prpich on Oct 23, 2014 3:23:57 PM


One of the more challenging aspects of leading and managing people is the need to deliver bad news that relates to workforce performance. What often tends to happen is that we choose to ignore the situation, sparing us and the other person the feelings of confrontation or conflict, albeit worsening the situation.

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"Coaching” The New Proactive Discipline

Posted by John Prpich on Oct 16, 2014 3:15:42 PM

The purpose of this missive is to inform the reader about coaching, what it is, and why it serves as the more progressive, intelligent and effective technique and mindset to improve employee and company performance.

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Getting to Employee Accountability

Posted by John Prpich on Oct 15, 2014 6:31:00 AM

The business landscape is in a constant state of flux, the demands on business grow day by day, unrelenting competition and the need to differentiate oneself from the competition. At the end of the day, many of us have the same goals, increased customer satisfaction, increased revenue and income streams.  The objectives that support these goals have also remained relatively the same; but the approach has changed. Today’s business jargon is filled with words like transparency, engagement and trust. We recognize how systems engineering is a business enabler, six sigma, continuous improvement, lean manufacturing and TQM.

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10 Quick Tips To Ensure Continuous Competency Improvement

Posted by RJ Ferguson on Oct 9, 2014 6:30:00 AM

The success of a company can significantly improve with a knowledgeable, skilled and well-trained workforce. For organizations to remain adaptable and competitive, improving competencies allows an organization to contribute to increased productivity and greater revenue. The benefits of an investment that ensures competency improvement, far outweigh the costs.

Improving employee competencies is an opportunity every employer should embrace.

Here are 10 quick tips for ensuring continuous competency improvement in your organization.

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