Posts Tagged 'workplace productivity'

Why Should I Share Critical Business Information with my Employees?

You’ve worked very hard to build your business and finally your hard work is starting to pay off in terms of income and profit.  But, unless you are a sole proprietor with no employees or contractors, is that success just the result of your work?  What about your employees?  What have they contributed?  And how could you get them to contribute more?

Rather than hiding information about business outcomes, try putting them out there for everyone to see. Here are some ideas:

• Create a display highlighting key results that support your business goals.  Depending on the type of business, this could be total sales dollars by month or quarter,  number of customers acquired, productivity/ number of defects per widget or any other key indicator.  Whatever you choose needs to be easily visible to all employees, so put it where they can see it.

• Incorporate these key indicators into employee communications and challenge them to do better.  For example “Our defect rate last month was X per widget.  In order to keep ahead of our competition, we need to reduce that by 50% over the next 3 months.”

• This is the hard part:  when an employee says “I have an idea that will reduce our defect rate” LISTEN.  Then work with any willing party to assess, refine, and implement the idea.

• Finally, recognize and communicate successes.  Be transparent about the resulting cost and time savings.  If an idea results in significant improvement, perhaps a bonus is in order.  After all, it’s not all about you, right?

Sharing business information for the purpose of improving the business can encourage your employees to think critically and creatively about their contribution.   In so doing, they move beyond the “employee” role into a “partner” role for the benefit of all.

Sharon Hamersley is Principal of Keys to Performance, Your Resource for Workplace Productivity.  For more information, visit her web site or call her at 614-395-9440.

“Onboarding” Can Make or Break Your Next New Hire

If you are a small or medium sized business, you may not bring new people on board that often. But when you do hire someone, what process do you have in place to help them be successful? Do you just give them the company handbook to read and say “we’re glad you’re here?” If so you are missing a great opportunity to integrate them into your business for the long term. Here are some suggestions to make a new hire “stick”:

• Have all of the tools they need to do their job in place before they start. I know salespeople who did not have business cards for several weeks after starting a new job. What kind of impression does that make, both for the employee and the business?
• It’s important to know company policies, but it’s even more important to know how your job supports company goals and objectives and what quality work looks like. No one works well in a vacuum. Create a clear picture of goals and expectations for the new employee.
• Facilitate connections with others both inside and outside the business. Your introduction to a key internal or external customer will help the new person see the larger picture of where they fit in.

If you make it clear that you are investing in your new hire, it’s much more likely that they will invest in you and help achieve your goals. That’s a win-win outcome!

Sharon Hamersley is Principal of Keys to Performance, Your Resource for Workplace Productivity. For more information, visit her web site or call her at 614-395-9440.