Who goes into a business enterprise seeking to fail? Nobody! Everyone wants to do business well with the attendant success that follows. The only problem is that the prevailing business strategy for most companies is to focus solely on the bottom-line as the sign of success.
Doing that is to miss the “real” ingredient in success: People
Taking Care of Business
While a bottom-line focus is an important mindset for ultimate survival, the real key to success is to focus on “taking care” of employees, customers, vendors, and anyone else important to achievement of business goals and profits.
Hence the truth is that if you “take care of folks,” everything else important to success will take care of itself.
In other words, the real business strategy of giving people what they need and want will beget the profits that everyone looks for in a successful business strategy.
8 Things About People and Your Bottom Line
1) Believing is Seeing
There is an old biblical saying, “without vision the people perish.” This is true in all organizations. You have to believe that what you are trying to do will make an absolute positive difference for people as you develop your product or service.
You have to believe and have a vision; people will follow in that environment.
2) Planning is the Best Strategy
Your bold vision of the future state of your organization must be built on the solid foundation of continual strategic planning. Setting believable and achievable goals, communicating effectively to your support group, and setting out measurements that will quantify your activity are all paramount in executing a great strategy.
3) If You Can’t Be Good, Look Good
In the beginning, it’s difficult to project the success that you ultimately hope to achieve but it is essential that you always look as good as you hope to be someday. In everything you do you must project professionalism and customer focus with the look that exudes competence and confidence.
4) People Come First
Every day’s focus must be on the needs of employees, customers, and business partners. This is much easier than it sounds since insincerity will be recognized quicker than you may realize.
- Smile, and mean it
- Make eye contact
- Be happy to speak with people and most of all LISTEN!
You will be surprised what will be revealed in those simple passing discussions with people in your daily walk.
5) Communication Builds Teamwork and Ownership
Always employ the “open book management style” when working with your people. An underlying key to success is transparency and openness of communication throughout the organization.
How can you expect people to know how to help in achieving the company goals if they have no idea what is going on?
- Knowledge is power
- Sharing is caring
- Combine the two and you have a recipe for large-scale success on your hands!
Good communication fosters shared responsibility for both struggles and successes, and creates a culture of teamwork.
6) Core Values Exceed Rules
Try to have as few “rules” as possible, especially in a start up situation.
You need spontaneity and creativity. Too many rules stifle that environment.
It is essential to your success to create an internal core-values-based culture that rewards and truly serves as a compass for “walking the walk”. While this presents challenges to those who have to “count the pennies” the resulting success, once implemented, is well worth the effort. Employees become very proud and protective of the core values.
Customer satisfaction ratings go through the roof!
7) Customers are Partners, Not Commodities
A key to customer satisfaction, loyalty and retention is your organization’s ability to build individual, long-term relationships with customers as partners.
You can’t “take care of folks” if you aren’t thinking of them as people first!
Focusing solely on the numbers, while technically an effective strategic planning tool, is a dangerous game when, regardless of your organization’s focus, you don’t really work with numbers.
You work with people!
8) You Can Be Right and Still Be Wrong
Though a new idea or innovation can offer the ‘right’ solution, it may be the ‘wrong’ time for implementation by the organization.
Timing is everything.
Focus on the ways in which innovation will affect your employees and customers before rushing to implement the ‘next great thing’.
Taking Care of Folks
These are simple, common sense organization principles for “taking care of folks” that have proven successful. These ideas are not revolutionary.
Many are part of the success story of our nation as well as its organizations.
As we become increasingly intertwined and linked globally through technology and in our everyday lives, putting people first and working together is vital to our future.
Organizations that engage and empower their employees are those who get close, listen, and respond to their customers as partners. These organizations strive to create lasting value and greatly enhance their chances of long-term success and survival.
“Take care of folks and the bottom-line will take care of itself.”
So, what are you doing to back away from the depths of your spreadsheets around you and take a moment or two to listen to the heartbeats around you? Are you adequately balancing the needs of your “P&L” with your peoPLe? What steps can you take to get more our of you bottom-line by giving more to your people? I would love to hear your thoughts!
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Filed under: Leadership Lessons Learned, Life Balance, Organizational Health, Servant Leadership, Values Measurements | Tagged: Customer Satisfaction, Dennis Smith, leadership, Management, Taking Care of Folks | Leave a comment »