Irma Parone, President and CEO, Parone GroupIrma Parone, President and CEO
Parone Group helps organizations build their capacity to change and achieve greater effectiveness by developing, improving, and reinforcing strategies, structures, and processes. The company architects proven processes, enabling organizations to improve customer and employee retention, raise accountability and focus on what matters the most to meet key objectives.

Parone Group was founded by Irma Parone, who is a consultant, best-selling author and eloquent speaker. She has earned her Certification in Organizational Development from the Institute of Organizational Development and is a graduate of the Industrial Relations Studies Program at Cornell University.

Following is the conversation that Manage HR magazine had with Parone, president and CEO, Parone Group.

Challenges Observed in the Industry and Parone Group

The specter of mass exodus is now looming over businesses. Regardless of the size of an organization, employee turnover costs can be crippling.

At the top level, organizations face issues with the company’s culture. We work through the existing culture of a business and understand where they aspire to be. Leveraging our expertise, we devise programs that help clients provide exceptional experiences to their customers and employees.

Another area where businesses face challenges is organizational structure. Organizational hierarchy is often unclear, leading to ambiguity regarding employees’ roles. This lack of clarity around roles and responsibilities is a significant hurdle in creating an effective culture.

Another persisting problem that creates friction in a business’s smooth and efficient functioning is the lack of accountability. Many supervisors lack the leadership skills to help their teams and hold them accountable.

We encourage customers to stand out above the rest. We help clients ensure an optimum employee experience that fuels employee loyalty.

Services Provided and the Methodology Used

Entrepreneurs often establish businesses based on their passions and strengths. However, they often do not recognize the factors that create a well-functioning business. Entrepreneurs with an overwhelmingly wide span of responsibilities need proper support services to create organizational effectiveness. We, to this end, have architected a no-cost service that reduces time and energy for business owners. We also screen for high-value service professionals often needed by businesses.

Communication is the cornerstone for all our client engagement. This enables us to understand their goals and what they are lacking. We then use a top-to-bottom approach while driving changes to take the organization to the next level. We use customer and employee surveys to determine the processes and organizational structures that need to be tweaked. In a nutshell, we start with clearly understanding the customer’s needs and then work toward creating highly valued experiences for the customers, the employees, and, ultimately, the company. We call this The Focused Trio.

Because we also work on helping our customers with large employee bases and small one-person shows, we have a variety of services. Although I am not a personal coach, I have identified exceptional coaches to help where and when needed. If we do not have the resources, you need and cannot find a company that we have screened with an extremely high recommendation, we will not make the connection. We would rather lose your business than disappoint.

Our service excellence mantra is to follow up with every client to ensure that their needs are met at every step of the way.

We also have a bench of more than 15 strategic partners who can support our clients. These partners, screened for highly valued customer loyalty, cover diverse expertise from human resource and hospitality management, custom software development, personnel assessment tools and reviews, background screening, payroll, interview selection certification programs for multiple hiring locations, and so much more.

An Instance of Excellence

A rapidly growing company with approximately 1,000 employees approached us. They lacked key performance indicators or measurements other than sales and growth. A company partner recently promoted to COO lacked the necessary leadership experience and wanted guidance on forming a plan of action.

Their sales were in good shape, and the HR department was efficient. Unfortunately, their employees were scattered across the state, and they needed support to hire managers and select suitable personnel. They were also outgrowing their internal systems for personnel management.

By adopting a unique approach of assessing the leaders and identifying the skills needed to support the employees and customers, we developed the leaders, from vice presidents to front-line supervisors.

Following this, we started working with customer and employee surveys to help the clients’ teams identify the KPIs that translated into performance metrics. This alone created an internal and external shift in service levels.

As the company had multiple hiring locations and needed support in legally hiring the best candidates, we created an interview certification program for the recruiting managers. All recruiting managers are required to complete this certification before hiring.

Taking a unique approach, we strategized and implemented plans to help every employee better understand their responsibilities and tasks and prepare for future promotional opportunities.

Our service excellence mantra is to follow up with every client to ensure that their needs are met at every step of the way

The overall results were impressive. The performance standards improved through the KPIs and more decisive leadership. The growth has continued, and the number of employees has more than doubled.

We are still working on our growth and development program. Acknowledging the benefit for the employees who know their employer would much rather promote them than hiring outsiders.

Combining and connecting my experiences with a tremendous amount of research, plus a little help from my friends, I created and documented a model that will create a shift in how employers and employees see problems, assess the impact of those problems, and then identify solutions that result in wins in their personal and business life. In my new award-winning book, WINX, I provide actionable advice that will radically reshape the way anyone, at any level of an organization, tackle problems.