By Dana Borowka, MA
[dropcaps type=”circle” color=”” background=””]M[/dropcaps]ost organizations are taking a very careful look at how things are being done in their companies – from processes to staff. The ideas shared in this article provide proactive ideas to consider and implement before making any changes. If you choose to create more efficiencies, cut out a program, upgrade or add staff make sure you know the why’s before implementing any plan. Without clarity, the odds are that you will be creating more issues than solutions. It is crucial that all staff members, ranging from the receptionist to mailroom to management positions, are contributors to help create better productivity and profitability. Ideas are the crown jewels and we need to create an environment that will allow your people to share openly.
The first step is to ask for help and input from everyone. Most people want to help but many times no one asks them. This is the time to rally your staff and begin to collaborate and gather ideas in the following areas:
• Improving efficiency
• Marketing and sales
• Opportunities for acquisitions
• Operational processes
• Cost efficient ways to do things differently
• Identify specific traits in people that you’d like to add to your team
• How to better mentor staff members
Those are just a few areas to explore. Looking out into the future, you’ll want to take advantage of some of the fresh talent that will be available. However, you will need to be very selective as to who you’ll want on your team. Managing down doesn’t work any longer. Understanding the strengths of an individual will help to promote a positive environment where people will want to share ideas that might not have been considered in the past. This is the time to build a positive reputation so your company is a magnet for attracting top talent.
What’s The Cost For Not Having Fresh Ideas?
I was at a restaurant recently and asked to see if an item that I didn’t see on the menu was available or if I had overlooked it on the menu. The restaurant didn’t have the item, but the staff response set me back. The server stated, “Our goal is to think out of the box. To do what we can to please the customer so that positive word of mouth is shared and that will result in more business for us!” Isn’t that what we all want… team members that will think out of the box… positive word of mouth about our business… to increase revenue. What we all need are people like that on our team. So the million dollar question is… how do we get staff members to think along those lines and how can we attract people like that?
What is Driving Your Top People – Selection of Top Performers & Managing for Profitability
Learn what is driving your top talent people. If you help them to succeed you’ll create a high level of retention and become a magnet for recruiting. Here are some action items for you to consider:
- Use an in-depth work style and personality assessment during the hiring process and for current staff.
- Use the data to manage, which in turn will reduce the learning curve for new hires and help to better understand current staff members.
- Place individuals in positions that they can succeed in based on their strengths.
- Take the time to constantly mentor and create plans to help individuals grow.
- Identify traits of individuals that you want in your organization and target those individuals through specific messages in ads, on the web, through networking and association gatherings.
For your A players (your major contributors), play to their strengths and help them grow. Don’t ignore them just because they are doing well. These are the individuals that if they don’t feel engaged in helping the organization to continue to grow and improve, they’ll leave.
For your B players, nurture them through mentoring so they can become A players down the road. For your C players, measure and possibly remove them if they are eating up your time. Never spend 80 percent of your time and energy on the people who are producing 20 percent of your results.
Are Your Managers Managing for Success? – Check out this Story!
But don’t write those C players off too fast. A small hotel chain had reservation reps that were not meeting the volume level that was being required. The manager thought they were just C players and was a very unhappy camper with his team. That person was placed in a different department and a new manager came in who sat down with each individual and then with the group. She discovered that 24 hours before a guest was going to arrive at the hotel property that a high percentage were calling in to verify the reservation and to get directions. This used up valuable call time, so as a team they brainstormed together and came up with a brilliant idea. Since the reps were asking for email addresses why not send an email confirmation 24-48 hours prior with a fun page welcoming the individuals and include links for weather and directions.
Guess what happened? Calls were reduced and the reps were able to take more calls for new reservations with less hold time. All because the manager took the time to ask questions to peel the onion back to identify the underlying issue. When the reps were asked why this topic hadn’t been addressed in the past they simply responded, “No one asked and we never thought of it”.
Set Your Sights on the Future
Make the most out of this business time frame by helping others in your team to be successful, build a positive reputation, ask your team for ideas and contribute to the well being of the entire organization, train staff to mentor others and be on the look out for adding fresh talent to your team! Remember, it is important to be precise in what you are looking for and do a thorough job interview by asking probing questions, doing reference and background checks and utilizing an in-depth work style and personality assessment.
This is the time to set your sights on the future, deal with the present by supporting your team and ask for input. Set your organization on a course for long term success by using proactive and collaborative mentoring, management and vision. We’d love to hear about your successes.
Permission is needed from Lighthouse Consulting Services, LLC to reproduce any portion provided in this article. © 2014
Dana Borowka, MA, CEO of Lighthouse Consulting Services, LLC and his organization constantly remain focused on their mission statement – “To bring effective insight to your organization”. They do this through the use of in-depth work style assessments to raise the hiring bar so companies select the right people to reduce hiring and management errors. They also have a full service consulting division that provides domestic and international interpersonal coaching, executive onboarding, leadership training, global options for expanding your business, sales and customer service training, operational productivity improvement, 360s and employee surveys as well as a variety of workshops. Dana has over 25 years of business consulting experience and is a nationally renowned speaker, radio and TV personality on many topics. He provides workshops on hiring, managing for the future, and techniques to improve interpersonal communications that have a proven ROI. He is the co-author of the books, “Cracking the Personality Code” & “Cracking the Business Code”. To order the books, please visit www.lighthouseconsulting.com.
If you would like additional information on this topic or others, please contact your Human Resources department or Lighthouse Consulting Services LLC, 3130 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 550, Santa Monica, CA 90403, (310) 453-6556, firstname.lastname@example.org & our website: www.lighthouseconsulting.com.
Lighthouse Consulting Services, LLC provides a variety of services, including in-depth work style assessments for new hires & staff development, team building, interpersonal & communication training, career guidance & transition, conflict management, 360s, workshops, and executive & employee coaching. Other areas of expertise: Executive on boarding for success, leadership training for the 21st century, exploring global options for expanding your business, sales and customer service training and operational productivity improvement.