Whether you are watching The Masters, the Super Bowl or your children competing in a soccer game, you may think you know something about how to go about 'winning’. Whether it’s a team or an individual competing, for one party to win another has to lose on game day.
In business, everyday is game day. Whether you're competing for new clients, customers, contracts, talent or financing. In order to regularly be better than your competition, you have to recognize success comes as the result of best practices and processes applied to a given path.
Your employees play a vital role in achieving your business goals. Consider the following principles and best practices to ensure they are contributing to the goals of your business to the best of their abilities.
Vision: The mission statement of your organization must tap into the value system of your customers and employees. Once you have an established value proposition you can train, align and win the engagement of your employees to fulfill your business’ goals.
Understanding: Not all employees are the same, which can lead to competing interests within your business. There are a number of important questions you should ask yourself, to ensure you’re keeping their interests in mind. Are you a visible leader? Do you care when someone in your workforce has cause to vent their frustrations and ideas? Do you listen well? We are trained to listen to our customers, but don't forget to listen to your employees in order to ensure they stay engaged and motivated.
Focus: Keeping your “eye on the prize” can also be referred to as end point visualization. As in sports leadership, it means getting your employees to visualize their success, know why they are there, and recognize the reward of being part of your business. What motivates your staff? Is it the bonus at the end of the year or is it the “buzz” they get when a customer’s needs are satisfied? One successful sale usually leads to more, so focus on repeating what worked well in the winning situation. Focus, practice and duplication of results are the keys.
Progress & Encouragement: Small wins lead to bigger ones and more importantly, confidence. Management must articulate to their employees that progress is essential to their growth. In a retail shop, consider that your employees may be students; their age and their resilience work well for them. They may not stay in your world forever, so help them see the big picture. Think of yourself as their teacher in the business world. You will get more respect and productivity while they are with you.
Check back for my next post, in which I'll discuss additional tactics to engage your staff while dealing with competing interests.
Roger Downie is a Commercial Account Manager with BMO in Kamloops, B.C.