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Steffen, Steffen and Associates
Aligned Thinking Institute

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Aligned Thinking

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SP Creates Significant
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About SSA

Dr. R. James Steffen
Critical Issues Addressed
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Aligned Thinking: Make
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Critical Issues We Address

Employee Retention and Satisfaction - personal, business, and development needs are explored and aligned. A plan is then designed to integrate and achieve these goals.  There is an   analysis to decide if all the necessary tasks, auxiliary requirements of the job, and even the unpleasant and frustrating elements are either worth working through (because they are ultimately supporting the overall personal and professional goals of the participant) or should be eliminated because they are not in support of the overall goals. For the overwhelming majority of people, a decision is made that energizes the participant to stay within their current job.  Either way, once a decision is made about the frustrations, and the opportunities are appreciated in light of the overall goals, there is almost always a renewed energy and motivation to increase accomplishment. Work relationships are also a key factor in employee morale and effectiveness.  The SSA process for improving mission-critical relationships and developing partnerships that create loyalty – in both internal and external work relationships – is very effective for improving employee satisfaction.

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Customer Loyalty - strengthens customer relationships to build customer loyalty based on a unique process of getting the customer to actively want to take responsibility for partnering.  Also, a process is given for better understanding the customer’s needs and expectations so that they can be not only managed and met, but exceeded.

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Partnering Skills and Culture - through the SSA process, partnerships between customers and staff as well as internal staff to staff relationships become characterized by high satisfaction and trust, loyalty, alignment of goals, understanding, and effective outcomes.  This creates a “partnering” culture that is proven in study after study to dramatically improve revenues.

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Improved Client/Patient Relationships - For most of us, first-rate care is an expectation, and one that is usually fulfilled.  The way in which people are treated, and how patient-centered the staff is, will determine patient feelings and responses to their experience long after they leave the healthcare environment.  Their perceptions ultimately impact profitability, which, in turn, impacts the level of care that you can provide.  SSA can help your people get the patient-focused skills they need to keep your practice or organization up-front on the competitive edge.  SSA offers proven, successful programs for partnering skills for internal and patient relationships.  These relationship-building skills are not only crucial from a business and profitability standpoint, they are also crucial for the practitioner and patient in terms of improving the quality of care and openness of communication.  These skills are also of primary importance in reducing the likelihood of litigation.

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Time Management/Aligning Mission-Critical Priorities - improves individual productivity as well as work and life satisfaction through a methodology that helps people define and focus on the most important areas that lead to higher accomplishment of those things that really matter for professional and personal success.

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Management/Leadership Skills – using a multi-rater feedback instrument, management strengths and development needs are defined for each individual and a plan is designed to improve management and leadership skills.  There are modules to address the following topics: communications (including listening, non-verbal, influence, questioning, responding to feelings), coaching, delegation, employee development, appraising performance, motivation, problem solving, nurturing creativity, meeting effectiveness, team building, time management, and leadership skills.

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Organizational Alignment and Performance Improvement – Aligning goals and priorities enterprise-wide along with a process to ensure each individual’s understanding of their role and responsibilities in a way that fosters improved commitment, communication, and goal achievement. Focuses on maintaining goal alignment and fluid realignment in change with teamwork, motivation, and results.

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Performance Management Enhancement to effectively manage performance there needs to be a way to incorporate two sets of needs into the process-the organization’s and the individual’s.  First, there needs to be a way to clearly define the exact expectations that are required of the individual and it needs to be presented in the context of the overall mission and goals so that it is thoroughly understood and clear to the individual who’s job it is to enact them.  There also has to be a component for the individual to express his/her needs and goals back to the company ( as represented by the manager). This is accomplished through the alignment of goals, focus of energy, and reinforcement of care for the individual’s job satisfaction and personal  accomplishment so that he/she is motivated to achieve the goals and priorities of the company. By clarifying the mission, priorities and goals, and aligning them organizationally and individually, there is room for individual initiative, creativity, and ownership because the purpose behind it all is understood and energy is channeled in the right direction without constant oversight.   This is exactly what is accomplished through the SSA process.    

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Culture Change Definition and Reinforcement  – to effect a successful transition, every individual needs to know exactly-on a very personal/individualized level-what’s different, what’s now required and what’s not, why it matters, and where they fit in.  SSA has a process that helps to ensure that this happens as well as supporting sustained commitment and motivation through change and difficult circumstances, making changes “stick,” and keeping communication channels open and mission-critical relationships intact during change.

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Medical Practice/Healthcare Management Skills-  In today’s competitive healthcare environment, the competitive edge is found in how well managed a practice or organization is, as much as in the quality of medical care.  For most of us, first-rate care is an expectation, and one that is usually fulfilled.  The way in which people are treated, and how patient-centered the staff is and how effectively the business side is run will determine patient feelings and responses to their experience long after they leave the healthcare environment.  Their perceptions ultimately impact profitability, which, in turn, impacts the level of care that you can provide.  SSA can help your people get the patient-focused skills they need to keep your practice or organization up-front on the competitive edge.  The SSA programs are geared toward getting everyone energized and focused on knowing and doing their part in aligning themselves with the overall goals and mission.  SSA offers proven, successful programs for management skills, including communication, delegation, time management, team building, leadership, problem solving, employee development, performance appraisal and job satisfaction.  SSA also offers partnering skills for internal and patient relationships.  These relationship-building skills are not only crucial from a business and profitability standpoint, they also are crucial for the physician and patient in terms of improving the quality of care and openness of communication.  These skills are also of  primary importance in reducing the likelihood of litigation.

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Technical Professionals’ Needs- Studies show that technical professionals have unique needs for employee satisfaction and development.  Ensuring that they see how their work fits into the overall mission and goals of the organization is key for this group.   They need autonomy as well as an understanding of how their work supports the big picture, so they don’t get off-track. The SSA processes do exactly that, while also giving them tools to help build collegial support partnerships while still maintaining as much autonomy as possible; an understanding of  the organization’s needs and goals as well as their own; processes for building strong relationships with customers and others that don’t necessarily rely on strong interpersonal skill strengths; and help in finding personal satisfaction and more achievement and development in their current positions.

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Service Quality Establishing a culture of service quality requires that everyone is clear about their role and how they fit into the big picture - mission, goals, priorities – so that they can and want to initiate independent ownership, creativity, and energy toward doing their best for their customers – whether internal to the organization or external “real” customers – and that they truly care about their work and how they serve their customers.

The two most important factors to achieving this organizationally is first, how focused the organization is on their own employee’s satisfaction and second, how focused it is on customer loyalty.  Research proves this.  If you can develop loyal employees first and then loyal customers, revenues will increase four to six times the level per loyal customer, employee and customer retention will increase, and overall accomplishment will soar.  SSA’s programs are designed to do all of the above and dramatically improve employee satisfaction and accomplishment, which, in turn, will build more loyal internal and customer relationships.

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