Monday, July 12, 2010

Not Enough Jobs to Reverse the Recession - Good News for Business Owners

Chris Isidore of CNN Money recently wrote that 7.9 million jobs were lost in the recession, many permanently. 

According to labor statistics, employers have been slow to create new jobs; and because so many new people enter the job market every year, the U.S. may not return to previous levels of employment for a long time. 

It's hard to blame employers for being reluctant to create new jobs. Salaries and benefits are the number one expense of a business. So instead, many of them are expecting the people who are still on the payroll to do more. 

They've also cut back on training - another big personnel cost.

Yes, these are obvious ways to conserve costs during a recession. But I wonder if business owners understand the gamble they're taking. I think they forget that while they can require employees to show up and do what's on their job description, there's a lot they can't require, direct, manage or otherwise make employees do on the job - such as giving 110%, being creative, caring about customers, taking risks, and other intangibles that are essential to succeeding in business.

Managers may not be able to force employees to go beyond business-as-usual, but managers who are effective leaders can develop, inspire, empower and encourage employees to give this kind of effort. Leadership is the difference-maker.

The problem is, most managers aren't effective leaders. They may know the business, they may be expert administrators, and they may know how to manage resources, but none of this has to do with leading people.

And since businesses are cutting back on training, managers aren't likely to increase their leadership effectiveness anytime soon.

After years of development and testing, my company has released a new product that seems ideally suited to address this problem - ProStar Coach, an online virtual coaching system for leadership development. There's a lot of information online about it, but here are the main points:

- It develops leadership skills by showing managers what to do, getting them to apply it on the job, and coaching them to learn from this experience.

- In addition to people skills, it focuses on the personal strengths of leaders - something formal leadership training has never done.

- No company can afford to hire executive coaches for all their managers. ProStar Coach provides virtual coaching and a network of peer coaching, essential for long-term follow-up to ingrain improved skills and strengths.

- Leaders can access ProStar's thousands of developmental resources anytime, anywhere. It gets managers to follow through consistently over time until new behavior patterns are ingrained.

- It improves leadership skills and strengths without formal training. Individual subscription costs are about half the cost of a daily cup of coffee.

The recession has been a terrible thing for our economy, but ProStar Coach seems ideally suited to help managers make the most of the people who are already on the payroll - without huge increases in personnel costs.

Post by Dennis E. Coates, Ph.D., Copyright 2010. Building Personal Strength .

No comments: