Best Practices - What Great Companies Are Up To
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Great companies consist of great people. Companies that consistently
outperform their competition have learned the great mystery of business. That
great mystery is this: people are the differentiating factor in overall success.
Companies who recognize the value of investment into their people reap the
rewards of higher profitability and progress. They have dispelled the myths or
limiting ideas that prevailed in the post-industrial work environment.
Progressive thinking at the executive level along with full management
participation in the area of people management is the differentiating factor of
great company success.
Companies that are accelerating progress at this time do the following:
- Plan, Execute and Measure
- What Great Leaders are Reading
- Programs Great Companies Are Exploring
- Ongoing Education Company Wide
Plan, Execute and Measure
Progressive companies have recognized a trap called complacency.
The most dangerous trap of all because it is an attitude of 'everything is okay
as it is' versus an attitude of 'what can we consistently improve in order to
Change is an integrated part of company operations- it is no longer talked about
as much as it is a reality in the work environment. The changes can consist of
organizational reviews or restructures, raqpid market shifts, technological
advances and people changes such as resignations or retirements.
performing companies have put plans into place for each possible change
based on experience from the past and in addition plan for contingencies or
things that could possibly happen that could alter business results. For example
a client of mine (a top Fortune 500 company) experienced a major setback when
they had an exodus of top performers in their sales division a few years ago. It
took them two years to recover from the loss of talent, expertise and lost
client relationships. They did recover due to their willingness to completely
shift their paradigm. They did not want the same thing happening to them again
and they wanted to be better positioned to prevent the exodus in the first
They created a plan for retaining their top tier performers that
consisted of a step by step process for ensuring employee satisfaction.
They didn't just perform an employee survey and then keep doing what they were
doing before. They took the feedback, analyzed it, discussed it and fed it back
to directly to the employees with a detailed action plan. Once the plan was
ciruclated they needed to demonstrate commitment to the plan so each management
leader took part in the execution of the plan which is a fancy way of saying
they followed through on what they said they were going to do. Finally they
created a system to measure success so that they could report that back to the
employees as well. They used the employee survey after the exodus as the start
point, conducted anonymous surverys during the communication of the plan and
when the plan and execution was complete asked for a complete evaluation of the
entire process including asking the ever important question: "Does this employee
retention plan appeal to you and will the plan keep you wanting to work here?"
What Great Leaders are Reading
The CEO's and leaders I am currently working with are reading a number of
excellent books out in the marketplace. A new book by Malcolm Gladwell titled
"Blink" is a top read of many executives right now as it talks about the power
of quick decision making and using internal judgement to make decisions
accurately. The Harvard Business Review consistently lists Jim Collin's book
"Good to Great" as a leaders must read.
Programs Great Companies Are Exploring
Organizations like systems that save them time and that address issues
relevant to their people. One major organization I recently worked with is an
advocate for the Six Sigma approach which is a program/tool for disseminating
information, analyzing it and testing it to see if it will work company wide in
regards to specific challenges within the company.
Ongoing Education Company Wide
Top performing companies tend to set aside substantial budget for education
for their employees. The format of the education varies from formal degree
programs to shorter courses specific to a skill. Notably one company I work with
has a minimum of four sales meetings per year for their entire sales team. They
work with a professional event planning company and do it up right with
preferred venues, music, networking opportunities and high content expert
speakers. Guess what the sales results are for this particular company? Training
and education used to be viewed as a nice to have for a many organizations.
Great companies know that in order to remain on top of industry events and to
prepare their people for handling change they need to invest top dollar in
providing the necessary tools to their people. Not surprisingly education is a
factor in employee satisfaction. Employees who have educational opportunities
through their employer tend to remain more loyal and committed to the company.
About the Author
Cheryl Cran, CSP President of Synthesis at Work Inc. works with organizations
in significantly increasing productivity and profitability through communication
strategies that improve employee performance, leverage team synergy and build
extraordinary leaders. Many of Synthesis at Work's clients are award winning
industry leaders. www.cherylcran.com
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Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2007-08-23 00:22:29 in Business Articles