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The Path to Success – Increasing Employee Value

| Topic:

Business Advice

by: Spiderwoman

Part of a new series of blog posts from the Super Heroes on the LMN Support Team.

As a business owner, it is very likely that you are constantly looking for ways to improve the function and success of your company. One of the best and most obvious ways to do this is to hire reliable and knowledgeable employees who care about your business as much as you do. Don’t panic – we’re not telling you to fire your employees and hire new ones – you just need to train the ones you have to think and act like owners.

One of the keys in achieving this mindset is helping your staff understand the business; how and why it works the way it does and how they can help make things better. (The other key is reward sharing, but that comes in a later post!) To help people understand, you must focus on the big picture, company training, to get your employees focused and motivated. This means making information and systems from across the organization available to them. Although this will vary from one company to another, here are some of the areas you might want to focus on:

  • Sales – What are our service expectations? What goals have we set for ourselves? What is our target market?
  • Process – What are the steps for completing tasks? Who is responsible? What are the repercussions of improperly completed tasks?
  • Information – What is important information? Who requires that information? What are the consequences of missed information? What is the flow of the information we’ve provided?
  • Finance – What do mistakes cost? What opportunities are being missed? How can your employees benefit from less mistakes and missed opportunities?

Step One: Focus on processes and instill their importance

Create simple, yet detailed processes for your staff and watch everything fall into place. Processes not only help employees understand their own job, but also what other roles within the company involve. When an employee understands the big picture, they become more efficient, independent and productive. If your expectations are clear and thorough, there will be less need for you (as an owner or manager) to help with the little things which leaves you with more time to focus on more pertinent issues. Here is an example of a sales process for a design-build project!

Step Two: Explain ‘why’, not just ‘how’ and ‘when’

Your staff need to understand how and when things need to be done, but we often neglect to explain the ‘why’. One common issue for all companies is the need for documentation. Employees working in the field don’t see the importance of that pesky form you’ve asked them to fill out, and often very little time or effort is put into it because of that lack of understanding. Be sure to explain:

  • the reason that the paperwork exists
  • the flow of the information
  • how inaccurate paperwork affects employees

Clarify the cost or loss of potential opportunity surrounding these issues – help your employees understand how their actions can benefit them. Here is a great example of essential paperwork: Accident Checklist and Information.

Step Three: Encourage independence

There are bound to be situations that are impossible to cover in processes and systems, so encourage your employees to be independent problem solvers. This will prevent you, as an owner or manager from having to step in constantly to resolve issues. Recognizing problems before they arise should become second-nature to your staff, along with trying to solve them individually or as a team in an efficient manner. Here is a form for Preventative Maintenance that will help keep your employees on top of problems on the jobsite.

Now, when training comes to mind – think BIG picture. Do your necessary and imperative training for health and safety and equipment, but don’t be afraid to expand your horizons. You are sure to see your company’s efficiency and profit skyrocket!

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