(Time to read this Blog is about 3.5 minutes)

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

  1. My Quote of the week:

Here’s a fundamental question that every business needs to ask…

“Are we trying to get our customers to do what we want them to do, or are we committed to helping them do what they want to do?”  

 …Donald Cooper.

  1. Quick Biz Tip: When you’re interviewing candidates for any position in your business or department, the truth is that the candidates are also interviewing you…especially the top performers.  They’re good, they know they’re good and they know that they have options.

Below are five of the questions that are going through their minds.  Your interview conversation should help them answer each of these questions:   

    1. How will working with this company help me fulfill my life commitments and aspirations? 
    2. Are there opportunities to grow my skills, my career, my resume and my income? 
    3. Do I believe in and trust the leadership and vision of the company?
    4. Will I be thanked, acknowledged and fairly treated?
    5. Will I be excited and happy going to work every day?

If your business culture, career opportunities and job interview process don’t generate positive answers to these 5 questions, you’ll have big trouble attracting, engaging and retaining top performers.  

  1. What happens to all those face masks? The global population is currently using more than 130 billion face masks every month to protect ourselves from COVID-19.  When these masks are discarded, they create hundreds of tonnes of polymer waste which is difficult to recycle and emits toxic chemicals if burnt.

 

Now, to this week’s important topic:

The power of elevating your team from ‘informed’ to ‘committed’!

Are your staff in the dark, engaged or fully committed?  In many businesses one of the biggest employee complaints is about the lack of communication. “Nobody tells us what’s going on around here!”  I hear it all the time.  We all talk about the importance of communication. Some of us even brag about how good we are at it.  But, shouldn’t we go beyond ‘communication’ to create true employee engagement and commitment?

Sadly, in many businesses, ‘communication’ is a one-way street.  It’s the process of telling employees what management has decided to do and then asking, or telling, the team to ‘get with the program’.  On the other hand, engagement and commitment start with involving your team in creating clarity about 5 things:

  1. The extraordinary value and customer experience that you commit to deliver and how you’ll communicate that in everything you do, in a way that clearly differentiates you from your competitors.
  2. What you, as a business, commit to become (your Vision).
  3. How you’ll get to that extraordinary future (your Mission).
  4. The healthy bottom line you commit to generate. If there’s no bottom line, there’s no business. Many employees think that making a profit is a bad thing. They need to be disabused of this foolish notion that they probably picked up in our socialist school system.  Don’t get me started on that one! 
  5. How you commit to behave along the way. Your values, ethics and standards.

Involve your Team in these important conversations.  They know stuff…and they hate it when you don’t ask.  When you don’t ask for their ideas, they assume that you don’t care …and if you don’t care, why should they?  By asking and listening you’ll get more and better ideas, you’ll honour them, reduce turnover, improve commitment and find out who ‘gets it’ and, therefore, who might be promotable.

Back in the pre-Covid days, I flew over 100 times a year speaking and Biz Coaching. Whenever I’d see an airline doing something customer ‘un-friendly’ or just plain stupid, I’d ask the front-line staff, “Why do you do that?  It doesn’t make sense.”  The reply was always the same. “We know it’s wrong and we keep telling them (head office)…but they won’t listen!”   In that kind of environment, the best people leave in frustration and the mediocre people stay and take ‘I don’t give a damn pills’.  How many people are taking ‘I don’t give a damn pills’ just to survive in your business?

According to Gallup Research, in North America…

 31% of employees are fully engaged,
  52% are not engaged,            
  17% are actively disengaged.

In Europe, the numbers are much worse with 90% of employees being ‘not engaged’ or ‘actively disengaged’.  By the way, ‘actively disengaged’ refers to unhappy employees who act out in various ways to undermine the organization and the performance of others.  Get rid of them!  Do it legally…but get rid of them.   

Always explain ‘why’.  The simplest way to move your team from blind compliance to engagement, commitment and creativity is to always explain ‘why’. Whenever you’re assigning a project, discussing a policy, coaching team members on a particular process or trying to improve some part of the business, always tell them ‘why’ we’re doing this. Explain to them the ‘desired outcome’ that you’re looking for and why it’s important.  It might take a little longer, but the results will be significantly better.

When we don’t explain the business reason (the ‘why’) for doing things a certain way, many of our staff will simply assume that we’re insisting on high standards of performance, appearance, efficiency and behaviour because we’re old and mean and cranky.  They’ll resent us and resist us.

When you communicate ‘to’ your people by just telling them to ‘do it’, they’re informed and the best you can hope for is ‘blind compliance’.  But, when you truly involve them, listen to them and respect them, they’re much more engaged and committed!  And, here’s the magic; a few of your brighter folks will say something wonderful like, “Oh, if that’s the outcome we’re looking for, I have a few thoughts on how we might do it even better.”  Now, we have creativity and passion!

So, will you shoot for ‘better informed’ employees…or will you go for ‘more engaged, more committed and more creative’?  It’s your choice.

 

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.

 

About Donald Cooper

Donald Cooper, MBA, CSP, HoF: Donald speaks and coaches in over 40 industries throughout the world.  He delivers the ‘straight goods’ on how to sell more, manage smarter, grow your bottom line...and have a life!  To chat about ‘possibilities’ for your next business or Industry Association Conference, call me at 416-252-3703 in Toronto, or click here to connect to our ‘Enquiry Page’.  

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