Monthly Archives: March 2014

Increasing Your Employees’ Motivation and Productivity – Part 1 of 3

Small Business Planning in Atlanta, GeorgiaWhen was the last time you gave an employee an important assignment? You explain how you want it done and give them a deadline. A little later you check on them to see how they are doing. Much to your dismay they have only made a micron of progress. As you question them, you find out they have ignored your instructions and are doing it their own way. Or you encounter even a worse scenario. They have not even started the task, but have been on Facebook, checking the latest “news” on the internet or talking on their cell phone. 

The most likely the reason they did not either start on the project promptly or did it their own unproductive way, or did not focus on it, was they did not understand the implications of not quickly completing the task in the way you instructed. They felt a lack of a sense of urgency as to how important the assignment was and the need for its proper and timely completion. These issues may affect many or all of your staff.

Studies have shown this apparent lack of discipline and motivation in the workplace stems from the fact that many employees are not fully engaged in their work. According to Gallup’s 2013 State of the American Workplace Report only 30% of employees are engaged and inspired at work. Many employees do not comprehend the significance of their role in their organization or the importance of their business in the grand scheme of things. The reason this so crucial is that engagement leads to motivation, which leads to focus, which in turn yields productivity.

So how do you increase youSmall Business Planning in Atlanta, Georgiar personnel’s engagement, motivation, focus and productivity? A knee jerk response may be to increase their pay and improve their fringe benefits. Does this consistently result in motivation? Many studies have shown that once a person has what they perceive to be adequate compensation and fringe benefits, there is very little improvement in their productivity as result of a pay raise or more fringe benefits.

Are your unmotivated employees driving you crazy? Having worked with over 1,200 businesses over the past 17 years we have found that there are five foundations to creating engaged, motivated and productive employees. In my next blog on this subject we will begin to examine these foundations.

Taking your Business to the Next Level – Part 2 of 2

In my prior blog, Taking your Business to the Next Level – Part 1 of 2 I posed the question: If you have ever wished you had a business that could operate smoothly without you being there for weeks on end? Or conversely, have you ever felt that your business is totally dependent on you? That if you didn’t show up, things would start to fall apart?

In having worked with over 1,200 businesses during the past 17 years I have found there are basically two ways in which a business can operate; a fruit-stand model and a factory model.

I have found the following are the typical attributes of fruit-stand versus a factory-model business.

Exhausting fruit stands:

  • Not fully systematized
  • Not scalable and difficult to grow to the next level
  • Overly dependent on the business owner

Economic factories:

  • Fully systematized
  • Scalable and not difficult to grow to the next level
  • Not overly dependent on the business ownerSmall Business Planning in Atlanta, Georgia

While I am making a black and white comparison between a fruit-stand and a factory business, the important point is that the more factory-like a business is the greater financial and personal freedom is provided to the company owner or leader. Please dispel the thought that all fruit-stand businesses are small. Recently I ran into a $20 million company with over 100 employees that suffered greatly because it operated in many fruit-stand ways. While it takes more time and effort on the front end to develop a factory-type business, the benefit is it ends up not being dependent on the owner for its daily operations.

How do you move your business from a frustrating fruit-stand to an economic factory? There are five keys:

  1. Embrace a mindset which envisions that your company can operate without you
  2. Develop, optimize and document the processes that will fully “systematize” your operations
  3. Hire people that have the correct skill sets for your organization to thrive – not the cheapest or easiest to find
  4. Thoroughly train your personnel on your systems, why they should follow them, and the outcome you expect from the systems and their actions
  5. Look at your business and ask yourself, what do you need to do to enable it to operate without you being present

With this approach, you will be freed from the burden of feeling your business is resting completely upon your shoulders. The emotional and financial rewards for operating a business as a fully systematized factory versus a fruit-stand business are you:

  • Reach more customers because you have a greater capacity
  • Generate greater revenue and profits
  • Serve customers better because your systems ensure things operate correctly, whether you are there or not
  • Enable you to scale your business and take it to the next level
  • Have a company that is not overly dependent on you
  • Allow you to take time off without worrying about your business
  • Create a organization which has a saleable value if you choose to do something different in life

Small Business Planning in Atlanta, GeorgiaStart today on fully developing the proper systems, hiring the correct personnel, and training and empowering them to operate your business properly so that you can move from the fatigue, stress, and emotional exhaustion of a fruit-stand to the freedom, satisfaction, and  joy of a business operating as an economic “factory”.