Category Archives: Your Business’ Human Assets

June 2017 Newsletter – How to Keep Your Key Employees

How to Keep Your Key Employees

People leave bosses, not companies! And that is true.

An employee’s relationship with their immediate manager is paramount because a Gallup study showed about 50% of employees leave their company as a result of the lack of rapport with their bosses.

Also, research by Accenture showed an 80% correlation between employee engagement and a person’s connection with their immediate manager. Indeed, an employee’s most important relationship at work is with their direct boss. A crucial factor in creating engaged employees is their relationship with their supervisor. People may join organizations, but a chief reason they stay is their manager.

This is a statement that almost every single one of us has heard at some point during our careers, in fact, it might even be something that we have said ourselves.

What Employees Are Looking For

Staff are motivated when they work for a manager they like and respect and who is engaged with them.Small Business Planning in Atlanta, Georgia

By the way, when I use the term “managers,” I am referring to anyone in your company who supervises personnel – from the lowest level up to the top of your organization.

Effective and engaged supervisors are at the core of a successful organization. They facilitate and empower their staff, treat them with appreciation and respect, provide developmental opportunities, and reward them for their achievements.

Engaged managers provide clarity for what is expected from each of their staff, including feedback and coaching, while treating them as individuals. They also handle them fairly by not playing favorites, while showing concern for their personal well-being. It is also key that they design workflows that are organized efficiently and effectively for their personnel.

This relationship includes providing mental and emotional support while communicating the connection between what staff do on a day by day basis and the big picture of what the organization is all about. Thus, an emotionally intelligent manager can motivate their personnel and get them to work as a team to accomplish the goals at hand.

Things Managers Do That Drive Employees Away

  1. They don’t listen when their team members share their thoughts and opinions.
  2. They unnecessarily intrude in their employee’s personal time with emails and phone calls.
  3. They expect big results on important tasks or projects, but they nick-pick on minor things or errors.
  4. In customer disputes or departmental conflicts, they don’t stand up for their personnel, which undermines confidence in the manager.
  5. They are dishonest to their employees and try to manipulate them.
  6. They don’t offer enough congratulations and high-fives for jobs well done – so work is not fun.
  7. They have two standards, one for themselves and a higher one for their employees.

What an Effective Manager Looks Like

Small Business Planning in Atlanta, GAHaving effective managers is like preparing a dish using ordinary ingredients and then immersing those ingredients in a marinade that will transform them into something extraordinary. The results are even better if you start with great employees, you can create a world class work force. The bottom line is great bosses can motivate, lead, and manage their personnel so that they are able to achieve the company’s Vision.

Highly effective supervisors bring out the best in employees. Conversely, ineffective managers can retard the productivity, contentment, and the stability of your workforce. Some of us have worked for a great boss, someone for whom you would break through a concrete wall just to please. Many of us have also had bad bosses, ones for whom you wanted to do nothing at all because of how they made you angry. What is the benefit of having effective managers? You will be able to achieve the Vision for your organization – and that is huge!

Great Managers Know Their Personnel

A successful manager turns an employee’s talent into demonstrated performance. For a supervisor to achieve this, they must first find out the unique things about each of their employees and then capitalize on these attributes.

To be a great boss you must know your personnel and how they are wired. The use of various personnel tests can be very beneficial in trying to understand and properly oversee your personnel.

To be an effective manager you need to know each employee’s:

  1. Strengths and weaknesses
  2. Motivators
  3. Style of learning (analyzing, doing, or watching)
  4. Preference for receiving recognition (be honored by boss, be honored by fellow employees, honored by customers, awards, certificates).

Attributes of an Effective Manager

Even though effective managers are key to an organization possessing engaged employees who will carry the company forward, frequently there is a lack of training provided to Small Business Planning in Atlanta, GAsupervisors to develop these attributes. Many companies just assume when a person is given the role of a manager they suddenly are endowed the skill set that makes them a great supervisor.

However, both initial and ongoing training needs to be provided to enable bosses to bring out the best in their team. To assist you with the development of your managers listed below are some of key attributes of an effective supervisor we have developed from working with many clients in the past. You can use this list as a quick checklist to see how your managers are doing:

An Effective Manager:

  1. Is loyal to the business, clearly communicates the business’ vision, management’s decisions, and goals of a task
  2. Is able to motivate employees
  3. Creates a team environment that is safe and free from politics
  4. Has sufficient knowledge of the area they manage
  5. Has earned respect of their employees and is respectful of others
  6. Demonstrates leadership to employees, is able to implement changes, and leads by example
  7. Manages in a positive and supportive manner
  8. Makes their employees feel appreciated and valued, recognizes employees for their contributions, and is a “cheerleader” for the personnel under their supervision
  9. Empathizes easily with others – by habit they can put themselves in the other person’s shoes
  10. Is decisive and makes clear-thinking personnel decisions
  11. Treats all employees in a fair and compassionate manner and does not let personnel problems persist
  12. Is a good listener, tries to understand what their employees are saying, and acts upon the input that they receive
  13. Can delegate activities to others
  14. Possesses good people skills and is approachable
  15. Is an effective communicator either by writing or verbally or both
  16. Is proactive, adaptable, and flexible
  17. Is results- and goal-oriented and delivers what they promise to deliver
  18. Is organized, reliable, and is a good time manager
  19. Provides opportunities for growth for their employees
  20. Displays high integrity
  21. Is a positive role model and mentors other people

If you need assistance in developing a program to create fully engaged and productive employees as a result of having effectual managers, please contact us using the below information so we can show you how to truly turn your employees into your greatest asset.

Fountainhead Consulting Group, Inc. is an Innovation and Business Planning firm. During the past 17 years we have shown over 1,200 companies how to achieve their goals by using our unique, comprehensive and systematic, innovation, business planning and growth Structure of Success™, Innovation Academy™ and FastTrak Innovation Program™ methodologies. Using the components in these methodologies, each month we examine an aspect of how to transform your business or organization into a true 21st Century operation.

Office phone: (770) 642-4220                                             

www.FountainheadConsultingGroup.com

George.Horrigan@FountainheadConsultingGroup.com

December 2016 Newsletter – The Three Keys to Building Your Team’s Morale

The Three Keys to Building Your Team’s Morale

According to a recent Gallup report, How Millennials Want to Work and Live, almost two-thirds of millennial workers say they are not fully engaged with their employer’s mission. This sentiment is reflected the overall workforce as well.

A key to someone embracing a company’s overall purpose is the effective communication of an organization’s goals to team members and the related encouragement a person receives from management and leadership as they pursue the entity’s goals.

Penn State

Over the past three years and particularly during the 2016 College Football season I have been struck by how Penn State’s Head Coach, James Franklin modeled effective communication and encouragement to his team. Coach Franklin (BTW, I am not a Penn State Alumni and I am impartial regards to his team – but have only observed his remarkable leadership style) has had a dramatic impact on Penn State’s football program in that they just achieved a Big 10 Championship and a berth in the Rose Bowl – in only the three years since he arrived.

What is particularly noticeable about his leadership is how focused and under control he is during interviews, but how enthusiastic and congratulatory he is with his players on the sideline when they do something admirable.

So how does this apply to your organization?

As you lead your company, keep in mind one of a leader’s chief roles is encourage their personnel and be the cheerleader who makes their employees feel good about their efforts to achieve the goals and Vision of their business. This results in building high company morale. I would like to look at thee aspects of this.

I. Celebrating Successes

One of the most important aspects of encouraging your personnel is recognizing the progress that is being made towards the business’ goals. This is because people Small Business Planning in Atlantaneed to feel that it is worth their while to keep plugging away at the goal in front of them.

Having one-on-one chats, group meetings, and companywide events where the mile markers on the road to your organization’s goals are celebrated is a key to keeping morale high. A wise business owner takes advantage of every opportunity to encourage their employees by celebrating their business’ achievements.

Give Verbal “High-Fives” and “Hugs”

If you see Coach Franklin on the sideline he is regularly “high-fiving” and hugging his players as they come off the field after making a great play – and you can tell his players LOVE this. While giving someone a physical high-five or hug is not appropriate in most companies, alternatively, when was the last verbal “high-five” or “hug” you gave to one of your employees after they did something really great? Regularly doing this will instill within them the importance of their overall effort in making a difference in your Customer’s lives and the world.

A business owner that does not regularly and sincerely encourage their employees is missing a great opportunity to build company morale. The danger of not encouraging your employees is that they will get burned out, jaded, and discouraged which can lead to them not giving their best efforts in pursuit of your business’ goals.

II. Empowering Your Personnel

When viewed in conjunction with the above process of leading and encouraging your employees, the concept of empowering your employees is a very important part of your overall goal to keep morale high. How do you empower your personnel (both employees and contractors)? There are three steps, namely:

  • Developing and sharing a compelling Vision for your company with your personnel
  • Creating the organization that includes the Systems that is required to achieve your Vision
  • Providing the resources (e.g., equipment, Information Technology, personnel…) that are required in order to achieve the Vision for your business

Coach Franklin’s players have reported that they have bought into his Vision for the team and that he is very organized in the execution of his overall program and his detailed game plan. This results in them feeling empowered to great things.

The Secret is Doing All Three Steps

Please be aware that unless you do all three of the above, “empowering” your personnel can backfire. For instance, if you share your Vision to your personnel and create the organization required in order to achieve your Vision, but do not provide the resources that are required in order to achieve your Vision for your business, you will thoroughly frustrate your personnel and debilitate their spirits.

However, if you have properly developed and conveyed a compelling Vision and the related company goals to your personnel and then empower them, you will be amazed how people will respond to various challenges.

III. Abounding Optimism

Small Business PlanningAn integral part of moving your organization toward its Vision is that you as a business owner or leader must be optimistic and must communicate that optimism to your personnel.

If you see an interview with Coach Franklin, you will very quickly notice his optimism. The quiet confidence that he knows where he wants to take his football team and how to get there is unmistakable. And his players positively respond to his approach.

Likewise, if you look at virtually any truly successful organization and the leaders of that company, you will see that great leaders are always optimists. Having started and operated 9 companies I know that being the leader of a company is a daunting task that at times may seem to be overwhelming. But the special thing you as leader of your company bring to the table is your Vision, your dreams and goals for your organization.

However, on a daily basis your employees are on the firing line in your operations and they see all of your business’ warts – up close and personal. This can dispirit them and get them down. Therefore, they are sorely in need of the optimism that comes from you knowing where you want to take your company and how to get there.

If you need assistance with how to put encouragement to work in a practical way in your organization to elevate your team’s morale and performance, please contact us using the below information so we can show you how to make this new year the best ever for your company.

Fountainhead Consulting Group, Inc. is an Innovation and Business Planning firm. During the past 17 years we have shown over 1,200 companies how to achieve their goals by using our unique, comprehensive and systematic, innovation, business planning and growth Structure of Success™, Innovation Academy™ and FastTrak Innovation Program™ methodologies. Using the components in these methodologies, each month we examine an aspect of how to transform your business or organization into a true 21st Century operation.

Office phone: (770) 642-4220                                             

www.FountainheadConsultingGroup.com

George.Horrigan@FountainheadConsultingGroup.com

June 2016 Newsletter – Four Keys to Creating High Employee Morale and Satisfaction

Four Keys to Creating High Employee Morale and Satisfaction

Recently, during a Q & A session at the end of one of my presentations on Igniting Innovation Within Your Employees a person asked, “How can I improve my employee’s morale and satisfaction?” This is a very good question because having a high level of morale and employee satisfaction may very well determine how motivated and engaged your personnel are. And great employee engagement will yield you happy customers and increased revenue and profits.

A Pet Peeve of Many Business Owners

Over the years I have had countless discussions with business owners regarding the challenge of getting their personnel truly motivated. This is often a pet peeve of many business owners. Obviously, if a business owner or leader is going to achieve their business goals they need satisfied and productive employees. Some company owners feel that if they are paying a fair wage, what more could employees want? Just paying a fair wage is not going to get you the high employee morale and motivation you desire.

Achieving Employee Satisfaction

What is necessary to have satisfied employees with high morale? I won’t try to cover this entire topic in thisSmall Business Planning in Atlanta, Georgia newsletter (on which thousands of books have been written), but I will share with you the most important things that have come up in this area with the 1,200 companies with which we have worked.

First of all, we must separate “motivators” from “non-motivators” in the workplace. Motivators are things that will actually increase an employee’s performance over their normal “base line” on a continuing basis. The presence of motivators puts your staff in the “zone.” The absence of a “motivator” becomes an impediment to having a contented and productive employee. Contrarily, a non-motivator is a “given,” something that is expected as part of the employee-employer relationship. The providing of a non-motivator, such as continued employment, reasonable compensation or fringe benefits merely gets you to the base line.

Let’s examine four motivators.

A Team Atmosphere

Many studies have shown employees want to work in a true collaborative, team environment. This includes getting constructive input, support and encouragement from team members. In settings like this they are more content and productive than in a non-team environment.

A key element of creating a team atmosphere is to communicate and practice the concept “we all depend on each other” and we are all working towards a common and shared goal. Just like the players in football team where there is mutual commitment to the other team members, employees end up feeling bonded to fellow employees and, therefore, to the business that is creating the team environment.

The development of a team environment is the single most influential step in creating motivated and highly satisfied personnel.

Making a Difference in Their Customers’ Lives

Small Business Planning in Atlanta, GeorgiaEmployees find it extremely gratifying to know they are positively impacting their customers’ lives by enabling them achieve the goals related to your product. Environments that share customer testimonials with their staff and tie this to the employees’ actions harvest a high level of morale and satisfaction.

It is critical to celebrate the positive results your workforce is providing to your customers on a regular basis. This should involve sharing both individual and group recognition of the difference your personnel are making in your customer’s lives.

Employee’s Opinions Being Solicited, Valued, and Used

By nature, people want to be able to influence, effect, or change their future in a positive way. When an organization invites employees to provide input on various issues impacting their work environment and your business in general, they appropriately feel this is “my company” because they had a say in its operations.

This sense of quasi ownership causes most people to work harder, go the “extra mile,” and look out for the business’ good. This results in people thinking outside the box to try to make the company better. All of these actions translate into two things: first, employees are more motivated which results in better performance; second, the business performs better.

Your Business Impacting the World in A Positive Way

Various surveys have shown people are happiest when they feel they are part of something bigger than themselves. Most people realize that there is relatively little that they can do on their own to positively impact the world.

If an employee shares a “vision” to impact the world in the same way as their employer, they may even work for an organization for free (e.g., Peace Corps), or at a compensation level that is less than a market level. They will work long, hard hours and be extremely productive because they “believe in” what they are doing—it is more than a job.

Therefore, to harvest this benefit you want consider how your company is making the world a better place and convey this to your personnel. This information should be shared on a periodic basis and in creative and engaging ways.

If you need assistance with creating a positive and motivational work environment please contact us because we can show you how to do this and obtain the high employee morale and satisfaction that will yield you happy customers and increased revenue and profits.

Fountainhead Consulting Group, Inc. is an Innovation and Business Planning firm. During the past 17 years we have shown over 1,200 companies how to achieve the goals for their business by using our unique, comprehensive and systematic business planning and growth methodology, the Structure of Success™ so they can Work Less, Make More and most importantly Have Fun in Their Business. Using our Structure of Success™ methodology each month we examine one of 12 areas of a business or organization.

Office phone: (770) 642-4220

www.FountainheadConsultingGroup.com

George.Horrigan@FountainheadConsultingGroup.com

October 2015 Newsletter – Why 90% of Businesses Fail

Why 90% of Businesses Fail

According to two landmark studies, one by McKinsey & Co. and one by Harvard Business School, 90% of business strategies that fail do so because of lack of execution. In other words, the vast majority of companies that don’t make it actually had workable game plans – they just didn’t execute their strategy properly or fully.

Well, if these organizations had reasonable blueprints, what went wrong? Incomplete or improper execution occurred.

Let me share a typical example of this. A couple of years ago Tim, an energetic man in his mid-thirties who had a company that provided on-site maintenance and repair services to their customer’s equipment, came to us for help. He had worked for another company as an employee servicing the same equipment and then he decided to go out on his own.

At first things were great. He lined up the customers, ordered the parts and took care of the repairs or maintenance in a tip-top fashion. As the company grew, he added a second crew. Then he added another one. Then another, and so forth. He ended up with 7 crews when he came to us.

Tim’s Problems

Tim told me his problems started with his first crew and then just grew bigger and more complex as he Small Business Planning in Atlanta, Georgiaexpanded. The first problem was that his crews did not have his personal commitment to doing the job right and he ended having to go out into the field many times to fix their mistakes. He thought “they know to do that”. But in fact they didn’t, because no one ever told them explicitly what to do on a service call.

The next problem was his personnel would show up at the customer site without the necessary parts to complete the job and would have to come back a second time with the needed items – thus doubling his costs. Then, he decided to implement a central “inventory” system but no one ever properly maintained it, so it became a mess. Next Tim hired an “inventory control” person and told them – here it is, it’s your baby to control. But this person ended up stealing parts from him and doing jobs on the side.

Tim was ready to pull his hair out when he came to us. He said, “What went wrong?” What happened was he got caught in the “busyness” execution syndrome, instead of executing his strategy in a “structured” manner. What do I mean?

The “Busyness” Method of Execution

Small Business Planning in Atlanta, GeorgiaFrom one standpoint, execution in an enterprise is easy; you just do it (whatever “it” is). However, in reality there are two different types or methods of “execution.” The first is to just get busy doing various activities. I call this the “busyness” method. The activities engaged in the busyness method may or may not be productive activities. As long as people are “busy” working in the company, everything seems OK. The underlying problem with the busyness method is the majority of activities are tactical actions, which are not necessarily tied to the company’s Strategic plan. This is where Tim lived.

Just like the paraphrase from Alice in Wonderland, “the faster you go, the be-hinder you get,” the busyness method can lead to activity for the sake of activity. Its mantra is “just get busy doing something.”

In the absolute, the busyness execution approach can lead to operating in the envelope of the ill-fated “tyranny of the urgent”. This is where a business spends so much of its time in crisis management that it loses sight of the big picture of what it should be trying to accomplish and thereby sees little or no progress toward its long-term goals. The business then starts to operate primarily in a reactive mode where the concept of planning becomes nothing more than figuring out the solution to today’s “crisis du jour.”

Business Leader Burnout

The bottom line of the busyness approach to execution is that it is an unstructured method that is not tied to an overall Strategic plan. This method of execution does not fully utilize systems that are intentionally tied to the business’ overall Vision and Strategy. In the end this approach can lead to endless fatigue where the owner becomes burned out with the business. The enterprise ends up being overly dependent upon the owner and they get trapped doing the same things, day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year—the perfect recipe for burnout.

Structured Execution

The second approach to execution is what I call “Structured Execution”, which uses a structured approach Small Business Planning in Atlanta, Georgiathat is based upon the overall Vision and Strategy of the business. The key to Structured Execution is that it is an intentional method of developing and executing its systems in a disciplined manner. There are three keys to Structured Execution.

Intentionality

The execution does not take place haphazardly but there is a definite train of thought behind each action. The visible execution is a result of an overall game plan that has been laid out clearly behind the scenes.

Systems

Structured systems have been developed, implemented, and are being monitored so that the correct actions take on a consistent basis. Actions are not left up to the individual to do as they see fit, but the steps a person or team should take to accomplish a given task have been identified beforehand and optimized to get the desired outcome on a predictable basis.

Discipline

A disciplined atmosphere exists throughout the organization to ensure that once the optimized systems are in place they are followed explicitly, adherence to the systems is rewarded and deviation from them is penalized. The discipline to adhere to the systems in place is not mindless, but is an acknowledgment that the best systems are being used in order to produce the desired results.

By using a Structured approach to execution you gain the benefit of having an actual Execution Plan, instead of operating with execution by busyness approach. Therefore, the business owner does not become burned out because the business is executing based upon a defined overall strategy, not haphazardly – which in turn moves the business closer to its goals. This results in a sense of freedom for the organization’s leaders, as compared to feeling trapped by the next problem that is going to ensnare them.

Small Business Planning in Atlanta, GeorgiaBack to Tim. Over the next number of months we worked with him to implement this Structured approach, which resulted in dramatic results. He told me he was so overjoyed with his new-found freedom that he bought a vacation cabin and started spending weekends there with his family – and being totally unplugged from his company.

So, how can you start down this path? Begin by examining your operations from the perspectives of Intentionality, Systems and Discipline to determine if you need to improve the execution of your organization’s strategy. Then move forward to tie all of your operations back to your overall business Vision and Strategy.

If you need assistance with moving from the Busyness Execution model to the Structured Execution one, please contact us so we can show you how to use this concept to take your business where you want it to go.

Fountainhead Consulting Group, Inc. is an Innovation and Business Planning firm. During the past 17 years we have shown over 1,200 companies how to achieve the goals for their business by using our unique, comprehensive and systematic business planning and growth methodology, the Structure of Success™ so they can Work Less, Make More and most importantly Have Fun in Their Business. Using our Structure of Success™ methodology each month we examine one of 12 areas of a business or organization.

Office phone: (770) 642-4220

www.FountainheadConsultingGroup.com

George.Horrigan@FountainheadConsultingGroup.com

August 2015 Newsletter – Getting and Keeping Top Employees

Getting and Keeping Top Employees

This month Netflix introduced an unlimited paid family leave program within certain of its divisions for new parents for the first year after the birth or adoption of a child. Employees will continue to get their normal pay and have the option to take time off, work part time, or full time during that year. There is no national requirement for paid new family leave, only 12 weeks of unpaid time off.

Netflix, which is headquartered in Silicon Valley, California felt it needed to do this to compete with other tech companies for talented personnel. In intensely competitive Silicon Valley that may be necessary, but for a company anywhere in the world the real question is – what does it take to get and keep top employees?

A 2015 Employee Recognition Report by the Society for Human Resource Management and Globoforce stated that employee retention and the overarching area of employee engagement were the greatest problems facing organizations.

In this article I would like to focus on one of the top steps that companies can take to ensure they recruit and retain top staff. The great news is this step does not cost a company an enormous amount – maybe even nothing.

Why Does Your Staff Come to Work Each Day?

Truett Cathy, the founder of top ranked customer experience Small Business Planning in Atlanta, GeorgiaChick-fil-A many times said the purpose of business is to meet your customer needs. According to noted author Peter Drucker the “The purpose of business is to create and keep a customer.”

To do this you must consistently meet your customer’s needs related to your product. Furthermore, if you meet your customer’s needs effectively and efficiently you will be ensured of operating profitably. In other words, the true purpose of a business is not to make money or “maximize shareholder value” – as many business schools teach.

This is so important because many studies have shown employees tend to be engaged in a business and want to continue to work for it if they feel the company is honestly making the lives of their customer better. This leads to your staff becoming an “advocate” for your customer.

The ramifications of this advocacy are huge. Front line customer service personnel want to solve your customer’s problems, not just half-heartedly answer the telephone. Sales people want to do what is best for your customer, not just make a sale. Manufacturing personnel do all they can do to ensure error free products are produced by your company.

Design staff try to look at things from the customer’s point of view. Administrative personnel realize they are there not to just get paid, but to make sure the entire operation works smoothly so the customer can get what they are looking for. In other words, when a business truly communicates to its staff an appealing purpose for being other than just making money, good things happen.

Engaged Employees Go the Extra Mile

Small Business Planning in Atlanta, GeorgiaEngaged employees regularly go the extra mile to deliver what your customer is looking for. Their enthusiasm rubs off on other employees and on customers. They provide better experiences for your customers by approaching their job with energy. This enhances productivity and causes them to come up with creative product, process and service improvements.

This is because engaged employees almost automatically focus their energy on the tasks and activities that will produce the outcome you desire for your customer. This passion results in satisfied customers who purchase more, continue as customers and become the company’s advocate by telling others about it. This all yields additional revenue and profits.

Engaged employees also remain with their employer for the long haul which reduces the cost of employee turnover.

Studies have shown companies with highly engaged workers revenues grew two and a half times as much as those with low engagement levels. Additionally, the stock market rates of return of companies with a highly engaged workforce were three times greater than the market average.

Producing Fully Engaged Employees

You begin to create engaged employees by discovering and then conveying to your staff how your company is serving your customer and making their life better. The root of this step goes back to why you originally started your company. Almost all business owners began their company for very pure and altruistic reasons. It may have been because you saw people not managing their finances correctly and losing their home.

Or someone getting cancer and needing a person who had theSmall Business Planning in Atlanta, Georgia medical skills to assist them. Or you may have observed companies struggling because they needed a low cost way of getting their products shipped to their customer. It is so easy for business owners and leaders to lose sight of their original purpose and get caught up in the minutia of running a company and trying to make a profit.

Then tell your story to your staff in a motivational and emotional way that connects your personnel and their tasks with the big picture of what you are trying to accomplish.

Making Your Customer’s Life Better

Share how serving your customer makes not only your customer’s life better, but also the world better. Disney is a great example. Their amusement parks make their customer’s lives happier, but they also make the world better place. No doubt your business does the same.

For instance, one of our clients is a Holiday Lighting company and their beautiful lighting displays make their customer’s lives happier. But also as their neighbors drive by the displays the spirits all of who see them are lifted – which adds to the “magic” of the Holiday Season.

Another good action is to put up pictures of your “customers” on the walls of your workplace to remind your employees what this is all about – making these people happy and fulfilling their needs. Also, you will want to periodically put up new pictures so that your customer’s image stays fresh in their mind.

Lastly, share success stories of how your company has met various customer’s needs. These may be testimonial letters that came in from customers, discussions you have had with your clientele or dialogues your staff has had with your patrons.

By taking these customer focused actions you will begin to obtain fully engaged employees that will produce satisfied, long-term customers who will become your company’s advocate by telling others about you. The bottom line result of this will be additional revenue and profit for your company.

If you need assistance with getting your employees fully engaged with your company please contact us so we can show you how to use this concept to tremendously increase your revenue and take your business where you want it to go.

Fountainhead Consulting Group Fountainhead Consulting Group, Inc. is an Innovation and Business Planning firm that during the past 17 years has shown over 1,200 companies how to achieve the goals for their business by using our unique, comprehensive and systematic business planning and growth methodology, the Structure of Success™ so they can Work Less, Make More and most importantly Have Fun in Their Business.

www.FountainheadConsultingGroup.com

George.Horrigan@FountainheadConsultingGroup.com

Office phone: (770) 642-4220

November 2014 Newsletter – How to Turn your employees into your company’s raving fans

How to Turn Your Employees Into Your Company’s Raving Fans

In our October 2014 Newsletter I shared a story about Irene, a perky woman in her late 30’s who owns a 12 person health care business. She said to me “Can you do anything about my employees? They just are not on the same page as me.” Maybe you have the same problem as Irene, your personnel march to their own drum, don’t work as a team and have their own itinerary. Her description so reminded me of the “Herding Cats” TV commercial from several years ago. According to Gallup’s 2013 State of the American Workplace Report 70% of employees are not fully engaged and inspired at work. These people have their own agenda and are doing their “own thing”. Does this sound familiar? But take heart, by using these three foundations you can get your staff on board with what you want to do in your business and create a fully “engaged” workforce.

Casting the Vision for Your CompanySmall Business Planning in Atlanta, GA

As I described in the November Newsletter, the first step in “Getting Your Employees On Board” is to regularly share where you want to take your company. We call this your “Vision” and it is the destination or direction of where you want to take your company. It is what a successful and thriving business looks like to you. Many times people are not on board with where you want to take your business because they simply don’t know where you want your business to go. The truth of the situation is, unless you tell them and regularly remind them of the Vision you have for your business they will frame your company, their workplace and what they do on a daily basis from their standpoint. Sharing or casting your Vision is painting a vivid mental picture in words of what your company will look like when it is there. You want to convey this depiction in both formal and informal communications.

Provide a Win/Win Experience

The second ingredient is to create a Win/Win work environment. A Win/Win work environment is one that provides your staff with an experience to which they say, “This a great place to work. I should get my friends a job here”. The term Win/Win comes from the fact you get a productive, engaged workforce and your personnel get just want they want. We are all human – we all want to feel we are going somewhere in life and are making progress towards our goals. Your staff needs to feel there is future in working for your company. This can include many things. For instance:

  1. A fun, enjoyable workplace
  2. Adequate compensation
  3. A team oriented environment
  4. Being appreciated for their efforts
  5. Advancement opportunities
  6. Adequate fringe benefits, perks and amenities
  7. Working for an engaging and effective manager
  8. Their input is solicited, valued, and implemented
  9. Management communicates openly with their employees
  10. Proper education and training is provided
  11. Their manager and the business display integrity

How do you know what they want? You can do anonymous surveys, review industry studies or just ask your employees what they value. Also, a good measuring stick is to ask yourself, would you want to work for your business as an employee? Then answer that question completely truthfully by using a 1 to 10 scale. Keep in mind that the items which provide a Win/Win Experience for your employees may already be present in your organization, but you have not painted a positive picture of this or framed it for them.

Making a Difference in Your Customer’s LivesSmall Business Planning in Atlanta, Georgia

The third component is it is extremely gratifying to employees to know they are positively impacting your customer’s lives by enabling your customer to achieve their goals in life related to your product. Studies have shown environments that share customer testimonials/feedback and are customer focused have the most engaged and satisfied personnel. It is very important to celebrate the positive impact your company provides to your Customers on a regular basis. This should include providing both individual and group recognition of the difference your personnel have made in your customers’ lives. The bottom line is you want your employees to realize they are making a difference in your customer’s lives. Most people realize they are pretty insignificant in the grand scheme of things, so it is a tremendous encouragement when a person’s job can demonstrably improve someone else’s life. Listed below are three steps you can take to enhance your staff’s connection to your customer:

  1. Display pictures of people who remind your personnel of the customers they are serving
  2. Discuss your customer’s needs in a positive, sympathetic way with your staff so they can “feel” your customer’s pain and pleasure
  3. Periodically enable staff who don’t have regular interaction with your customers to man the front lines so they can fully relate to your customer

If you would like assistance with increasing your employee satisfaction please contact us so we can show you how to use these concepts of employee engagement to turn your employees into your company’s raving fans and take your business where you want it to go. www.FountainheadConsultingGroup.com Office phone: (770) 642-4220

October 2014 Newsletter – Getting Your Employees On Board

Getting Your Employees On Board

Recently I was talking with Irene, a perky woman in her late 30’s who owns a 12 person health care business. As we chatted about what we do she said “Can you do anything about my employees? They just are not on the same page as me.”

She went on to share how they each march to their own drum, don’t work as a team and have their own itinerary. Her description so reminded me of the “Herding Cats” TV commercial several years ago.

“Herding Cats”

Trying to herd a cat is a great mental picture of so very many companies with regards to their staff. According to Gallup’s 2013 State of the American Workplace Report 70% of employees are not fully engaged and inspired at work. These people have their own agenda and are doing their “own thing”.

In these situations, as a business owner or leader you scratch your head and say to yourself, “I thought explained what I want and how to do it enough times that they should get it”. But they don’t.

They don’t seem to see eye to eye with what you want to do in your business and where you want it to go. Does this sound familiar? But take heart, you can get your staff on board with what you want to do in your business and create a fully “engaged” workforce.

Having worked with over 1,200 companies during the past 17 years I have found there are three main ingredients to getting your personnel on board with where you want to take your business. I will cover the first of these elements in this newsletter and the remaining ones in the November issue.

Vision

Many times people are not on board with where you want to take your business because they simply don’t know where you want your business to go. So many business owners and leaders think that when a person just walks through the door of your company they suddenly are endowed with the knowledge of knowing your mind and what you are trying to accomplish.

The truth of the situation is, unless you tell them and regularly remind them of the Vision you have for your business they will frame your company, their workplace and what they do on a daily basis from their standpoint.

Several years ago I was working with one of our clients who owned a 25 person dog training, boarding and grooming business who had the same problem as Irene. Once they understood they needed to regularly and formally communicate with their staff they started having weekly meetings with each of the three units of their company and a monthly meeting with entire company.

Using the newly learned concept of “Casting their Vision” they regularly shared what was the future of their business as they saw it. This transformed their entire company and their personnel issues virtually disappeared!

Casting Your Vision

Your Vision is the destination or direction of where you want to take your company. It is – what a successful and thriving business looks like to you.

Sharing or Casting your Vision is painting a vivid mental picture in words of what your company will look like when it is there. The process includes describing the path you and your organization are on. Your company’s Goals are key pieces of information to present.

As you envision what your company will be like down the road, you should naturally get excited. You want to communicate and show that you are excited about the future of your business! That excitement is contagious to all of your staff.

However, what you communicate should not be done in a self-aggrandizing or boastful way. It should not be accomplished in an egotistical way, but in an encouraging way, just like a football coach ties to motivate their team before and during a game.

A key thing to relay is how your company will improve and benefit the lives of your customers. You want to stress how their job and its daily activities is critical in making this happen.

Both Formal and Informal Communication

Communicating your Vision should be done both formally and informally – in one-on-one conversations. Telling your personnel where your company is going and the great things it is now and will be accomplishing should be done in:

  • Staff meetings
  • Newsletters
  • Emails
  • Videos
  • Walking down the hall
  • Performance reviews
  • In everything you do and say

Painting a picture with words like “Won’t it be great when…” is very encouraging to your staff. However, you want to be very careful not to repeat the same thing every time. Otherwise you will sound like a broken record and your personnel may just write off whatever you say.

Variations on a Theme

You want use a “variations on a theme” approach like if you are looking an object from various view points and describing it from many different perspectives.

Your messaging should be like a song that uses a base melody, but it changes a line or a sequence of chords regularly so you don’t become bored with the song. When it is done this way you look forward to the great chorus that really grabs you. Casting your Vision should be just as natural as writing that song. Just as much fun as singing it. As enjoyable to your staff as hearing their favorite song.

If you need assistance with getting your employees fully engaged and on board with the goals for your company please contact us so we can show you how to use this concept of “Casting your Vision” to tremendously increase your revenue and take your business where you want it to go.

www.FountainheadConsultingGroup.com
Office phone: (770) 642-4220