What makes some businesses wildly successful while other flounder and fail? Why do some business seem to get it all right? Could it possibly be that there is more to success that luck? If there is more to success, why do so many businesses rely on fortune to advance the case or improve their business? Probably because many businesses fail to see how proper business alignment can, in many cases, assist success. In this article we will discuss the touchy subject of employee alignment.
The right people make all the difference. I simply cannot place enough emphasis on finding the right people working in your business. Every business owner needs to show a Return On Investment (ROI) from each employee, or (in English) make money for the business. If employee doesn’t supply a Return On Investment, they are not valuable and are merely a cost. An employee who does not produce above and beyond their cost is merely a liability. Let’s talk examples. Think of your last poor experience in dining. If the waitress, certainly not the highest paid individual in the restaurant, ruined the dining experience by (fill in the blank), are you going back to that restaurant? Why? The waitress representing the business did not show the value she was hired to represent. Your business placed excessive cost on a meal and the diner did not perceive the meal as value because of the employee, hence no repeat client.
So how do you grow a good employee to be the right employee? How much time do you have? This process takes longer than microwave popcorn and requires patience. No doubt you will have some hard work to do if you are not already aligned, but it can be done.
Step 1: You need to chart a defining course of action. A business plan that would help you decide what success would look like for your company. Start with that dream, work backwards and prepare to be flexible because this dream needs to be communicated effectively and implemented by none other than the employees. “In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.” Dwight D. Eisenhower
Step 2: Within the business plan there needs to be room and a plan for a distinct employee culture. This culture needs to be strategic and aligned with the expectations of the business and of the value your business is representing to the customer. Employees that do not adequately represent the company in word, appearance, action, and attitude, regardless of the position they are filling, are not fitting your business model and need to find employment elsewhere. My guess is you will lose some people on the way. A byproduct of change is that not everyone is meant to take the journey with you – this stance is not cold hearted. Ask yourself, your business success? Or their job? When you answer the question the way I think you will consider the subsequent step.
Step 2 ½ : Mold a back-up plan for succession of key employees ahead of time and be prepared just in case. Keep in mind the goal is not to lose employees, but to align the employees with the business’ direction.
This topic is not yet finished but we’ve run out of space — for now. Next time we will finish the discussion.