“Click Below to Subscribe to Our Free Monthly eNewsletter!”
As Featured On EzineArticles
Success or Failure: Which Are You Preparing For?

I don’t know about you, but I can’t help imagining how much better off we might all be if, collectively, we were thinking about how to continue on the path of success rather than the path of failure. If you think about it, all we’ve been hearing from the media for the past year and a half (if not longer) is that we need to prepare for the economy to get worse, prepare for consumers to spend less, prepare for layoffs,  for travelers to take fewer and shorter trips,for conventions and business trips to be canceled, for consumers to have less faith in the banking, housing, auto, healthcare, (you name it)industries.  And really, all of those things have occurred.  Of course they have, it’s what we’ve been focusing on.

The result of course is layoffs, furloughs, and reduced hours and incentives for employees, and increased workload and stress in the office. So how do we switch course and start preparing for success??  Because eventually the economy will turn around and customers will return to spend money – but will your company be ready to handle the business?  If you’ve been finding ways to keep your staff motivated and dedicated to the success of your company the answer may very well be “yes.”  However, if you’ve been relying on the notion that “They should just be lucky they have a job” then it might be time to rethink the current course.  Because when companies do start hiring again, odds are your staff may just make a bee line for the door.  And why shouldn’t they?  After all, they already know what you have to offer, and if it hasn’t been great, why not take a chance on going with another company?

The problem is (if they’ve been a productive part of your workforce), they take their education, training, and experience with them. Leaving you to recruit, rehire, retrain, and reevaluate new employees – all at a hefty price to you. In fact, research shows that it costs an average of $65,000 in administrative costs to replace a middle-manager . . .salary not included! It just makes good business sense to invest in your employees now, making your staff advocates of the company, and saving you time and big bucks later.

Some of the best ways to invest in your staff is to provide them with great leadership, professional development opportunities, consistent messaging, and employee incentives.

So let’s talk about some of my top low cost/no cost incentives that you can implement as soon as you’ve finished reading this article:

1. Be aware of how you, and your entire management staff, are being perceived. That means, DO treat your staff as respected individuals worthy of your time and attention, and DON’T allow your management staff to treat your employees in a patronizing manner or as if their time is of lesser value. When surveyed, the majority of individuals (both hourly and salaried) stated that being seen as a valuable and respected asset to the company is a key motivator.

2. Focus on strengths rather than weaknesses of the individual and/or team. According to Strengths Finder 2.0 and a 2005 Gallup pole, employees are 99% more likely to engage in their work when their leader is focused on their strengths. On the other hand, employees are 40% more likely to disengage when their leader ignores their efforts or focuses on their weaknesses. Along those lines – Chester Elton, a leading authority on employee motivation and regular guest on CNN, CNBC, Fox, and the Today Show, states “Appreciation is the number one communicator and driver of trust in the workplace . . . recognition plus appreciation equals accelerated performance.” It seems a little recognition is a small price to pay for accelerated performance and trust your  company.

3. Find out what matters to the individual. What motivates some may not motivate all.  Talk to your staff, find out their interests and pair a compatible reward. Example, a health food enthusiast might appreciate a gift certificate to an organic food store, a golfer might appreciate a golf magazine subscription, a family focused employee might like to leave an hour or two early with pay, etc.

4. Talk about the “state of the company” and promote an optimistic outlook. One of the biggest complaints I hear from employees is that they “don’t know what’s going on with the company” or fear that the company may “close their doors any day now.” It’s not easy to feel productive and terrified at the same time, for an extended period of time. If your employees are nervous they are likely preoccupied and less productive. Give accurate updates without giving in to dramatic “worst case” scenarios. Focus on how everyone can contribute to the the company, and ultimately their own, success.

Keep in mind, in all of these actions, you must be: 1)timely 2) specific and 3) consistent. Your investment of time and attention can yield significant ROI in terms of increased productivity and reduced turnover costs, ultimately positioning you to Actualize success.