This holiday season entrepreneurs and business leaders have more reasons than usual to lose sleep at night. Is some new start-up or phone app about to revolutionize your industry and steal your customers? Will an import pressure you on price? Will artificial intelligence trounce your value proposition? Will the market abruptly move away from you? Are your employees engaged? In reality, how resilient is your business?
Pick one if you want, but they’re all related. To compete today you have to be hyper-aware, agile, and open to change. To keep the employees who can help you be that way, you have to be transparent, engaging, and fair.
It comes down to implementing four, tightly integrated best practices:
1. Cascading Strategy
To keep the right people on staff, in today’s fast-paced and robust job market, you need them bought-in to your vision. The right employees want your business to succeed, and they feel that their company’s success is their own as well.
There’s only one way to get their commitment, and that’s to explain the big picture. Tell them exactly why your business exists, what you hope to accomplish, and what might stop you. Not only do you get their buy-in, you get their ideas and their proactive efforts to avoid problems and seize opportunities.
This has nothing to do with goals or targets. It’s much deeper. But once you get your strategy cascading down through company projects, tasks and metrics, everyone will be able to see how they contribute to success. Everything you need to get started is right here, for free.
2. Metrics the Matter
How does an employee know if they’re contributing to your strategic vision? How do their daily activities relate to the company’s success? They want to own their part of it, and you want to let them. But in today’s digital world, where everything is measured and where Millennials have been tallying Likes on Facebook for their entire lives, your verbal assurances won’t cut it. In fact, anything less than measurement sets you up for accusations of favoritism that can be toxic to this entire effort.
You need to measure daily activities and map them to strategic objectives. But how? It’s easier for sales or other jobs saturated with numbers. But what what about jobs where there’s nothing to count? Developing metrics that matter is an art form, and it may be one of the most business-critical in today’s world. Get off to a strong start with this free kit.
3. Meetings with Impact
A study in HBR estimated that not discussing a difficult topic costs you USD$50,000. Each time. Another by Gallup found that, worldwide, workers spend 2 out of every 5 workdays in meetings. So you either hold meetings and accept the waste, or you don’t and accept the risk. Right?
This is where that tight integration really matters. If you’ve defined and communicated your strategy and if everyone at the meeting has a specific, related metric to report, then you can hold meetings that actually get something done. When your employees own your company’s success, you’ll discuss the difficult topics when they first arise and you’ll eliminate them long before they cost you a dime. And when every agenda item refers to a strategic objective or a metric that matters, communications are clear, effective, and brief. Learn how to get started for free.
4. Collaborate in Context
Everyone texts constantly and knows how to communicate in a thread. So there are all sorts of texting apps that employees can download and start using for free. When they first emerged they surprised most managers, but when they replaced email it seemed like they might be a good thing. Now that they’re everywhere, it turns out that they spin threads in every direction. Rather than enable collaboration, they enable chaos.
Integration matters, again. Because when those threads are all wrapped around strategic objectives, metrics that matter, and business goals, suddenly they all make sense to a committed employee who wants their company to succeed. That’s collaboration in context, and your Millennial employees, as well as post-recession employees generally speaking, thrive on it. Learn how to use it to to your advantage here.
Integrated properly, these four best practices let you orchestrate a culture of commitment that engages your team, empowers them to overcome obstacles, puts the spotlight on success, and lets them claim their company’s success as their own.
If you want to orchestrate your business like this, get started here.