About Your Team

About Your Team

March 1, 2012

“Great achievement is usually born of great sacrifice, and is never the result of selfishness.” – Napoleon Hill

I’ve come to realize that WE are our own worst enemy, when it comes to running our businesses … not external factors, not market forces. It comes down to looking in the mirror, and taking responsibility for the results we’re currently experiencing.

So, if things are down right now: don’t blame anyone but yourself. This doesn’t mean self-flagellation, but instead that seeing things in this light really is the first step to getting OUT of it–because you finally begin to focus on things WITHIN your control, instead of outside of it. And it’s really quite liberating.

Conversely, if things are GOOD: don’t abandon what got you there in the first place and coast, as if just by showing up, the magic happens. That just isn’t the case, and you know it. And, did you know that, when I sit down with business owner clients, one of the most common complaints I hear about relates to employees? When you get to the bottom of it, however, these complaints amount to an abdication of responsibility for results.

That’s why this week’s Business Strategy Note is about leading and managing employees, even in the midst of a tough environment. Read on, and send me your feedback.Oh, and if you’d really like to talk this week (in the midst of the market rollercoaster we’ve been witnessing–and I don’t blame you), I have just a few open tax-planning sessions remaining. But I urge you to move quickly, as I sent another email to non-business clients about them as well, and they’re going quickly. Send me a quick email, or call: 606-678-4372 to grab one.

On to leading your team through this morass…Mark Clark’s “Real World” Business Strategy How To Get Employees More Motivated

Many businesses I see are one-man shows. I think that the task of managing employees has frustrated more small business owners than it has made feel “warm” inside. So people like to avoid dealing with employees. But, instead of blaming employees for their laziness or unreliability, it’s most helpful to focus on what you CAN change, and not fire and hire like it’s the only good solution for shifting a company culture. After all, it’s quite expensive. These tips are cheaper–and more reliable. Try them out…and let me know how it works for your business?

1- Measure productivity. From the moment you first interview a candidate, they should understand your expectations. Whether your culture is a high-stress, strict regime, or a laid back, “go with the flow” atmosphere. Be sure your employees truly comprehend that you value and expect productivity. You can do this simply by implementing systems which track and measure employee output on a daily basis. You’ll be amazed by what happens when your employees simply compare their work against themselves!

2- Don’t avoid incentives. Even the most dedicated and self-motivated worker needs an external incentive on occasion. Think of an incentive (such as Employee of the Month, or additional bonuses) that you can consistently offer. Remember that it does NOT have to be monetary in order to motivate!

3- Have employees learn the mission statement. Make sure your staff is aware of the company’s purpose. When the entire company is united in a common purpose, more work gets done. Now this doesn’t necessarily touch every employee…really, it’s most effective with the sort of person who thrives by understanding the “big picture”–but that’s more of your employees than you likely realize.

4- Give your employees a chance to grow. Too many business owners are tempted to do it all themselves. Relinquish your tight hold on the company and give your employees a chance to solve problems, try new ideas, and put their own thoughts and ideas to the test. Look, even if things don’t go as well as if YOU had done them, guess what? You’ve gained good experience in delegation AND excellence for your staff.

5- Practice “lavish praise and quick corrections”. One of my favorite books is The One-Minute Manager. You should read it. The essence of it is to catch people doing well and point it out to them. But you also have to quickly correct and reprimand when you see something outside of what you expect.

Hope you’ll be able to put at least some of these to work in your own business soon, and reap generous rewards from them. I’m grateful for our partnership, and for your referrals!