Category Archives for "Employee Experience"

5 Ways to Improve Performance

Every business leader and executive I speak with talks about performance.   Financial performance, people performance, marketing performance, sales performance, operational performance and so on.

Great performance requires people to be onboard, engaged, aligned and passionate about the vision, purpose, passion, goals, personality and promise of the business – and this is one of the biggest challenges within an organization.

MagicianPerformances, on the other hand, are delivered by employees, managers and leaders.  They are also delivered by customers, vendors, supporters, investors, partners and franchisees.

In other words, all people play a role in the success of a business.

The Theater references don’t end here…

Every business has a stage which is set by its marketing team and reinforced by employees and customers.  When employees see themselves as performers and their actions as performances, it’s easier to see how great behaviors and decisions make an impact.  (It’s also more fun!)

Great Experience

Leaders and managers are also challenged to improve the performance experience to add more value to customers, to differentiate their business from competitors, to improve relationships and to increase profits – while striving to deliver consistent performances regardless of who is on stage at any given moment.

 

 

Performance matters, regardless of how you define it.

5 Ways to Improve Your Performance

  1. Ensure you have a strong vision, purpose, passion, personality, platform and core values which are easy to share.  Then share it!  All employees need to know where you are headed.  All employees and customers need to know what you stand for and how you are different.  They will then choose whether to support your business or not.
  2. Review your policies, procedures and decision making criteria to ensure these are in alignment with #1.  If one of your core values is “sense of family” and yet you have departments or silos which compete with each other or don’t speak to each other, then your sense of family is dysfunctional!   If you say that you are customer-centric are you making decisions which support what your customers’ value and are willing to pay for?  If you are all about efficiency, how are you continuously improving it?
  3. Immerse yourself in your performance.  In this definition of performance, you are looking at the roles your people play; how customers and employees act; which “sets” on your “stage” need to be updated and how you can improve the experience delivered to employees and customers.  Think of your business in the theatrical sense to give yourself a different perspective.   Find out what it’s like outside your office.  Get immersed in the experience and ask how it can be better.
  4. Take action.  You’ve identified gaps in performance — both in the traditional business sense and through the eyes of the performers.  Review #1 and #2 and come up with a plan to close the gaps.  Every business will approach the action taking in a different way — just be sure to stay in alignment.
  5. Get help.   You can’t optimize your performance alone.  Involve your employees, customers, supporters, partners, investors and vendors.  Ask for insight.   Remember that your perspective isn’t going to be the same perspective that others have.  Let their input help to guide you.  If you are out of your element or you cannot take on more work, hire someone to manage the project or various parts of the project.

Performance is a one of those great words which means different things to different people.  Remember, your business is similar to theater.  You create the stage, you choose the performers, you deliver performances and your people act in certain ways.  Each of these elements impacts your business performance.  Improve the theater and improve your business.

How do you define performance?  How do you improve it?  I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Enlightened Capitalists Prioritize Employee Experience

TeamLeader5 Reasons to Focus on Employee Experience (EX)

  1. Lower turnover
  2. Attract high-caliber employees
  3. Improve customer experience
  4. Increase productivity
  5. Increase profit

EX Insights

  • Gallup research also shows that active disengagement costs the U.S. an estimated $450 billion to $550 billion annually (State of The American Workplace)
  • Only 30% of US Employees / 16% of Canadian employees are engaged; 52% of US employees / 70% of Canadian employees are not engaged and 18% of US employees / 14% of Canadian employees are actively disengaged (Gallup – State of the Global Workforce)
  • Gallup sees employee engagement built on these basic elements – “What do I get from this role? (salary, job satisfaction etc) – perceived value of my contribution – answers to the question “Do I belong here? – Can I make improvements, learn, grow, innovate and apply new ideas?“ (State of The American Workplace)
  • 75% of people quit their bosses not their jobs (Roger Herman)
  • Above average companies – those with more highly engaged employees – experienced 147% higher earnings per share (EPS) compared with their competition.  (Gallup)
  • 70% of Forbes Global 2000 companies will use gamification to boost retention, revenues and engagement in 2014 (Gartner)

Employee Experience Process

  1. Understand your culture – does it support a great employee experience?
  2. Ensure your employees core values match the corporate core values
  3. Practice appreciation – informal recognition and formal recognition – Peer to peer and manager to employee
  4. Deliver honest, open communication
  5. Provide opportunities for training and advancement
  6. Create a career path
  7. Disallow toxic people in your company
  8. Pay attention to turnover, particularly with specific managers
  9. Use 360 degree feedback to improve experience
  10. Hearten contribution and innovation
  11. Encourage a caring approach to dealing with mistakes – what is the lesson?
  12. Compensate fairly, reward exceptional behaviour

Employee Experience KPIs

The 3 main Employee Experience KPIs are Acquisition, Retention and Profit

Acquisition – Recruitment costs, training costs, number of employee referrals

Retention –Employee engagement level, employee satisfaction score,average employee tenure, 360 feedback score, employee churn rate, attendance rates

Profit – Revenue per employee, safety, customer experience

5 Steps to Success

Define – Define which objectives you want to achieve, what KPIs you want to impact, prioritize your objectives, define the timing, identify resources, allocate budgets, identify return on investment expected

Discover – Find out what it’s like to be your employee.  The more trust you have generated, the easier it will be to get truth in return

Design – Use best practices, discovery insight and your objectives, design an employee experience plan

Implement – Implement your plan, educate your employees, engage in two-way dialogues with employees, encourage two-way dialogues between customers and employees

Monitor – Monitor employee responses, customer reaction, customer learning, feedback, impact to KPIs and adjust as needed

Our Role

  1. Coordinate with your project managers, senior leaders, management team,  supervisors and trainers for requirements
  2. Define – what are your objectives? … Identify KPIs, create your baseline
  3. Discover – what is it really like to be your employee? … Coordinate with HR team and test that HR insight matches employee reality
  4. Create your employee experience transition plan, employee engagement plan, employee recognition plan and incentive programs with input from all stakeholders
  5. Implement and support training, coaching, mentoring and facilitating
  6. Co-ordinate with your team to report on results and make appropriate adjustments
  7. Leave you with the insights and practices to continue to grow your employee experience

If you’d like to know more about how to reinvent your business, contact Carol or check out how to work with Carol

What are some of the ways you focus on customer experience and employee experience in your business?

Share your thoughts below in the comments …

 

Career Reinvention

Is a Career Reinvention in Your Future?

hate-jobAs a consultant who helps businesses become more profitable by leveraging the relationships they have with their employees — and as a previously miserable employee — I know how challenging it is to have employees in the wrong role, at the wrong company and managed by the wrong supervisor.

From your perspective as an employee, being in the wrong company, the wrong role and/or managed by the wrong supervisor is no fun at all and from the employer’s perspective it’s expensive and potentially disastrous.   A misalignment between employee and employer is also the cause of unnecessary stress and health issues on behalf of the employee while also being a cause of lower productivity and profitability for the employer and nobody wants that!

Wearing my miserable employee hat for a moment, the reason I was miserable was that I was “stuck” in that job.  There were no other comparable jobs that paid as well in my community and as a single Mom I needed a well paying job that also had regular hours.

Feedback and recognition — two elements needed for employee engagement were lacking.  I did not have one performance evaluation in the 9 years I worked for the company — although I was suspended on my birthday once — I won’t forget that day!

I did not have any opportunities for advancement (perhaps it was my attitude 😉 — another driver of employee engagement (ugh)..

… and I had no idea what the mission or the vision was for the company and I certainly didn’t know how my role fit in — and I had a few roles within the company over those 9 years.

My managers didn’t manage — I really don’t know what they did — and my supervisors ranged from being great to downright horrible.

My trust in the abilities of senior executives was lacking (trust is another driver of employee engagement!) because the executives gave absolutely no indication that they cared about anything other than wheeling and dealing — which resulted in huge bonuses on top of their salaries.   I never saw an executive — ever — in my 9 years there, so they had no clue what was really going on “in the field”…

… And then there was the “plan” — the strategy for efficiency which changed like the wind — first we centralized, then we decentralized then the focus was back to centralization — which was my fortunate “out” including a severance package.

I suspect many people who read this Career Reinvention blog post can find themselves nodding their heads in agreement to what is happening in their world.

If you are one of those people who are miserable at work too and you are ready for a career reinvention — which is in the best interest of both you and your employer — allow me to offer you a suggestion or two:

  1. Know what you want.  What do you want for your life?  What is your ideal lifestyle?   What does your ideal day look like?  Your ideal week look like?  Who are you working with?  What are you doing?  What are you feeling?  Where do you live?  What are your clothes like?  Do you have children and if so, where do they go to school, who do they hang out with, what are their goals for their life?  Become very clear on what YOU want.
  2. Figure out your gap.  The role of every consultant, marketer and salesperson is to figure out where the “ideal customer” or “prospect” is now compared to where they want to be and then they propose the bridge over the gap.  For your career, where are you now?  Where do you want to be (see question #1)? How do you close the gap?
  3. Create your plan.  Using what you’ve uncovered in the first two steps, how are you going to close your gap — realistically — how will you fit in the training, mentoring and experience you need?  Are you able to take a leap right now or do you need to be more conservative and methodical?
  4. Treat your career like a business.  Yes, a business — you are the CEO of “Brand You” — the strategist, the sales person, the service person and the cheerleader for your career.
    1. If you intend to stay with the same company but in a different role — do the same “gap analysis” you did with your career but instead do it for the company and present it to them.
    2. If you see a company you’d like to work with, connect with people inside of the organization — LinkedIn is a great place — to find out what it’s like to work at that company.  Be friendly, be transparent and be honest about why you are contacting people and ask for their opinion.  Realize that the person you contact won’t open up to a complete stranger on the first contact, so tread slowly and carefully.  See if you can connect with the person on Skype or a Google Hangout — so they can get a sense of who you are.  Have specific questions — not an interrogation — but questions to help you determine if this organization is a better fit for you.  Questions framed well are obviously better.  Questions such as “It’s really important to me that I have the freedom to _______, is this something that happens at XYZ company?”  The more people you can speak to, the better — after all, every person has his / her own “stuff” going on too.
    3. If you were a sales person, what would you sell to the company to make it better?  (BTW, you ARE a salesperson!)
    4. If you were a consultant, how would you improve the business? (BTW, you ARE a consultant — you know ways to make a business better!)
    5. Create a business case  and a sales pitch and pitch yourself as the one and only specialist who should be considered for this role.   Be memorable (in a good way!).  Note that you should have done some “sleuthing” before this pitch — find the hiring manager on social media (not the recruiting person) and make note of what he/she shares.   What is his/her name (use it!)?  Is he/she active in any charities?  Does he/she participate in sports?  The arts?
    6. When you get the interview — mix it up.  Without being obnoxious, ensure that you have the opportunity to pitch your plan.  Tell the hiring manager why you requested the meeting — remember you did request it when you created your pitch — and then have a conversation.  You will likely have to humour the “usual” hiring questions, however, it’s also important that you show the research you’ve done and also interview the hiring manager.  You want to be sure that you can work for this person, in this role at this company in  a way that gets you to that ideal life / lifestyle you imagined.
  5. Show them that you want it — in this world of computerized resume / cover letter scanners and other “non-humanized” recruiting, show the person you want to work with that you have done your homework and why they should hire you — even if there is no current job posting for what you want.  Your passion and your resourcefulness will get you places that you can never imagine.
  6. Don’t give up — in any sales role it usually takes multiple pitches in different ways to close a sale.  Don’t give up if the response is not positive on the first try.  Remember, this is what YOU want — it’s coming from your ideal lifestyle, your dream life.  If this is what you truly want — the perfect company for you and the perfect role for you — your tenacity will make you memorable and remarkable.
  7. While you are not giving up — find ways to continually improve.  Would writing an article — or better yet — a book help you?  Would appearing on an expert panel?  Would volunteering for a non-profit in a role similar to the one you want, give you more experience?  Would taking a course give you that little “oomph” you were missing?

What you focus on expands — a brilliant lesson I learned from my mentor years ago.  So focus on this ideal lifestyle, this ideal life you want.  Make decisions based on this “dream” and never, ever give up.

As you go through your career reinvention plan, remind yourself that leaving a job that makes you unhappy is in your best interest, the best interest of your loved ones (no-one wants to live with someone who is miserable!) and of course, you are doing your current employer a favour by “releasing the job” for someone better suited.  (Full disclosure — I say the same to employers — release the employee so they can find a better fit for themselves — but doesn’t it sound a whole lot better for you to “release the job for someone else”?!)

On a scale from 1 – 10, how willing are you to take these steps to get out of the job you don’t like / want and to reinvent  your career?  (btw, if you are finding deep resistance, check out the blog post on the Quadruplets of Discontent and see which one is showing up for you.)

Do you need a career reinvention?

Share your thoughts below in the comments …

F.O.R.C.E. Formula™ – Create More Profit and Time Off in Your Business

FO.R.C.E.-DVD-300x300

The F.O.R.C.E. Formula is all about creating more profit from your current success.

It covers 5 areas of your business

F = Foundation
O = Operations
R = Reach
C = Customer Experience
E = Employee Experience

 

Foundation – Are You and Your Business Aligned?

In my 18 years of hands-on experience as an entrepreneur who specializes in performance improvement and engagement, the success of a business comes from an important place – the “Inner You”. 

You can achieve a level of success without paying attention to the “inner you”.  However, if you are not in alignment with your business at the core of who you are – what your core values are, what your ideal lifestyle looks like and your passions and purpose,  at some point you WILL get stuck.  Some people get stuck getting out of the gate, others get stuck when outside factors test them beyond their “unconscious competence”.     Everyone gets stuck at some point in their journey though and the cause of many of the “sticking-points” are from within.

The Inner You is the place where all of our decisions come from.  When they are working in our favour we don’t tend to think too much about them – we credit our intellect, experience, risk-tolerance, timing, intuition and/or planning.  What we often fail to see is that it’s our beliefs that contribute to our success – our belief in ourselves AND it is also our beliefs that trip us up.

If you want to take your business to a new level – a level you have been unable to achieve so far – you need to take a look inside and see what is going on before making your plans.

Foundation also takes a look at where you are at with your numbers.  Your revenue, gross profit, net profit, number of customers, customer lifetime value, number of prospects, size of your list and other variables that will be used as your benchmark.

Your Operations

Are you operating in a way that is attracting the right people that aligns with your vision?  This is why we start with your foundation – including identifying what you really want and what you are tolerating.  Have you created a business with policies and procedures which annoy your customers and make it difficult for your employees to achieve your vision?  Remember, the decisions you make come from the “inner you” – why did you make the decisions in the first place?  Were you coming from a powerful place when you made those decisions or were there other things in play?

Your Reach

Are you creating an attractive business?  Are you attracting your ideal customers?  Are you growing your tribe of supporters – which includes customers, prospects, referral partners, joint venture partners, employees and prospective employees, vendors, investors and admirers? 

How successful are your current marketing activities?  Have you changed your marketing activities to keep up with the changes in the marketplace or are you still doing the same old things you’ve always done?  Are you trying new ways to reach your ideal customer?  Are you leveraging your expertise and positioning yourself as an expert in the eyes of those you wish to attract?

Your Customer Experience

Your customers’ experiences are the culmination of every decision  you have ever made – from the people you hire, your policies and procedures, your budget allocation decisions, the consistency of service, the quality of your product, through to the various marketing messages you create and all sorts of decisions in between.

If there is one sure-fire way to know that things are out of alignment it’s to take a look at what your customers are saying (or not saying) and doing (or not doing!)

The key to winning the customer loyalty battle is to consistently offer exactly what your marketing messages promise.   Have you cut back on staff to save on payroll costs – and as a result your customers are abandoning their shopping carts – perhaps permanently?  Do you promise speed and efficiency but some days it’s not very speedy or efficient – it depends on who is working?   The discrepancy between your promise and reality is what causes people to complain bitterly so it’s really quite simply – you either change your message to match your experience or you change your experience to match your message.  A heart-centered high achiever will likely choose the latter.

Your Employee Experience

What’s it like to have you as a boss?  Have  you stopped to find out?   S.T.A.R. Businesses have very specific requirements for those they hire  because they understand that the customer experience is controlled by the employees. If you don’t currently have employees, think about the people you delegate tasks to.

Have you shared your vision with your employees?  Do they know exactly what they HAVE to do and what latitude they have in delivering your vision?  Do they truly understand just how important they are to achieving your vision?

Your role in a S.T.A.R. Business is to hire slowly and well; train using your systems; coach; mentor and back-away so your employees can shine.  The result?  You don’t work as much – in fact you actually have time to have fun while also working on WAYS TO LEVERAGE everything you’ve built so far – while your employees deliver your brand promise with each and every touch point they have with your customers.

For some entrepreneurs, this may seem like a dream come true.  I’m here to tell you, there is no feeling like it!  I’ve done it myself – in my own business – after practicing and successfully implementing the systems aspect I teach while I was part of the management team at Whistler Mountain ski resort.

Imagine taking 4 vacations a year – one of them a month long – with your family, knowing that you simply need to check-in to answer questions, provide direction and appreciate your team while your business continues to generate revenue every day!

What lessons do you take from this lesson?

Share your thoughts below in the comments …