How Sharp is Your Ax?
When I ask business owners this question, I often get a sheepish look and an answer like, “we have regular meetings to keep our staff current on all product and protocol updates.” That’s as it should be, but is it enough?
If you wanted to win a national championship or compete in the Olympics, would you pass out a playbook and hope everybody read it? Or would you do what the pros do and hire special coaches for intensive training in winning strategies?
We’re not talking about a trophy here, we’re talking about your vision and your dreams, your profitability and the ability to sustain your payroll with room to grow. Kind of important.
Without a doubt, exceptional customer service is a fundamental for success today’s business climate. The days of being “the only game in town” are so far gone, you have to read a history book to imagine it. People have lots of choices on where to spend their money. You have to give them every reason to choose to do business with you and continue to choose you.
When the economy was in the pits, many organizations cut out team-building and training. There are plenty of ways to cut corners, but studies show that some are more costly than it appears. Subtle shifts in an employee’s loyalty can mean a team that is less committed, engaged and disconnected from your vision and mission.
A study on the impact of executive coaching by Manchester Inc. showed an average return on investment of 5.7 times the initial investment according to executives who estimated the monetary value of the results achieved through coaching. Among the benefits to the companies that provided coaching:
- Productivity (reported by 53% of executives)
- Organizational strength (48%)
- Customer service (39%)
- Reducing customer complaints (34%)
- Retaining executives who received coaching (32%)
- Cost reductions (23%)
- Bottom-line profitability (22%)
Seven Reasons to Invest In Your Team
Clear Insight: A scotoma is a blind spot and we can all be afflicted with them. Leaders are known for strong focus. Strong gifting can also blind you to your weak spots and that’s where a fresh pair of eyes can be invaluable.
Synergy: The whole is more than the sum of its parts and two heads are better than one. “Team brain”, distinctly different than a committee, is much more likely to produce fresh ideas.
Accountability: Measurable progress occurs when clear goals are set, with a culture of accountability in place. It’s most effective when a team is accountable to one another through mutually agreed upon standards and expectations.
Fine Tuning: It’s often easier to become 1% better in a multitude of tasks than 100% better at one thing. Sometimes, the difference in success and mediocrity is in the details. Furthermore, a company can only become the best version of itself to the extent that its employees are becoming better versions of themselves.
Encouragement: Human nature dictates that you are far more likely to beat yourself up over your minor mistakes than celebrate your small victories. The Losada Ratio is a principle in positive psychology that addresses the praise to criticism ration. Healthy cultures don’t usually pop up without cultivation. It takes conscious effort.
Modeling: It’s hard to tell your team to pour into, mentor, develop & help others be their best when you aren’t doing that for your team. You’ve got to walk the talk. It’s said that example is not the main thing in influencing others. It is the only thing.
Getting Serious: You have to invest in what is of value to you in order to keep it. Enduring relationships take intentional effort. Allotting time for quality communication, outside of the pressures of the day to day work, can make all the difference in the relationships between team members. Throw in a little laughter while you’re at it. A little levity is part of taking your commitment to the well-being of your staff seriously.
Your people are the most valuable commodity in your company. Does your investment reflect that?