Thursday, 25 October 2012

The value of employee involvement in achieving success

The recession has led to a re-examination of what creates business success and one important factor to emerge is that ‘good work’ can be at the heart of good performance and is as vital to the small and medium-sized enterprise as to any corporate because a highly competitive global market applies to all.  You need to be prepared for life after recession; to be ready to make the most of it; to be in the front line of your particular area of expertise.
In his Key Speech” in 1955, Ove Arup spelt out the importance to business success of motivating your employees.  To quote: There are two ways of looking at the work you do to earn a living:  One is………. Work is a necessary evil………... The other is: To make your work interesting and rewarding. You enjoy both your work and your leisure.  We opt uncompromisingly for the second way.”

Ove Arup established a world-wide company and this fact just emphasises the strength of his argument; his principles apply equally to smaller enterprises.  Indeed, it is probably easier to implement these principles when you have a relatively small workforce.  His point is that you need to inspire your employees to feel important and valuable, but you cannot just assume you know what makes them feel that way.  You need to make the effort to find out and then collaborate with them to achieve those results.  Done properly, it will be time well spent and you will find the enterprise of which you are head has the motivation to surge forward and ahead of competitors.

Surveys referred to in “Good Work in our Times” illustrate that, for employees, a list of priorities is not always topped by wages and bonuses.  High on the list are trust and integrity, pride in the job, career growth opportunities and employee development.

Young people have grown up with technology and are unphased by that particular aspect of modern business; they like team working; flexible working; place high value on learning opportunities and are very environmentally conscious.  Through Facebook and Twitter, they can make comparisons of work experience across a wide area so your success or failure could be advertised - it would therefore be wise to have your employees singing your praises!

So if you build trust and mutual respect; keep your staff involved in developing policies; establish early discussion of any potential problems; allow them to enjoy the satisfaction expressed by clients when their efforts are successful – they will be a potent force for helping you to achieve success.





Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Four steps towards being a success

What’s all this jazz about being ‘trapped’ in your business?
Well, if you feel you are not progressing as you had hoped and planned; you don’t have enough time to do anything about it; you have no-one who could do the job as well and you are therefore no longer enjoying running your business – that’s what it means!
Okay, so what’s to be done?  There are four specific measures you can take to free yourself:
  1. Beliefs:  Stop thinking you are the only person who knows how and develop a compelling vision to engage all your employees.  Delegate everything  - but do it well.
  2. Purpose:  Think about what you intend to achieve with your business.  It will guide your decision making, clarify which course to take and which to avoid and will provide a focus to draw you on.
  3. Systemisation:  Systemisation allows you to get things done through others so your time is released to drive business development and provide a reliable service to customers.
  4. Engagement: If your employees are allowed to share in your vision they are easier to manage and will be more productive.   Engaged employees will take ownership of problems and feel encouraged to find solutions.
Of course, these four steps are interdependent.  Each enables the other three, and in turn is enabled by them:
·        Your belief that business leadership is about enabling people to be accountable, a clear and compelling vision and efficient, well-organised processes are all necessary for staff engagement to flourish

·        Productive, self-motivated staff, reliable performance measurement and clear objectives mean that you have the time to focus on developing the business and its strategy

·        A clear purpose, with a well-defined market and proposition, allows you to develop solid repeatable delivery processes and set relevant goals for staff...
However, if your beliefs do not include you as a business leader then you will struggle to define a true purpose.  If you have no clear purpose then how will you design processes to deliver it?  If you have frustrating, inconsistent processes then employees will not engage with the business vision.  Therefore it all starts with the leadership team’s beliefs about people, about what a business is and about the source of their self-worth at work.

The Four Step Programme©

The Four Step Programme© is the proprietary methodology that we use to help SME owners, directors and management teams make significant and permanent improvements to their business.  These changes re-energise the business; improving productivity, engaging employees, focusing business development, leveraging management time and making the business more scalable.
Within each step we select from hundreds of powerful, proven techniques to help you make the changes that are necessary.