Tips from the Top - June 2015
Engaging Employees the Steve Jobs Way
Research has shown that once employees are paid "enough" to meet their needs (defined as "money is no longer a pressing concern"), that further financial rewards will have only a limited motivating effect…Read more
Who is In Charge of Employee Engagement?
As business owners, we see the effects of poor employee engagement every day. It shows up on our bottom line as a product of lower efficiency, productivity, and innovation at all levels of our organizations.
The lack of engagement creates that feeling around our work environment that not enough people care, not enough people "get" the idea of why they are working here. Googling the term "employee engagement" results in over 7.3 million references. If we know it’s good for business, then why is it still a problem…?
Three Steps to Accountability
I’ve long appreciated that building accountability in my employees and myself was critical to success. The demanding pace of our business makes it easy to fall into the day-to-day trap of just operating the business with little time for improvement-level work. A culture of accountability helps ensure that some time is devoted to improvement and growth. Accountability is a surprisingly simple three-step process:
- What is the task to be accomplished? Break larger tasks in smaller steps.
- When must the task be completed? Without a deadline, there will be no accountability.
- Is the task done? Make sure you make time to follow up on the tasks to ensure completion
Keep KPIs Simple
When assigning KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) to staff, keep it simple, giving them at most three KPIs to focus on. Also, make sure the staff member accepts ownership and has confidence in the KPI measurement process. If these pre-conditions are not met, then your staff member may say later, "Yeah, but I didn’t realize that was my responsibility," or "Yeah, but I don’t agree with how that KPI was measured."
Increasing Meeting Engagement
Have employees take turns chairing meetings. Meetings will be better attended and the participants more attentive. The employee chairing each time will do things to change up the meeting – adding spice and driving friendly peer competition among future chairs.
Nonverbal Reminders Work, Too
Sometimes all that’s needed to resolve a problem is to get one or more of my employees to focus on it. I recently grew tired of constantly having to remind my warehouse crew to promptly take care of our surplus inventory. I got their attention. I went to a sporting goods store and picked up small pistol targets. I began taping a bulls-eye to any piece of excess inventory that I passed in the warehouse. No need for dialog or angry words, the bulls-eye got their attention and got it done.