Tim Walker (Hoover's Business Insight Zone) asks What "Real Advice" Would You Give Your Company?
Quick fix = easy.
Tips-’n'-tricks = easy.
Actually doing things better = hard.
Even the best of us can fall for this illusion some of the time. In the business world, managers of high quality don’t believe in money for nothing. But even they can fall into the chasm between knowing that a problem exists and acting on that problem.
It’s going to take more than tips-’n'-tricks to get them where they need to be. It requires real advice, which is hard to give and hard to hear.
YOUR AdviceSo, that brings us to you.
. . . what REAL advice would you give?
- If you could offer it without fear of recriminations . . .
- If you knew that it would be heeded and acted upon at the highest levels . . .
- If you knew that your organization was willing to go through the hard slog of making itself better . . .
I’ve given companies advice like this in the past, usually after I’ve given notice.
MinnesotaWorkingGrl commented (on Tim's post): Learn to trust the professionals you have hired and listen to those who disagree with you.
I second that.
Set up a revolving “advisory” team from inside the company, heavily weighted toward “regular” employees more than managers and with few (or no) “senior director” types. Let your employees tell you the state of the company from their point of view.
Implement a suggestion box - and read the suggestions. Make them public (possibly anonymous) and allow everyone to vote and comment on them
Put the “annual employee survey” on line and let people submit it at any time and as often as they like. Gather and review the data constantly.
Communicate openly and honestly with staff (as much as the SEC allows)
Provide excellent internal support. Treat employees as you would treat paying customers. (After all, if an employee can’t do his job, the bottom line suffers.)
Do away with the Annual Performance Review and work on Now instead.
Stop treating employees like interchangeable parts.Your employees are your most valuable asset.
Prioritize the real issues. Instead of blocking employees from using IM, for example, spend your energy on real questions, such as “Are they getting their projects done? Is Quality high? If so, it doesn’t matter if they occasionally chat with a friend. A happy employee is a productive employee.
Follow many of the above recommendations - advisory board, suggestion box, satisfaction survey, communication - with your Customers as well as your employees!
Communicate. Trust. Listen. Form partnerships.