Now might be a good time to look at the strategic direction of your company. Here are two basic questions. What business are you in? Are your employees aligned and are they doing the right things for the right reasons?
What business are you in? Don’t laugh. What product or service do you really provide and have times including the last two years caused you to rethink? You might be providing computer and IT support but now you may be a consultant to clients to protect and secure their information. You might need to do a scan of the landscape, gather information, talk to customers, and study industry trends. Failure to do this may cause your business to decline. Listen to your customers and ask for their opinion about your services. Learn this and create your customer value proposition.
Are your employees aligned and are they engaged? You will not exceed your customers’ expectations without engaged employees? This is where many growing companies lose it. If, for example, you do everything to serve your customers’ needs but do not share the information, you cannot grow. You won’t have a sustainable business. Warning signs are when you are doing too much, or clients want you personally.
Select your team carefully and make sure that they share the values of your organization. Just as you want to serve your customers’ needs you want to engage your great employees and give them a reason to stay and do their best work. This is your employee value proposition. Creating a good employee value proposition is one very important component for taking your business to the next level.
Here is a sobering fact. Employees do not leave companies, they leave supervisors. Many supervisors believe that if only the pay and fringe benefits were better their best employees would stay. I would not deny the compensation is important. However, people who are truly engaged with their company and their team have a sense of belonging. They will not leave for a slightly better offer.
On the other hand, employees who are disengaged with their workplace and with the work they do can drag down team performance.
The book "First Break All the Rules: What the World's Greatest Managers Do Differently" by Marcus Buckingham & Curt Coffman used data collected over 25 years with a million employees to identify the basic roles of a great leader/manager. They identified 12 questions which have been used by the Gallup organization. The potential effect of great leadership was summarized in the 12 questions employees ask.
As you redesign work after the changes which have occurred beware! It is not as easy as it sounds. For example, should we have some people working different schedules, working virtually, in person? If you give people what each one wants, for example, how will others perceive it. Will they feel the work is equal? What about the people working virtually? Will they feel that no one is there to nurture them in their development or present them for promotion. On the other hand, will those working in person feel they are carrying too much of the work.
Just as we look at what business we are in we need to work with redesigning our work and rewards strategy. This should be part of an updated strategic plan. Unsure of the future? The best way to predict the future is to create it.
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