Professional Business Coaches

Professional Business Coaches

Human Resources

4 Steps to Building Meaningful Relationships with Your Staff

One-on-one meetings are essential to effectively managing employees. Learn how to make the most of them.

So do you have really good, close relationships with your people?

My name is Bernie Heine, and today I want to talk about getting back to the fundamentals of management, and that is about building relationships.

So we often hear from our clients is that they just don’t have time to work one-on-one with their people. Everybody’s busy, they’re overscheduled, we don’t take the time. We have that once in a year employee review meeting and we talk about all the things they did and didn’t do right during the year. But what about taking some time for some real meaningful one-on-ones on a regular basis, not just once a year. I want to talk about a simple four step process to go through in having those one-on-ones, making them more meaningful, and getting more out of it to really build better relationships with your staff.


The first step is the introduction. Make sure we layout very clearly what it is we’re going to be talking about in this meeting. What are the objectives/projects/issues we want to cover in this meeting?

Be Clear on the Topic

The second step is to be very clear on what questions we have, what data we have, what information are we bringing into the meeting , so it we can have a real good dialogue about the third step of the process which is to develop an action plan.

Develop an Action Plan

What are the things that this employee needs to do by when, what resources are they going to need, how can you help them be successful at achieving their goals?


Finally the fourth step is to summarize we just talked about. It’s the action plan when things to get done by, by whom, and by when. How can I support? So did you leave the meeting with a very clear understanding of how we’re working together? How this is not only improving the person’s work life but also their career whatever else we can do to help them be more successful employees.

One very important factor to remember when as were developing these relationships is people don’t usually quit companies they usually quit their boss and make with their boss because they had built that relationship because they don’t feel valued and respected in building this kind of relationship with regular one-on-one meetings with your employees is an awesome way build those relationships

Call us at PBC for a free consultation and learn how you can effectively manage your people.


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This is one of the episodes of The Thinking CEO with Bernie Heine at

How To Hire Great Employees: The One Secret You Need to Know

Having a great hiring process isn't enough to hire great employees. Bernie Heine tells you the one secret to build a winning team.

You've got an amazing job description, you're advertising all over, you've selected a great candidate – how come they don't always work out?

Hi, my name is Bernie Heine, and I want to talk about the hiring process and some of the pitfalls that often happen.

Change Your Hiring Process

When in the hiring process, we're laying out a very good job description – this is what needs to get done, these are all the things we want to have from people – but we also have to be a little bit careful of what we're asking for and make sure we've asked all the right questions about what's really important.

I have a client where they had a great process going. They brought in all kinds of qualified applicants, but they had a very high turnover rate. Now, granted, this was a tough job, and it was a little bit of a dirty job – it's not for everybody – but still, why were they having this high turnover rate? So I asked him to do a very simple exercise: we did a focus group. We did a focus group, not in the normal sense that you would think, we did it virtually. I asked him to imagine in his head that on one side of the room we have the four best hires he's ever made, that they're right here in the room with us right now, and on the other side of the room we have the four worst hires. What's in common and what's different? We went through kind of an interview process of people that aren't here, but we know who they are and we kind of know what they would've said if we asked some particular questions. We went around the room and interviewed these people who aren't here, but we know them. It all came down to one major difference: the people who were successful in the company had a higher level of intellectual curiosity. They were the people that would read the trade journals, be interested when the company was bringing on a new tool, and they would want to know how it worked right away and be the first ones to use it. The other group, even though on all other aspects were completely equal, didn't really care about that stuff – they they weren't interested in knowing where the business was going. so they added some questions to the interview process that incorporated intellectual curiosity, things like what kind of magazines do you read, what kind of things you do in your spare time. Just to find out if these are people that would be interested in advancing their education in the job, or are they just there because it's a job.

Hypothetical Hiring Process

The result was amazing, and they've had great hires ever since adding just that subtle tweak in the hiring process. So really what it comes down to is that we hire for attitude, and then we can train for aptitude, because you can't change somebody's attitude towards the job. What are those elements that were looking for to make sure we get the people that have the right attitude, and those people will end up being your long-term really successful employees. So I encourage you to think about all the questions you're asking, and are there some really critical differentiators you can add to your hiring process that could make the difference between long-term employees and high rates of turnover.


For more on hiring great employees, you may consider the following PBC resources:

Read the blog - 3 Watch Words When Hiring: Accuracy, Equity and Fairness


Download the white paper - How to Make Successful Recruitment Decisions






Call us at PBC for a free consultation and learn more about comprehensive plan on hiring for success.


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This is one of the episodes of The Thinking CEO with Bernie Heine at

5 Key Behaviors That Define Healthy and Successful Organizations

What characterizes a healthy and successful business? Bernie Heine gives you his keys to business success.

Businesses are always focused on getting all the systems and processes, but is there something else?

Hi my name is Bernie Heine, and I want to talk today about other issues that we need to be focused on.

Most businesses will focus on "okay, we have a new strategy, so we got the right people in place, we've got to get the right processes, and we need some new machines, we need some new IT systems." All of those things can be summed up as the smarts of business – making the business smarter making it stronger. And those are all great things right? Well they are, but we often forget the other half of what's also important.

The Health of the Business

As Patrick Lencioni talked about in his book "The Advantage," we also have to work on what he calls the ultimate competitive advantage, which is working on the health of the business. So what do we mean by the health? Well, when you look at a company that maybe has been really suffering, a company that went bankrupt, what are they going to attribute that to? Are they going to say "we should have hired one more MBA," "you know we were short one PhD scientist," "we just changed that machine out one year earlier"? That's almost never what they talk about. What they get down to is "well, the senior leadership team didn't see this coming" or "they didn't trust each other enough to talk about what was really going on." You know, you have that proverbial elephant in the room that nobody wants to talk about – "well, that's that third rail topic that we don't want to touch because every time we mention it you know the boss always gets a little crazy so we'll just avoid that issue." That's usually what causes big companies to collapse, is because we're not talking about the things that really matter. We're avoiding those issues because we're afraid we might hurt somebody's feelings.

Trusting Each Other

So how much do we trust each other? And we're talking here not just about trust that people show up for work on time, but something we call vulnerability-based trust. So do we trust each other enough that you can walk into the room and apologize to your colleagues and say "I'm sorry I screwed up yesterday, everything I said I was totally wrong, we need to approach this from a different angle"?

Disagreeing with Each Other

Once we have this level of trust, which is the underpinning of a successful team, the next thing is can we have good arguments, because if we can trust each other we can actually argue with each other. We can have disagreements and we can fight back and forth, and by the way that's really healthy – when were getting all the sides of the argument on the table and people are expressing their views, and because we trust each other we can express our views. If we don't trust each other, we're afraid to bring it up "I don't even want to go there, I don't want them to think that I'm not part of the yes-man team that's supporting the boss." So if we get to that level where we can have these arguments, can we then come around and all come together with an alignment around a common solution? Can we put our previous thoughts behind us and agree that "yes, this is the path forward, we've had it out and discussed it in detail, and now we're moving forward with the one message to the organization"? Do I leave the meeting and I tell everybody else that's a crazy idea and I block it, or do I tell everybody else "this is what we're doing, I believe in it, it wasn't my idea but that's okay since we came together as a team and this is the place were going"?

Holding Each Other Accountable

The next thing to ask is if we hold each other accountable. Are we holding each other accountable for that solution or do we just expect the boss to hold us accountable? With the teams that work well together, the entire team holds themselves accountable for the strategy that they're moving down, the one that they all agreed to.

The Common Result

The final thing, the fifth element, is if we believe in the common result. Are we all trying to just maximize our own department budgets or our own bonus plan or just saving a few people in the company but it doesn't matter because the rest of the company suffers, or are we really looking for that result that helps the entire organization be more successful?


So these are the five behaviors that really build a cohesive team and organization, that build the health of the organization, which supplement the smarts. We still want to have a smart organization, we wanted to do right thing and have the right people and processes, but we need to also spend an equal amount of time on the health of an organization. And that's what really defines very successful businesses.


Call us at PBC for a free consultation and discover what it takes to build a truly cohesive and effective team.


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This is one of the episodes of The Thinking CEO with Bernie Heine at

Motivating Today’s Workers: The 3 Things That Really Matter

Bernie Heine tells you what you can do to motivate your employees and boost their performance.

If we pay people more money or give them a big bonus, they’ll work harder for us, right?

Hi my name is Bernie Heine, and I’d like to talk right now little bit about some of the modern science on motivation.

Is Money a Good Incentive?

I have this conversation with a lot of senior leaders that believe ‘well, we just have to pay our people more money and they’ll do all the things we want them to do’. But, as Daniel Pink talks about in his book Drive, there are other factors that motivate today’s knowledge workers. While dollar incentives still work very well for people that are doing algorithmic work or manual labor type things – if I pay you a little bit more money will you work a little bit faster to build this wall or paint this room, etc. – sure, those incentives still work and you can get people to work harder and do more work if you pay them a lot more money. But when we talk about knowledge workers, it actually works the other way.

How to Motivate Employees Without Using Money

There has been a lot of experimenting done with people to find out that the more money I incent people with to do creative work, the lower their performance. What really drives people, the number one thing, is autonomy. Knowledge workers want to know that they can pick their own teams, their own work schedule, their own way of going about setting up the work. The second thing that’s really important is mastery – am I able learn new things on the job? Is my employer putting me through a training program allowing me to learn new stuff, maybe cross-functional, maybe learn about a different department, getting involved with people from another part of the organization? – so, mastering new things. That motivates people. That’s why people learn how to play musical instruments. Most people don’t learn to play the guitar or the piano because they want to be a professional musician, they do it because it’s cool to learn new stuff and it gives people motivation to know that they’re getting better at something every time they try. The third motivational factor is purpose. People want to know that what they’re doing has real purpose in life. It’s something that aligns with their own values, their own purpose for being. And if they can get behind the purpose of the company, if they know it well, if they believe in it, that’s really motivating to them.

Worker Autonomy

So it’s not always about paying people an extra dollar for something, or paying them the innovation bonus, or raising their salaries that’s going to get people out of bed in the morning and excited to work in your company. But it’s giving them a certain amount of autonomy so that they can pick and choose the things they want to do maybe, and the way they want to do it, giving them some leeway. The other one is mastery, or giving them the opportunity to learn and experience new things and get better at what they’re doing, excel in their own job.

Then finally it’s about maximizing purpose, what do we believe in, what do they believe in, the mission of the company, and really wrap their heads around it to do great things and experience a life that they want to live.


Call us at PBC for a free consultation and learn more about how you can motivate your workers to meet or exceed their potential.


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This is one of the episodes of The Thinking CEO with Bernie Heine at



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