Small Steps / Large Gains

Many business executives have a core understanding of the cause and effect relationships that determine business value. However, the standard “score keeping” of financial reporting typically fail to itemize employee behaviors, and their social and emotional competencies, which impact their roles, responsibilities, thinking, decision making and customer-facing outcomes.

Businesses should also identify and measure the “softer skills” of workplace behaviors. They massively leverage desired improvements in financial performance.

The present value of a company is increased or diminished based upon the total effect of employee behaviors on the business. Optimizing financial value requires soft skills training to improve employee performance. But what are those different actions, and how does a company put them into play?

Business success requires awareness and the willingness to adapt, to change. Companies want to improve, but frequently that’s not budgeted. The daily challenges take priority. So change waits.

Companies want to be positive and action oriented, but research in psychology and neuroscience indicates that people often don’t change as they are not consciously aware of what needs to be changed. Awareness doesn’t need to be time-consuming or expensive, especially in smaller businesses. It is about constantly being curious. 

Periodically evaluate key customer-facing processes and practices. Management tends to focus on What, Where and Who, and that is appropriate. But, consider asking Why and How focusing on soft skills and customer-facing processes. Different answers will come to the fore, resulting in small refinements that can generate large performance gains. Don’t put off fundamental change … to a distant tomorrow. 

Creating business value is a journey of many small steps. Take the first step. We can help.

An Engaged Workforce?

In a recent conversation with the owner of a small manufacturing operation, we had a long conversation about accelerating workforce performance. The conversation ebbed and flowed, with both parties posing and answering questions, covering a wide range of business challenges, their impact on the business and how best to resolve each.

About halfway through the conversation, we posed a question that appeared to cause a different reaction from the owner. He seemed to be perplexed and struggled with an answer. At first we thought it was how we asked the question, so we reframed the question.

How many of your employees are engaged in their work?

Still, he continued to struggle with understanding the question. So, we asked it again in a different way.

How many of your employees “give a S__T” about their work?

Continue reading “An Engaged Workforce?”