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What are some key focus areas for now

These High Performance Newsletter articles have been selected because they provide key focus points for present and future management activities. Although selected in 2007, they are still current and relevant now.

Derek Stockley is a training and performance management consultant based in Melbourne, Australia. (Google+).

There are so many potential areas for human resource managers, team leaders and managers to focus on. The options seem endless.

It was difficult to choose the top five newsletter articles. It would have been just as hard to choose the top 10.

I have grouped the articles under three focus areas: customer service, engagement and training/learning.

Customer Service

Customer service should be a major priority area for any business. Organisational and individual performance is often judged on the level of customer service provided. Many of my 2006 articles, directly or indirectly, related to customer service management.

The first article listed shows how easily organisations can harm customer service levels in the pursuit of efficiency. The second article demonstrates the need to be constantly vigilant.

Frontline staff - critical to customer service success - highlights the importance of having staff who know and understand the business. Frontline staff are critical to determining how your organisation is perceived.

Are your people saying the right thing to customers? - explores the language used by staff when dealing with customers. Is the language appropriate? Will it offend customers?


People work best and achieve more when they are actively engaged with their job and the organisation they work for. High employee engagement, along with good products, services and systems, result in high levels of customer service.

This will continue to be an important focus area in the coming years. The first article outlines some key pointers. The second article about roles and responsibilities helps you to achieve engagement.

Are you or your employees engaged with your organisation? - explores the growing importance of the employee engagement process.

Setting clear roles and responsibilities for team members - explores the importance of clear roles and responsibilities for team members. Role clarity has a big impact on organisational success. Uncertainty can dramatically affect both individual and organisation performance.


Training and learning is a natural focus for me. Every time I work with people I can see the difference training can make. For these reasons, I am passionate about the importance of continuous and ongoing learning.

Is there a difference between training and learning? - the key differences between 'training' and 'learning' are discussed and the implications for managers and team leaders are canvassed.


Organisational performance is often demonstrated by customer service levels. High levels of people engagement are critical to success. Training and learning will always be a high priority area for achieving both.


Within a framework that concentrates on high performance and employee engagement, my work this year will revolve around helping organisations manage the key people elements of:

  • Recruitment and selection
  • Induction and development
  • Retention

I recommend these priority areas to you.

Related reading

Articles about specific topics are listed at:

A listing of all newsletter articles in date order is shown at: chronological listing of all articles.

Your comment

Do you agree? If you have a comment you would like to make, or you would like to share your experience, please send the comment to one of the email addresses listed below.

To review the newsletter, see: Listing of recent newsletter articles. All articles relate to a performance theme, but individual newsletters cover a specific topic. Themes include customer service, leadership, management, website marketing and time management.

You can publish this article, see: Publication.

Derek Stockley conducts Australian public training courses in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Perth.

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