(Time to read this Blog is about 2.5 minutes)

Before we get to the main topic, here are a few things to get you thinking or smiling:

  1. My Quote of the week: (A client sent me this quote. It’s a bit cynical, but it made me smile)

“There are two kinds of ‘busy’. There’s being busy because we’re moving our business or our life towards a goal or commitment.  Then, there’s making ourself busy in order to hide from something at work, or at home.  Which ‘busy’ are you?” 

…Donald Cooper. 

  1. Quick Biz Tip: 5 great fact-finding & relationship-building questions to ask your staff when chatting with them. 

These 5 questions come from Wayne Rivers of the ‘Family Business Institute’ in Raleigh, North Carolina. 

As you work to create a more loyal, committed and efficient Team, below are 5 great fact-finding and relationship-building questions to ask your staff, individually, when you’re chatting with them.  The key is to really listen to their answers.

    1.  How’s work going for you these days?
    2. What’s most challenging for you on the job?  How can we help with that?
    3. How would you like to see your career develop in the next few years?  How can we help with that?
    4. What can we do to make things easier for you to perform effectively?
    5. What do you enjoy doing when you’re not at work?   Note:  When they tell you, a great follow-up question is, “How did you get into that?”   They’ll be delighted to tell you about how they got into fishing or gardening, or coaching hockey, or building a model railway…or whatever it is.

How can these 5 questions be helpful to you…and what will you do with them?

  1. ‘Live’ Conferences are back! After 2 years of virtual Zoom Conferences, ‘LIVE IS BACK’!  We’re getting lots of bookings for Keynotes and interactive Workshops at live events! 

For a list of our most requested topics and to chat about ‘possibilities’ for your next business or Association Conference, call us at 416-252-3703 in Toronto, Canada, or email me at donald@donaldcooper.com.  

  1. What can you learn from ‘the best’?  Hawaiian Airlines has been named America’s ‘most on-time airline’ 18 years in a row.  My guess is that they excel at creating clear commitments, training, systems & process, urgency & passion, consistency, measurement and accountability. 

    Who’s the best at the things that matter to your customers and your bottom line…and what can you learn from them?

Now, to this week’s important topic:

How can you increase staff engagement & productivity by giving them more to do…not less?

Whatever type of business you’re in, how could you benefit from this simple but brilliant insight from one of our clients?

This client, a retailer with 17 branch locations, had problems with staff engagement, low staff productivity and high staff turnover.  And it was the best and brightest Team members who quit first…because they’re the ones who got bored first.

His gutsy but brilliant solution was to put each of his retail sales people in charge of merchandising, housekeeping, stock replenishment and staff product knowledge training for one specific area of their store.  These jobs were previously done by a bunch of ‘experts’ from Head Office who travelled to each location, at great expense, to do them.  

Did this mean that he had to do some training for each Team member?  Absolutely…but the results were spectacular! 

The result has been a much higher level of staff interest, commitment and productivity…and much improved performance and moral in every store.  The staff are more engaged, their jobs are more interesting, they undertake their additional responsibilities during slow periods, rather than just standing around getting bored.   And each one of them is worth more, so they’re all paid more.  Did a few staff leave because they didn’t want to grow?  Yes.

Net result…sales and profits are way up and operating expenses and staff turnover are way down. Staff feel that they have a retail career rather than just a retail sales job…and, because the staff have taken ‘ownership’ of running the store wonderfully, the boss now has much more time to plan and grow the business…and to have a life.

This doesn’t mean that you can load up already overworked employees with even more work.  That will backfire horribly.  What this does mean is that if you take the time to rethink and reallocate responsibilities and assignments to enrich everyone’s job, you’ll be amazed at the increase in productivity and engagement of most of your staff.   

Whatever type of business you’re in, how could you give your Team additional responsibility, more initiative and an opportunity to earn more money?  Get their input on how you can all work smarter.  Assure them of your commitment to their personal, career and financial growth as you work to improve and grow the business…and their lives.   



That’s it for this week…

Stay safe…live brilliantly!       

Donald Cooper 


Donald Cooper speaks and coaches internationally on management, marketing, and profitability.  He can be reached by email at donald@donaldcooper.com in Toronto, Canada.

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