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People, Performance and Profit Blog


Why Do We Have to Make Things Hard?, July 19, 2018

It seems HR, like many professions, has to make relatively straightforward concepts as difficult as possible to prove we're professionals.


Mediocrity vs. High Performance, July 24, 2017

I came across the title of an article today that was contrary to what I seem to teach in my leadership course, "Collaboration Creates Mediocrity, Not Excellence, Says Science. So, of course I had to read it.


Don't Ask The Question If You Don't Want to Deal With the Answer, June 13, 2017

I'm a consultant. Business owners come to me for advice. They don't always like the answer I give them. But it's their company--they don't have to use that advice. And that's OK. I reserve the right to do the same in my own company.


Winning the War for Profit, June 6, 2017

Warning! This post contains shameless self-promotion, as well as a modicum of useful information.

In an earlier post, I talked about leadership training as often pursued by companies, versus leadership training that actually works.



Trust and Face-Time, June 2, 2017

I was speaking at an HR conference last week on the subject of managing change. In that talk, I talked about the importance of trust in getting employees to adopt change.

In the Q & A at the end of the session, one of the attendees asked, "How can one get employees in remote locations without regular interaction with management to trust the management team?" My response? "Facetime."



Retaining and Propagating Knowledge, May 10, 2017

Have you noticed it is a never-ending battle to keep yourself proficient? Things are changing every day. You are never done learning. And neither are your employees. No one can be expert in everything you do.

Presonally, I hate everything to do with accounting. I don't want to learn any detail. I want to know enough to understand the financial statements--I am perfectly happy to leave the details to someone else. I hire someone to do the bookkeeping who will make sure we have the records we need and know where the money comes from, where it's going and what's our current status. It keeps me sane. I use that information to make decisions, but I don't want the time suck of trying to keep up on this myself.



Let's Talk Systems, April 17, 2017

I am a big proponent for setting up systems. For many reasons.

HR is an interruption-rich environment. If you have never worked in HR, it can be a madhouse. If that that if I don't have some way to keep track of that needs to be done oand where I am in the process, things get forgotten. Just because I was thinking of doing a task or partially done with a task when I am interrupted, my brain translates that to "Done!"



Leadership Training Doesn't Work, Does It?, April 10, 2017

I was reading another article this week, arguing that leadership training doesn't work. I agree, but that doesn't mean it can't work.

Here are the reasons I see that the expenditure many companies make in leadership training doesn't yield the results they expect.



Value People, February 23, 2016

I have talked about this before in my short diatribe against the term "human capital." But that has been a while, so after hearing John Maxwell speak last week, it is once again top of mind.

I try to read and listen as much as I can to anything about leadership. Last week, the Sewell Family of Companies hosted a leadership event in Wichita Falls, featuring John C. Maxwell. I have read many of John Maxwell's books, but have never heard him speak, so reserved a seat at this event. Although there were many excellent takeaways, there was one I wanted to address today.



Penny's Top 7 Best Practices, February 15, 2016

In the last blog post, I talked about the Top 10 employment law mistakes. That blog was focused on compliance. Compliance is not my favorite thing about HR. You do compliance because you have to. It is a cost avoidance/risk management strategy. But compliance doesn't make you money. In fact, it costs you money--you just hope it is less than you would have lost without it.

Today, I want to talk about what types of HR practices can make you money. HR isn't thought of as a revenue-generating activity. It is seen as a cost. And it is true, that by itself, HR doesn't prodcue any products or services your customers buy. But I can tell you for certain, that your HR practices have a huge impact upon whether your company is successful because people matter.



Penny's Top 10 Employment Law Mistakes, February 8, 2016

First off, Penny is not a lawyer. So why am I talking about employment law mistakes? It doesn't take a lawyer to see what types of things repeatedly get companies into trouble. All you have to do it watch the news.

The law is intended to constrain our actions. It is the box that companies have to operate within. Stay within the lines and all is well. Stray outside, and the potential for expensive problems rises the further outside of that box you go. In other words, this post is about compliance and managing risk. (Don't worry, the next post is about actually doing things that can help your company make money.)

So what do I see as the Top 10 mistakes?



Whining or Winning?, January 26, 2016

There is a oft-cited quote about customer service that says, "Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning." (Bill Gates) Most of us believe that. We dissect customer complaints; we do customer surveys. We try to figure out what our customers want, and we change processes, products and services to meet their expectations.

Given that, why do we have a totally different view toward employee complaints? When employees complain, we say they "have a bad attitude," they're "whiners,"  or "crybabies." I understand the sentiment. I even find myself falling prey to that same thought process. Then I slap myself and remember, these people can help me...if I listen. No complaints? Then you have a problem. A serious problem. This is the waving red flag that your employees either do not care enough about your organization to tell you when something seems wrong to them, or they do not trust you to do anything about it. Or worse, they may feel a complaint is a sure-fire way to get a pink slip.


A Conundrum, January 4, 2016

There are two phrases I find myself using a lot when talking to employers. The first is, "Do the right thing." The other is, "No good deed goes unpunished." I am serious about both of them, but they sometimes put us in a conundrum.

Doing the right thing is different than doing the legal thing. No, you don't have to provide breaks. No, (at least in Texas), you don't have a limit on the amount of time you can work an employee in a day. No, you don't have to pay an employee mileage for the use of their vehicle if you pay them minimum wage. That doesn't necessarily make these actions right, and in some cases, could be dangerous and open your company to liability if tired employees have an accident. Doing the right thing means to look at more than what is required to what is ethical when framed with your company's values and your belief system.

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