Published - December 2007
FROM THE ROAD
By Dave Jakielo
It’s a Small, Small World
“People are People”
I have just returned from my fourth trip to India where I was conducting Leadership and Customer Service seminars for managers and associates in various companies. Even though I was half way around the world the issues facing businesses in India are similar to the challenges we face here at home in the United States.
You would think that there are huge cultural differences, however, both employees and customers in India have expectations similar to folks in our country and how well we meet those expectations determines our success.
Employees have a desire for:
- Open communications (being kept in the loop)
- Recognition for work done well (objective not subjective measures)
- Opportunities for advancement (if that is one of their goals)
- Continuous training (so they can improve their skill sets)
Let us expand upon the above observations relating to employees desires. Open communications: Many times I hear from employees that no one ever tells us what’s going on in the company. As leaders we are usually privy to what is happening but forget that the team around us would like to be in the “know” too. Keep in mind there is no such thing as over communicating.
Venues for communication can include, regular staff meetings, email blasts, company newsletter etc. Staff members have a desire to belong and “being in the know” helps promote a sense of belonging.
Recognition for a job well done. Even in India the staff members could complete the following statement. I asked the audience to complete the sentence, “My boss never talks to me unless I do something (fill in the blank) and the last word in the sentence is WRONG. Keep in mind most leaders, such as yourself, are self motivated and have a tendency to forget that those around us may not be self driven as we are so it is imperative that you give them positive feedback when they do something well. Methods to delivery effective feedback include, catching people doing things right and acknowledging them in private or public. Having an employee of the month based on productivity and quality, not because “I like you best”. When individuals are rewarded for their productivity and quality a domino effect comes into play and usually everyone around them improves their performance too.
Another important factor that drives employees is there opportunity for advancement. This is critical if an employee wants to continue moving up the ladder. However, one very important thing to keep in mind, NOT EVERY EMPLOYEE wants to move up the ladder and there is nothing wrong with a staff member who just wants to do an excellent job with their assigned tasks. Not everyone has a desire to be responsible for other team members and for some folks advancement simply means learning additional job functions. The most successful companies not only provide their employees with regular performance reviews but they also hold “career counseling ” sessions to ensure the employees needs are being met because if you can’t meet their needs they will look elsewhere for opportunities.
Lastly, continuous training is a crucial factor relating to employee satisfaction. In today’s environment technology and information is changing at a pace more rapidly than ever before in our history. I’ve read that most of what a college freshman learns in their first year of college is outdated by the time they graduate. Your staff must have the ability to keep their skill sets up to date and fresh. This can be accomplished by outside or in-house seminars, distance learning via the web etc. Allowing a team member to obtain a specific certification that will enhance their career is always a good investment and if their position e.g. data entry doesn’t have a certification program create your own. You could establish a position in your company called “Certified data entry clerk” and if they meet the criteria you have established award them the title.
The key to any successful company regardless of location is to attract and retain valuable employees and if you cannot find them you will need to develop your own. Never forget that if you do not treat your team members as well as you treat your most important customer you will end up without neither customers nor employees.
Dave Jakielo, CHBME, is an international speaker, consultant, executive coach, and author and is president of Seminars & Consulting. Dave is past president of Healthcare Billing and Management Association and the National Speakers Association Pittsburgh Chapter. Sign up for his FREE weekly Success Tips at www.Davespeaks.com. Dave can be reached via email Dave@Davespeaks.com; phone 412/921-0976.