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Many organizations have regretted the hiring decisions that they have made in the past.  There are significant downfalls to an organization for hiring the wrong people for the job that they were hired for, often times a drain on the organization’s bottom line.  They include:

  • Employee disengagement
  • Lack of creativity and innovation
  • Inability to develop an effective succession plan
  • High turnover

We all know how costly these situations can be.

Since the recession, America has seen a flooded candidate pool, yet companies continue struggling with poor hiring decisions.  Why are we unable to make the best hiring decisions?  The answer is BIAS.  Attracting candidates has become much easier, but screening out those that didn’t meet the needs and culture of a particular organization is a much more difficult task.  This challenge required is that we must look at each key position objectively and eliminate any bias that keeps us from hiring the very best candidates for that position.

As Steven Covey, the Management Guru, stated, “We see the world from our eyes, not as it really is.”  All of us are influenced by how we value experience, knowledge, economics, aesthetics, altruism, power and transition.  When we interview a person who sees the world differently than us, bias can play an unknowingly important role in our decision making process.  Neither right or wrong, nor good or bad, biases are simply a reflection of our own personal viewpoint.  Oftentimes this personal viewpoint is unknowingly injected into the hiring process even when it is totally irrelevant to a specific position or even the organization itself, creating a barrier that may prevent us from selecting those truly superior performers. 

Although laws keep us from acting on our own biases as they relate to gender, age, nationality and sexual orientation, there are still personal biases that enter into the decision making process.  Other biases that hinder our decision making process are experience, education and intelligence.  However, people bring other talents to the job including their passions, beliefs, personal skills and behaviors that can mean the right talent in the right jobs can make or break an organization, even when the product offers some of the brightest stars available.

We have found that one of the most important skills is personal accountability.  Most organizations do not have an awareness of its importance, nor a way to quantitatively measure it.

Effectively measuring a prospective candidate’s behaviors, motivators, personal skills and acumen necessary for a particular position can help your organization attain its full potential.

Gratitude FROM client and TOWARD client-Business Coaching to the next level.


We, as business coaches and mentors always need to remember that we often find ourselves having to be much more.  It is too easy to forget, especially when implementing a proven methodology and/or process, that in order to be a  great coach and mentor, we always need to make sure that the bi-product deliverales-CONFIDENCE-MOTIVATION-INSPIRARTION are always delivered...not just in every meeting, but in every minute of every meeting. 

A client just sent me this casual email that served as an awesome reminder to me:

Subject: Thanks

"Just wanted to thank you again not only for lunch yesterday, but for all the help and support you have given me up to this point."

"While I am grateful for The Birch Group's help as a whole, and the institutional support they offer in support of you...the real value is in your company/individual expertise, passion and guidance."

 "If you ever need a favor, professional or otherwise, please don't hesitate to ask."

"Now that I'm stabilized and nearly 'tooled and ready', I'm looking forward to working with you in a different capacity moving forward.  Thanks again."



The Five Essential Elements of WELLBEING and Worforce Development


The Five Essential Elements

According to a new book, Wellbeing: The Five Essential Elements, released by Tom Rath, a NY Times bestselling author and Jim Harter, there are five essential elements of life that transcend countries, faiths and cultures.  Rath and Harter completed a study of more than 150 countries whose combined populations account for over 98% of the world's population.

Their study discovered what many of us business and career coaches already know, that much of what we think will improve our wellbeing is either misguided or just plain wrong.  They write: "Contrary to what many believe, wellbeing isn't just about being seemingly happy, nor is it about being wealthy and successful.  And, it's certainly not limited to physical health and wellness.  In fact, focusing on any of these elements in isolation could drive us to feelings of frustration and even failure."

The Five Elements are:

  • Career Wellbeing: How you occupy your time/enjoying what you do each day
  • Social Wellbeing: The quality of relationships and love in your life
  • Financial Wellbeing:  Managing your economic life to reduce stress and increase security
  • Physical Wellbeing: Good health and enough energy to get things done on a daily basis
  • Community Wellbeing: Engagement and involvement in the community where you live

Acting on these elements will enable you to enjoy each day and get more out of your life, while boosting the wellbeing of friends, family members, colleagues and others in your community.

These elements are also important to your organization, as when they are in balance, your  employees will be more engaged, healthier and much more productive.  When the leaders in your organization embrace the importance of these key elements, they create a more engaging place to work, resulting in greater returns for the organization.  When leaders ignore or dismiss these elements, they risk eroding the confidence of those that follow them and can severely limit their organization's ability to grow.

Strong leaders understand that each workers wellbeing and those of their family is largely dependent on their ability to lead and manage effectively.  When managers and leaders invest in their employee's well being, they foster a culture of communications and trust, thus creating a more efficient and higher performing organization.

Remember, an employee's effectiveness and level of engagement is typically a direct reflection of their relationship with their immediate supervisor.  When employees were questioned as to "whether or not their leadership cared about them as a person", the findings indicate that those that agreed to this statement :

  • are more likely to be top performers
  • produce higher quality work
  • are less likely to be sick
  • are less likely to change jobs
  • are less likely to get injured on the job

The most progressive leaders not only understand that they are in the business of boosting their employee's wellbeing, but they also use this knowledge as a competitive advantage to recruit and retain top employees.  Attracting top talent is easier if they can show a prospective employee how working for the organization  will translate into better relationships, more financial security, improved physical health, and more involvement in the community.  Just as the most successful organizations have worked systematically to optimize their levels of employee engagement, they are now paying much closer attention to employee wellbeing as a way to gain emotional, financial and competitive advantage.

The Cost of Employee Disengagement


Are your key employees fully engaged? 

If your answer is no or you are unsure, consider the cost of disengagement to your organization, and to your bottom line.  Per a recent study by Gallup International:

  • In 2008, the typical employee was disengaged from their work approximately two hours per day

  • By 2011, the typical employee was disengaged approximately four hours per day

  • One disengaged employee can bring down the entire team's productivity by 30%Coach John Birch, CEOand Founder

These are frightening statistics in the global economy where our client's expectations require that "we need to get extraordinary results from ordinary people."   There are many reasons for the spiraling levels of disengagement amongst the workforce, including fear over the current economic environment, too much time spent on the social media, mismanagement, and a lack of feeling appreciated.  Another recent study indicated that because of the economy, many people that are unsatisfied in their current positions have stayed in their jobs even though they are no longer satisfied there.  Actually, four out of five employees are either actively seeking new jobs or are thinking about leaving when the economy picks up. Either scenario is ripe for stress related issues, further disengagement and cost. 

Again, can you afford to let this issue affect you, your employees and the direct cost to your bottom line?  If not you may have to take action.  There are several ways to correct disengagement.  The first is to improve employees' motivation.  This can only be accomplished by thoroughly identifying the underlying issues that are affecting your disengaged employees, a difficult process as you have to look at your organization from the outside looking in.  You may find that either you or your management team is creating a less than satisfactory work environment for your employees to grow, or your organizational culture may be stifling creativity.   If either of these situations is present, you may need either coaching or formal training. 

What we often find is that an organization's hiring practices are outdated and that the "wrong people are hired for the wrong jobs."  The fall-out from these practices result in high turnover, lower engagement, less than satisfactory productivity, poor customer service and overall organizational malaise, especially if your disengaged employees have key positions.  If you find yourself struggling with these issues, you may need to take steps to enhance your job matching process in order to replace those disengaged employees with the "right people in the right jobs."

The keys to effective Job Matching are:

  • Understanding the Key Accountabilities of the Job
  • Letting the Job Talk
  • Eliminating Bias from the Hiring Process
  • Creating the Ideal Candidate Form

Previously, the hiring process mainly consisted of collecting resumes, interviewing, and background checks.  Often, people were hired primarily for their technical skills, allowing bias to creep into the interview and hiring process.  Today, companies need people who not are proficient technically, but also fit into the organization's culture.  Effective Job Matching should be based on a candidate's education, certification, salary expectations, behaviors, motivators, professional skills, acumen and experience.

When hiring, keep in mind that your candidates are three dimensional, and that the hiring manager should examine all sides of the candidate to ensure a good fit for the specific job.

Birch Group receives the Trimetrix HD© Certification


February 6, 2012 - For Immediate Release

John Birch, President and Founder of The Birch Group LLC, Receives the Trimetrix HD© Certification

John Birch, President and Founder of The Birch Group LLC, in Farmington, Connecticut has received the industry recognized Trimetrix HD© Certification.  Trimetrix HD© is an in-depth assessment tool based on the works of Dr. Robert Hartmann who developed the study of Axiology, a mathematical model of societal norms.  Although Hartmann's Axiology model was originally intended for clinical use, and still is today, TTI LTD, of Scottsdale Arizona, an international leader of developing state of the art assessments, modified the Axiology model for business use to help organizations select and develop their key employees.John Birch

In addition to a wide variety of assessments successfully used and marketed by The Birch Group, the Trimetrix HD© assessment will play an important role in business and career coaching, leadership development, succession planning and key employee selection, all services offered by The Birch Group to its clients.  According to John, "the Trimetrix HD© tool will be an increasingly important addition to our product and service offerings, as it is state of the art, and is currently being successfully used by many major corporations, as it has proven to be effective in selecting and developing key talent, and at the same time, significantly reducing employee turnover.  It's all about "putting the right people in the right jobs."

John also has the designations of Certified Business Behavioral Analyst and Certified Professional Values Analyst.

MOTIVATORS “Lack of advancement negates professional development”-NOW I HAVE HEARD EVERYTHING



University of Iowa study finds employee training might actually increase turnover-

--“Lack of advancement opportunities negates benefits of professional development programs.”

Please follow the hyperlink to an article referring to a study from June 2011 at the University of Iowa.  Just when you thought you heard everything…  Although it is true that if an employee does not see any career advancement opportunities in the organization, and the market place for new employees changes dramatically from the buyer’s market it is today, then employees will start picking their heads up and testing the marketplace.  However in this marketplace, not many are looking to be the new person on the bottom rung in an organization. 

When the economy shifts, any training, development and learning that employees received will be remembered and appreciated and should create new opportunities in the existing organization which ideally lines up with the newly acquired skills and better developed employees.  

First of all, let us not forget that it was not employees who started the unbelievable lack of loyalty to their employers, it was the other was around.  Call it right sizing, off-shoring, outsourcing, laying off…whatever you want.  To me it is a lack of company loyalty and employees paying for bad business decisions made by employers.  One of the fantastic changes that is coming out of this development, the genx ers and a lousy economy is that diversity, learning and development are really becoming important components of our compensations plans.  This is fantastic. 

To say that people would leave because they have no career opportunities is not a stretch at all, as a matter of fact, it is so obvious I am not sure why we call it a “finding in a study”.  Aren’t the professional development programs designed to, among other things, provide new opportunities for growth within companies and organizations.

Furthermore, please let’s not forget that I can find studies that I would actually call “studies” that prove GenY ers are more motivated by learning and professional development that from Salary.  They still will need opportunity for growth of course.  That takes care of itself.  The motivated GenX ers, while they are seeking work and life balance, will develop and market their growing value propositions to the existing companies.  Employees who did not grow and develop and take advantage of company offerings will lose opportunity and attrition out.  Wallah-growth opportunities for fully developed genx ers who are familiar with and comfortable with their changing and growing value proposition.  Who benefits?  The company, the employees, the customers, the vendors and the shareholders.  Who loses? The companies that do not pay for learning and development and the employees too lazy to take advantage of these offerings.

It has been proven that professional development costs usually return something like 500% ROI.  I guess that is only if you do NOT work at University of Iowa.

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