Cornerstone Foundations for Peak Performance

You can’t build a strong building on a weak foundation. That’s true in construction and it’s true in business.You’ve probably said it yourself, “our people are our greatest asset, the cornerstone of our business,” but if you haven’t invested in their training and development, there may be cracks in your foundation.

Cornerstone’s Foundations for Peak Performance series is the solid foundation your organization needs to ensure employees work toward your goals efficiently and effectively. Make an investment that will pay you dividends in teamwork, communication customer satisfaction, and more.

Foundations for Success

Communicating for Success

We often think of communication as the words we say, but many factors are involved in the communication process. The critical factor of communicating is not the message sent, but how the message is received. Communication is the lifeline of an organization. It connects employees at all levels, and allows different parts of a business to work together effectively. Managers maintain this lifeline by their involvement in the communication process. This class examines the
specifics of organizational and interpersonal communication, and the importance of developing effective listening skills.

Written communication

Communication happens faster now than ever before. Technology allows us to send memos
immediately, to distribute a report and share it throughout a network, to upload our thoughts
onto a web site in a matter of minutes. Most employees are creating their own written communication and send it at the touch of a key. Yet with the benefits of instant communication come
many hazards and risks. Emails are forwarded to unintended parties, memos get sent to
customers with inaccurate information, uninspiring information is shared in a report, messages
are inconsistent, unprofessional and unpersuasive. This workshop focuses on practical tips for all
levels of communicators.

Conflict resolution

Conflict can be thought of as differences in perspectives, which are inherent in every
organization. The diversity of perspectives within or-ganizations helps generate ideas and
facilitate change. If it is managed wisely, conflict is an opportunity. When mismanaged, conflict
be-comes a distraction, or worse. Conflict can become costly, directly and indirectly, through loss
in productivity, expenses of lawsuits, and the emotional toll on the workplace. In this course
participants will learn how to constructively confront conflict and promote a positive outcome for
all parties.

Innovative thinking

Creativity is the nature of creating something new, either a new idea, concept or method.
Innovation is using creativity to enhance performance of a process, person, team or organization.
This course teaches practical methods to promote innovative thinking to encourage individuals to
take an entrepreneurial approach to their job.

Business acumen

Business acumen is the collection of knowledge, skills, and experiences that transforms employees
into indispensable strategic partners in the organization. Having business acumen allows employees to
see how their position contributes to the success of the organization and encourages personal
accountability to make sound business decisions. Understanding basic business concepts, like
pricing, reading a balance sheet, key performance indicators, and economic impacts on the
business.

Time management

In our “more with less” business reality combined with technologies that allow us to work virtually
everywhere, time management is of utmost importance. Participants will learn time management
and organization techniques to ensure to-do lists are managed well and priority activities get the
attention needed. We’ll discuss multitasking, energy cycles, and other concepts that help us
maximize personal productivity

Customer service

Developing business relationships and creating a positive image for ourselves with coworkers and
clients is a needed skill in today’s business environment. The image we present—and the
underlying character we cultivate—greatly influences our success in the workplace. This course
guides participants through the sometimes murky world of customer relationship management and
business etiquette, and offers practical tools for handling today’s complex business environment.
Through self-assessment, group discussion and relevant exercises you will learn to act with
professionalism and tact in a variety of workplace situations.

Project management

This course provides an overview of the terminology, processes and phases of a project to create a
level playing field for employees asked to participate on a project team. Participants from varied
backgrounds will find practical tools to help them understand the complexities of project
management in a relevant, fun way. They will learn about planning, scheduling, budgeting,
monitoring and controlling projects and how to avoid scope creep and other barriers to project
success.

Leading Peak Performers

Leading peak performers

In order to lead peak performers, supervisors need to understand the foundational concepts of
leadership and motivation. Based on The Leadership Challenge (Kouzes & Posner) model, this
course looks at the five exemplary practices of leadership: Model the Way, Inspire a Shared Vision,
Challenge the Process, Enable Others to Act, and Encourage the Heart. Participants understand
their default leadership style and discover approaches to leading in different situations.

Engagement & retention

Understanding the key motivational factors of employee engagement impacts the bottom line.
When managers “get” what employees need in order to succeed on the job, and begin adapting
their behavior, processes and programs around these key motivators, the workplaces changes for
the better. It’s about making sure your employees have an opportunity to do what they do best
every day, taking an active role in developing individuals, and clearly communicating expectations.

Coaching peak performers

Planned people development, or coaching, should be high on the priority list for all leaders. A
coaching philosophy should be part of the manager’s normal routine. Whether a person wants to
advance in their career to increasingly responsible positions or not, they must continue to learn &
grow to improve their performance and keep pace with development in their field. We will see that
managing the performance of those who report to us is not a once-a-year event, but an ongoing
process!

Closing performance gaps

When employees are not performing the way we want, it is important to use a systematic process
to identify the causes of performance gaps and working in partnership with employees to discover
the best solutions. Based on the human performance improvement (HPI) model from the
International Society for Performance Improvement, participants learn a proven and effective
model to discover and close performance gaps.

Managing change

Change is the norm in today’s organizations. The increasing complexity of technology, the global
marketplace, customer expectations, and vigorous competition all drive continuous and
accelerating change. Unfortunately, the “people side” of change is often ignored, misunderstood or
mismanaged, resulting in chaos, low morale, reduced productivity and job burnout (stress). This impact on the emotional well being of an organization’s human resources can also effect the
bottom line. The organization and its employees’ chances for successfully managing change
depend upon first understanding the change process itself and its emotional impact on people.

Teams that work

Whether you have true, high-performing teams or simply work groups, collaboration and
communication towards a common goal is an important contributor to an organization’s success.
Participants will learn about the stages of team formation and the essential elements that
encourage teams to thrive and be productive. This course also focuses on appreciation for diversity,
resolving conflicts, and developing an effective team charter.

Measuring performance

Performance metrics should be constructed to encourage performance improvement, effectiveness,
efficiency, and appropriate levels of internal controls. They should incorporate “best practices”
related to the performance being measured and cost/risk/benefit analysis, where appropriate.
Participants learn how to determine the best measurements for each position and how to develop a
scorecard to track performance by individuals, teams, departments, and the organization.

Managing by strengths

This highly interactive course increases the leader’s ability to build a strong team where individuals
have an opportunity to do what they do best every day. When the workplace is designed around strengths maximization everyone wins: individuals feel empowered, managers see the team
achieving goals, and organizations experience net gains. A strengths-based culture allows people to
thrive as they become active participants in the organization’s success.

Climbing Higher Peaks

Job design & job descriptions

Designing jobs and creating job descriptions is an ongoing activity in organizations. As the
company grows and adapts to new internal and external factors, knowing how to analyze a job, set
boundaries, establish requirements, and measure outputs is essential. Using a systematic method
to design jobs and position descriptions helps create a consistent and clear approach that helps
individuals understand their role and drives efficiency.

Recruiting and interviewing

Getting the right person in the right job is a critical role for supervisors.

Leading virtual teams

Leading virtual teams requires a number of capabilities, including communication skills and
emotional intelligence. Learn how to motive and coach workers despite geographical location,
ensuring a strong team mindset.