Two weeks ago, I was sitting at my desk, drinking coffee, preparing a report for an upcoming board meeting for one of my clients. As I was nearing completion my phone rang it was a friend I had not spoken with for several months. We exchanged pleasantries and chatted seeing how each of us was going. After a few minutes, it became increasingly apparent that this conversation was not a random follow-up but was instead an intentional call due to significant pain my friend was experiencing. He owns a business and has the regular associated issues that all business owners face. We live in very interesting times with increased volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity. A business owner has to navigate their way through all of these complexities on their own. They do not have the infrastructure of larger businesses and departments where when one can resolve an issue by simply picking up the telephone and calling a department head. My friend's dilemma was not surprisingly about staffing. Staffing is one of those hot topics where one can go from heaven to hell in a relatively quick period of time. The discussion went along the lines of "I'm over it, and I don't know what to do, tell me what to do!" If only life was simpler. I believe the issue he was experiencing was not something that eventuated overnight. I think it is taken years for him to get to the position where his most valued and respected employee handed in their resignation notice. This is going to hurt this particular business owner who was already working late nights and weekends. He could see the writing on the wall for the next six months. There is no golden bullet; there is no quick solution. We talked about and put into place various strategies that will alleviate some of the short-term and long-term pain. One of those plans was a performance appraisal system. One of his take away lines from our discussion was to ensure that his businesses core values provide the framework on which he will be conducting future performance appraisals. Initially, he thought this was going to be quite complicated. However, after a brief chat, he quickly concluded that it was going to be quite straightforward. Another topic we discuss was performance management. Again, we discussed the alignment of individuals performance against the organisation's core values. By using core values as a bench mark against the staff members performance is much easier. It removes any confusion in both the managers and staff members opinions. Call me today if you would like to discuss how we would be able to identify how to double your profits and go home smiling.