The average turnover rate since 2002 has stayed steady between three and four percent. Many businesses have far higher averages than that. Since 2008 an even worse problem with employee loyalty has steadily grown: people who quit and stay. I have been in many businesses where people are there only because they have nowhere else to go. Guess how productive those employees are.
I am constantly trying to improve my understanding of business, life and people. I have been getting into TED talks as of late. Hearing what brilliant minds are thinking, studying and observing has been helping me better define what I think, say and do. I just ran across Simon Sinek, talking about leadership.
I have numerous examples of the reverse of what Simon is saying. I have been in business after organization after corporation where people are being told what to do and how to do it. Almost without exception, they are not happy in their jobs. They are not motivated to work together, help their clients, or even just do their own job. The only exception occurs when I meet someone who has their own internal motivation for being there.
I was recently reading “Are Your Employees Drivers or Victims of Process Innovations?” and it brought up some interesting thoughts. I have been writing about the challenges of business constantly focusing on the systems instead of the people, and here were several different examples of how doing just that had hurt organizations.
When most businesses are looking to make more money, they do one of two things. They either try and find a way to increase revenue, or they look for ways to cut expenses. Usually when looking for ways to cut expenses, they look at processes and systems. The challenge that this article points out is that creates a focus on numbers and percentages and keeps you blind to a huge asset you have: your people.
Over the last two days I have been pre-interviewing close to twenty people in order to get them prepared for an upcoming customized program and to get myself prepared for the personalities I get to work with. What I found was something that I find pretty much everywhere, so I felt this was a great time to think about it: everything is everyone else’s fault.
I just got back from working with a group on how to network to help them in their careers and an interesting idea came up. I was talking about putting in the time to build relationships with the people you work with and the people that you want to work with. After giving them tools to help them do this I asked, “What is the challenge in doing this?” To which I got the reply, “You would get less work done.”
I recently wrote about how one customer can do a world of damage if they are treated poorly. In that article I talked about how one upset customer, or one angry employee can now reach countless millions of people when they have a negative experience with your organization. I conjectured that as businesses, organizations and non-profits we would need to start focusing on the people as strongly as we have been focusing on the systems, or things would start to fall apart.
I ran across two separate articles recently where people decided to teach by telling people to do the exact opposite of what they should. I thought that both were good enough to share. So this week I am going to be your news feed and point you towards two articles that explain why treating your people and your customers with respect is so important.
First is an article by William P. Fisher, Ph.D. who actually took the first nine principles of Dale Carnegie and flipped them on their head so that you can see what would happen if you did the exact opposite of what Dale Carnegie teaches. The result is pretty enlightening.
Up until three or four years ago, an individual consumer did not have a lot of power when it comes to affecting a business and their bottom line. That is not in any way true today. The internet has given the individual incredible power when it comes to how a business does, and that is only going to become more and more true.
Last week I gave you a tool to help your people be better decision makers. Today I will follow that up with a tool to help you and your organization make fully informed decisions more quickly. This is a decision making tool called the criteria method.
The criteria method can be broken down into two parts:
Absolutes: Criteria that must be met and cannot be prioritized.
Desirables: Criteria that we would like included.
It is not everyday that a billionaire tells the world about you, so today I get to toot my own horn. Wednesday night on the CBS show “Person to Person” Warren Buffett was profiled. He walked the audience through his office and discussed the things there that were important to him. I will let him do the talking instead of me:
Skip to minute 6:00 if you only want to hear the part about Dale Carnegie. (I would recommend watching the whole thing though as he talks about his philosophy of investing throughout.)