(Time to read this Blog is about 3 minutes)

Before we get to the main topic, here are a few things that caught my attention this week:

  1. This summer marks the 75th anniversary of the end of WW II…the most lethal war in history. An estimated 66 million people perished. Nearly 70% of those were civilians. This gives us much to think about regarding the evil, the goodness and the resilience of humans.
  2. Walmart is at it again. Walmart Canada will spend $3.5 billion over the next 5 years to improve the customer experience and boost sales in stores and on-line. But they will force their suppliers to foot the bill. Walmart has outraged suppliers by announcing that they’ll arbitrarily deduct a new 1.25% “Infrastructure Development Fee” off suppliers’ invoices for merchandise sold in their stores and a 5% fee for all merchandise sold by Walmart online.  All of this is on top of Walmart already demanding the lowest possible prices from their suppliers and then adding other fees and penalties.  Walmart claims that this is ‘fair’. It’s not.  It’s an abuse of power!  My question to you is, “How do you treat your suppliers?” 
  3. Breaking news from the virtual Donald Cooper. Regardless of what else is going on in the world today, businesses still need to sell more, manage smarter and grow their bottom line.  So, I’m now delivering my bottom-line insights on marketing, management and profitability online, through Zoom Conferencing. Clients include businesses, Associations and Chambers of Commerce.  Many of these value-added programs include interactive follow-up Sessions and ongoing 1-on-1 Business Coaching.  For info, simply email me at donald@donaldcooper.com.  


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 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. It might take a little longer, but the results will be significant. 

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…and do at least 3 important or kind things each day!       

Donald Cooper 

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

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