A few months ago I was talking to another business coach about what I was seeing in the building industry regarding staff turnover and the constant complaints from business owners about the lack of quality people available to them. Even worse they were struggling to keep the good people they have due to head hunting. The coach said something very insightful he said “Good companies attract talent but it is their lousy managers that scare them away, if business owners spent more time getting the dynamics of the team right they wouldn’t have anywhere near the problems they do now, even in a competitive environment”.
Since then I have looked at my clients, especially those with staffing issues and I have to say the evidence is overwhelming, these great companies, companies with a good reputation in the market place, well regarded as being a good company to work for struggle to get the balance right and without exception the issues can be brought back to one or two individuals and in one case that individual was the business owner themselves.
Previously I talked about Culture First, Everything Else Second talking about what to think about to get everyone within your organisation aligned but once that process has happened, what can the people in your company continue to do to ensure that everyone stays aligned and happy.
Verne Harnish in his book Mastering the Rockefeller Habits talks in depth about the behaviours and practices that need to be learned to keep everyone within a company engaged, here are my top 4 habits that you should master:
- The executive team is healthy and aligned
- Team members understand each other’s priorities and how they influence them
- The team meets frequently (weekly is best).
- The team participate in ongoing education
- Everyone is aligned with the #1 thing that will advance the business.
- The critical number is identified to advance the business.
- 3 – 5 action points are identified to ensure the critical number is reached.
- Progress towards the critical number is distributed throughout the business and a suitable reward / celebration is decided upon at the start when the critical number is achieved.
- Communication Rhythms are established to ensure accurate transferral of information
- All employees are in a daily meeting that lasts no more than 15minutes
- All management teams have a weekly meeting.
- Management and executives meet to learn and resolve big issues monthly.
- Quarterly and annual planning meetings held off site between the executive and management teams.
- Employees can recite the key components of the company’s strategy.
- Company’s vision – where is it trying to get to and how are we tracking
- Core Customer – clearly defined in 20 words or less
- Brand Promise – Including supporting promises and the Brand Promise guarantee
- Elevator Pitch – a compelling response to the question “What does your company do?”
If you can articulate and live your culture and use these 4 steps (and feel free to get the Mastering the Rockefeller Habits book to get even more great behaviours) you will start create a business where everyone has clear direction and all the information they need to do their jobs well. Get to that point and you will have a happy team around you that will be far less vulnerable to the head hunters out there!