Success Stories

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One company’s goal was to reduce the turnover of 7% to 2% a month. Once they assessed the good and bad performers, they discovered they were hiring people with traits that absolutely didn’t fit the culture of the position. 2% was realized in the first quarter after implementing hiring benchmarks.

One company was experiencing a 55% success hire rate. By assessing the candidates they quickly recognized they were hiring sub par candidates. With assessments they quickly improved to over 80% of all final candidates meeting high performance standards.

One company wanted to promote a go-getter on a lower level in the company. However, their profile showed that this person liked movement, change and variety. Traditionally this identifiable style will want to change job responsibilities every 3 years. I showed them how this person would want new goals down the road but being the CEO’s Admin Asst. they would know everything about the company and take inside competitive information with him/her when they left, so the employer passed on that promotion. A year later that candidate did leave. The employer told me, “That may have been the best non-hire I have made in my life.”

I evaluated the final five candidates for a company and identified red flags in several of the candidates. I suggested several questions for each for final interviews. Three were busted with just good follow up questions. Remember, those that interview candidates have tendencies to be too trusting, or bite on one thing they want to focus on. Matching the interviewer style to the candidate style can easily reveal gaps that can lead to poor hiring.

In one hire there just wasn’t a perfect fit of final candidates for the position. So by asking the employer “At the end of the year, what is the one most important accomplishment from this position that you want if all else was sub par?” helped them identify the best candidate. The gaps identified could be compensated for by coaching and training.

Often creating benchmarks and the consulting part are part of a package rate with the price based on number of assessments. Other times, itemizing is a good way to go. Benchmarks and assessments can range from $100 to several hundred dollars per candidate. So $500 to $1500 is not unexpected on the minimal levels. Executive levels often pay 30% of salaries for a search. These costs are much more a great value when you look at costs of getting rid of a bad hire.

A CEO called me and said he has a new hire for the Exec Team and he wants me to bring him up to speed on the performance tools and culture the team has been using, and also to help him understand the team. The boss was a strong Decisive type. I coached the new hire to go in and tell the CEO in the weekly meetings a) This is how I see things, b) This is my plan of what I am going to do about it, c) This is the timeline of results, d) And unless I hear from you, I am already doing it. This allows the boss to know what the new hire is capable of, how confident they are, and if the boss wants to interject a different priority or make them aware of particular dynamics they can. Otherwise the boss can know the new hire is on the ball, the boss doesn't have to worry and he can focus on other issues or personnel.

A CEO had brought on two new Exec Team members. The CEO was highly analytical and big on quality. I strongly suggested to the new members to go in to the CEO with either or; A or B options; this or that; yes or no. Don't begin with "How are you?", "What do you think about this?" or anything open ended. It would be too confusing and non productive. This was huge. The staff later told me that helped them so much and proved true in getting decisions approved, handling difficult situations and improving communication. When they saw others not do it, boy did it cause delays and frustrations.

I love to tell this one. A dozen new Directors had been brought into an organization over a few months. I was to hold a group session bringing them all up to speed at one time. I invited the Exec Team members to attend at the end of the session for a Q & A. At that time I gave worse case scenario to the COO of how they wanted problems handled. The COO is assertive when problem solving. By addressing how to handle problems with the COO in front of the group the new Directors would hear straight from the horse's mouth what is expected, avoiding any future timid or watering down tendencies. The COO said, beautifully in my opinion, "When you have a significant problem come tell me, get it on the table, state how you see it, I'll state how I see it, we'll discuss options, make a decision and get over it. And don't go away making it personal. It isn't. It's just a decision addressing a task." I loved it. Now they all knew. They heard it together. If they don't do it they will now be in trouble. Imagine how many issues won't be hidden and how much better the team can perform. Obviously this works when the boss has confidence and trust. I was thanked many times by those Directors for getting that out in the open, because it proved true over that year.

A CEO wanted to create a new position. The questions were: was it feasible, when to act and could we move a current Director into that position. I was able to validate, with other similar other successful companies, the creative structure was a valid idea and what made it work, provide do's and don'ts as tips, discuss the dynamics of impact to the operations and the team and how to gain their approval, but not with the Director he had in mind. It would have been a failure taking a year or two to correct. The idea was put on hold and implemented nearly 3 months later with a better candidate. Innovative but well thought out.

A VP asked me to coach a Director who was very skilled in his position and had huge potential, but was not ready due to poor relationship skills. Division had contacted them needing this Director in a higher level within a year. My job was to get them ready. I assessed the Director who had a natural Perfectionist Behavior Style and was non Social in Motivation and Values. Basically blunt and insensitive and almost proud of it. Great as a worker, poor as a leader.  Through the assessment process I was able to prove these dynamics to him, gain his trust and relate to his personal concerns and performance.   I suggested that each morning he address employees with a greeting and inquire about their children using their actual names. He asked, "Why do I need to do that?" (hence the problem) and I answered, "Because that is why they are working for you." Ok he said. A week and a half later I asked if he did what was asked and he said yes, and that it was very interesting. "Tell me! I've never heard something like this before." I said. An employee who had resigned came in and un-resigned stating "Something is different and if it's real I want to stay". "Wow!" I said, "Do you know what that means?" He shook his head No. "It means you are the problem!" He replied, "Apparently." He smirked in concession.  He employed many other new techniques I had suggested and was promoted in less than a year.

A new Director once handed me a problem saying, "I don't want to dump this on you but I don't know what else to do. I have an employee that is so disruptive and negative, when we see each other we both turn away and at this point I have written him up and with one more thing I will have to fire him." I assessed the Director and evaluated the communication without ever meeting the employee. I gave 4-5 suggestions. The Director was stunned, but said, "OK, at this point I don't have much choice." Three weeks later I met with her again and this was her response. "I can't believe how completely this relationship has turned around. I did what you said and it immediately changed everything. Now she is my best employee. She's positive, she stopped all negativity, she's energized and I am getting more things done in the department and I just can't believe it." Eight years later she saw me on site working with a new team and she told this story herself and parted saying, "Listen to what Randy is advising. I almost fired a great employee because I did not know how to manage."

So often I am called in to address an upper level employee or Director who was promoted, being great with certain skills at the prior position, but just aren't reaching expectations and problems are now surfacing. This is a bad situation which is about to get worse. Having to get rid of an employee or demote them when he or she used to be a star. The transition into a new management position is creating problems instead of successes. One of my first questions to the VP was "How long has this person been on the job?", "Oh about three years"  he said.  I honestly told him "If this was a one or two meeting fix you wouldn't have called me.  But please get me in here long before three years of poor habits are formed."  He said, "I knew it would take more than a couple but I had to start with that."  These kind of situations often take 6-10 sessions to get things turned around. But that is still much more cost effective than replacing them. Once the results are achieved the organization will ask me to go to the next situation.  Three months later the CEO told me things were running smooth.

One new Director had inherited a team with a trouble maker. By working with the employee causing trouble, the employee was able to see she was in the wrong career and was never going to reach her potential, as well as be constantly frustrated and stressing others. She was a good person in the wrong position. Within a month she had resigned to chase her dream elsewhere. This could have been a terrible legal issue but by convincing the employee their best interest was elsewhere it was not a costly fix. In fact by using Ceros they probably saved a bundle. (This scenario is not so uncommon. It has been a great method to solving department problems cost effectively).

Another Director was struggling with managing all the tasks of their position and department as well as struggling with multiple personal crises. Life can trap people at times, leading them down a deteriorating slope. Because she had great skills and intellect, and the company was building a new wing for that department, her supervisor asked me to work with her. Assessing that she was not a high Utilitarian (not able to multitask people and operations), I designed a daily work structure for her to follow as well as coaching tips on how to manage her shift managers and delegate tasks better. Her turnaround was a huge success taking 3-6 months to accomplish and stabilize. The new wing was built with the move flowing smoothly. Profits flowed and the staff settled in performing nicely. The Director was promoted the next year and saved the new company by establishing critical Quality Standards and Procedures that held off audit inspection consequences.

On one 3 day retreat of an annual meeting of entrepreneurs, from all over the nation, I had a two hour session in the afternoon of the 2nd day (generally a tough slot time).  I had the whole 200 participants hurting from laughter as he addressed the dynamics of what entrepreneurs go through relating to their Behavior Styles. It actually was a healing process for these hard working risk takers. They were amazed someone could walk in and relate to so many all at once.

Another session I had the Exec Team address role play scenarios that absolutely challenged the Exec Team to think on their feet, while on stage in front of the whole staff. The result was spontaneous, humorous action that brought the house down. It set the stage for learning from real situations using proven principles, but by tweaking the settings and characters just a little. "A little leaven raises the whole loaf."

While at a retreat a team of Directors was given a communication game. The Directors were set up in teams of 6 to compete against each other. Each team was led by a new Director and the experienced Directors were placed at the bottom of teams. The inverse placement of experience revealed communication gaps from top down and bottom up. In the reflection time afterward people could laugh at their mistakes, but learned what not to do in a fun setting. When they repeated the exercise, even with new dynamics, they performed much more openly and successfully.  Barriers we removed and trust was on the increase making for better communication.

At another retreat, a team of Director members who had gone through a difficult several years of stress, were given a simple game with very specific but limited instructions. As they sorted out the solutions, the clicks within the group started working together but quickly broke down. The new dynamics forced new relationships. One member who generally was almost always calm became extremely urgent and vocal and ended up working against everyone. The exercise showed the team that their own biases were hindering obvious solutions and they were invalidating each other. Their real work problems weren't external, but internal. They were not working together. Just knowing that freed them to make improvements, one being to praise each other and let go of emotional baggage (not in the job description). The quiet (passive aggressive type) member was found to truly be working against the team and was eventually asked to leave.  In the next 6 months relationships significantly improved, stress reduced, and decisions for the team became easier.

A client CEO asked me to address a VP and the VP's direct report who were having conflicts. I met with both, but quickly recognized the problem was with primarily with the direct report. Within an hour I had developed trust and gained buy-in for an adjusted perspective by the direct report. I told the VP, "Now that they are fixed, it is your job to not screw it up. So here is what to do and not do." Two weeks later I went in for a review of the situation. The VP told me it was going great. I asked how they felt about that. "Frankly he said, I am pretty ticked off. I tried everything I could for months and nothing worked. You came in and in one session turned it around."

A client called to ask me for immediate suggestions over the phone. A Director who was an obvious Type A person, but good performer in her department often would just lose it with other Directors griping and telling them what was wrong. Other Directors were obviously not Type A and took the rants as abuse. They needed a solution quick.  One Director's personality was Introverted. I suggested that she simply turn their back to the person at the start of a rant. (Body language is a powerful communication piece). "That's it, she asked?" "It's a great first step," I replied. They called back later that same day and said "Randy, you won't believe what's happened. I passed on your suggestion and it worked better than I ever dreamed. The Director turned her body and the Type A Director immediately switched modes asking if there was something wrong and if she could help!"

People have often told me, "Randy you present logical good stuff. I like it and it really helps. I was thinking about leaving, but if they are investing dollars to pay you to help me I am inclined to stay. Where else am I going to get this personal training and insight?"

"I feel guilty that they are spending money on me when so many here need this training. I was ready to put out my resume but I want more training from you, so I decided to stay."

Randy you present insights I hadn't considered. I believe I need to grow more in my skills and I want to maximize from this as best I can. It can only help me down the road."

A manufacturer wanted to reduce turnover rate per month from 7% to 2%. I completed a study assessing good and bad performers. The results were clear. They were hiring people with traits they could not identify but would not stay on the job due to the work environment. They believed in promoting from within, so the problem was not screening out unproductive traits at the hiring stage then managing the good hires. The CEO saw the results of the study and wanted the assessments on all hires and current staff. This was more work than we had discussed but the results were too telling. When I gave the quote he asked for he bluntly stated, "I can't afford that!" I showed him where he was actually paying $500,000 a year that was walking out the door with no return. No one had showed him the real cost of his turnover. He paused for a long ten seconds and said "Your right." He signed on and saved over $400,000 the first year.