What is the no. 1 asset in your business beside yourself? It's your people.Then why is it they often fall to the bottom of the list when it comes to doing anything to help them improve their performance and look after them?
If you want your business to run more effectively and/or make more money then you must invest time and energy into your no. 1 asset otherwise you will eventually lose them.
The Physiotherapists' Practice
With four of us in the family who are all into health and fitness, we have been going to this particular practice for the past few years.
The actual environment is lovely, however there seems to be a high turnover of physiotherapists. It's only a small practice yet it seems that apart from the owner and one other physio. who looks after us, the rest seem to come and go fairly quickly.
I can easily see what the problem is. It's the owner. He lacks fundamental communication and business skills. Sure he knows his 'stuff' about how to help someone heal their body but he is sorely missing basic skills in leadership and managing his own staff.
The funny thing is he has a 'Mission Statement' in his office stating "Our people are our number one asset". How often have you seen this in businesses around the country? Quite often the opposite is true.
If this business owner's people were his no. 1 asset then he should have got the message by now, that with the high turnover of staff, there is one common problem?him!
I have spoken to him on a number of occasions suggesting he invest some time with us as not only can we help him be more effective with his people but also show him how easily he can make more money. Unfortunately (for him) he thinks he knows everything.
Not only is this business owner sadly lacking in leadership, business and communication skills, his people are the same.
Sure, they're nice enough to talk too, however they would be so much more of an asset to this practice if they had on-going development. And that development has to come from outside the practice.
Because no-one is aware of how they can run this practice more effectively, heaps of time is wasted, potential business is lost, not to mention how stressful all this is on everyone involved.
Show Them You Care
Many good people leave because they are unappreciated. They are taken for granted.
When I ask new clients how often they get together with their people on an individual or group basis to discuss their performance get their perspective on how they find their jobs and how to improve things, a common response is "it's something I've been meaning to do".
I often hear the comment "I must do Jane's performance appraisal. I should have done it weeks ago BUT (here comes the well-worn excuse) I'VE BEEN SO BUSY!!!"
Jerry is the Head of Department in an educational institution. He was headhunted to this position one year ago. He was made many promises including having his own personal assistant as he would be responsible for 5 team members.
The Principal promised a salary review in six months and flexibility in his working hours. Jerry was informed there would be some after hour's activities involved but these would be minimal.
Ten months later Jerry had no personal assistant. He had to do every single administrative task himself. He spent more time addressing the needs of his team at the detriment of his other responsibilities.
Extra curricular activities ate up an extra 12 hours a week on top of the 50 hours he spent at school just to stay on top of the workload! He couldn't take time off in lieu for the additional hours he worked as his department was already understaffed. Overtime wasn't part of his salary package.
Jerry had constantly spoken to the Principal who agreed to lighten his load but hadn't taken the necessary action to do so! Lack of action from one person often forces the other to react and take control.
Jerry had enough! He tendered his resignation a few weeks ago and is now a free agent. The Principal from his old school promised Jerry that he would make the changes he so desperately wanted. Unfortunately for the Principal, the staff and in turn the students, it was too late. Jerry had enough. He had decided to take control of his situation and not be reliant on the actions of others.
He is so much happier. His health and personal relationships have improved dramatically. Jerry has already been offered another position which will be less demanding.
The Final Word
Planning time with your team members on an individual level should occur on a weekly or fortnightly basis. Schedule this meeting into your diary and do not let anything else take precedence.
Listen to your people and where necessary take immediate action because the price you ultimately pay for your inaction may not be worth it.
Expose them to new ideas and different ways of thinking. Take them to seminars and business breakfasts and have them mix with other people.
Organise speakers to come into your workplace and share with you how to communicate effectively, how to be the best you can be, dress for success?anything that will stimulate, motivate and be useful. Yes, these are the 'soft skills' not the technical ones.
If you and your people are stimulated, motivated and provoked into action on a regular basis, then you'll find not only will morale lift, you will become more creative and perform more effectively?all of which has a direct impact on your profitability.
Lead from the front!
Take action today!
About The Author
Lorraine Pirihi, principal of The Office Organiser (http://www.office-organiser.com.au) is Australia's Personal Productivity Coach
Lorraine specialises in working with businesspeople showing them how to dramatically boost their productivity, reduce the stress and the mess in their lives and have more time for enjoying their life.
We Offer a Broad Range of Services and Products including: Coaching for small business owners and professionals, keynote presentations and workshops, books, CD's, DVD's and on-line learning programs.
Take action today! Contact Lorraine to discuss your specific needs at firstname.lastname@example.org