Operating a business is much like having a family. As a CEO, president or business owner, have you ever considered the comparison? Who’s included in your business family? Your employees, your customers, your vendors, for example. Good communication is key to the success of any relationship, personal or business.
When you have a family in your personal life, you may find your children have vastly different personalities, likes and dislikes. One child always does its assigned chores and school homework. Another child always seems to be getting into some sort of mischief. Both children keep your life interesting and diverse all in a very good way.
In your business life, there are employees, co-workers and associates you encounter on a daily basis. When asked what business you are in, always remember: You are in the people business. What product or service you sell just happens to be whatever it is. But without people, there is no business.
That’s why it’s critical to understand the people you work with. The people you work with are also like family. You have people, including employees, that are absolutely terrific to work with. You have employees that struggle in one way or another. Then there are employee hiring experiences that you wish had never happened.
As a CEO, president or business owner, always hire for attitude first. Without the right attitude the rest is irrelevant when hiring a new employee. Every new hire changes the company in some way or another. Make certain it brings positive results for everyone. Otherwise, it could be a very costly hire in many, many ways too numerous to list here. Yes, talent, skills, education are important. But attitude still ranks first.
NOTE: When hiring for attitude, talent, skills and education always conduct a check to verify what is on the resume and to check business references a potential new hire provides you with before extending a job offer.
Even with a thorough hiring process, candidates who become employees do not always perform up to job expectations. This potentially creates employee problems.
It has been my consistent observation throughout the years of advising CEOs, presidents and business owners that employees really do want to do well with their work. Most employees really want to understand what needs to be done and, do it. Deliver it on time. People want to feel good about what they do every day.
Yet one of the main problems in business is communication. Verbal or written. As a CEO, president or business owner, you may think you are getting your message, instructions or other words across clearly but somehow it all gets lost in translation from one person to the other. It sometimes can be somewhat like the children’s game, telephone, where the children sit together and pass the same message from person to person. By time it reaches the last individual the message is often totally different than the original words. This is exactly what you don’t want to have happen at your company!
Employee problems often begin with misunderstood communication, verbal or written. As a business leader it’s imperative to the company’s success to be clearly understood.
Employees need to be in agreement with:
- the company mission and philosophy
- the products and services they represent
- the role of management
- how they get paid and why.
If there isn’t good communication within the company, the efficiency and effectiveness will break down. If not corrected, individually or system wide, eventually there won’t be a business.
Unfortunately, there are situations at every company where miscommunication is constant. When this circumstance occurs, sometimes it is best for everyone that an employee be given the opportunity to leave the company with dignity and respect to find a more appropriate and suitable workplace.
As the CEO, president or business owner, you may at times say to yourself:
I have problems with my employees.
When this happens, you may want to first look at your own communication skills.
- Am I communicating?
- Am I delivering the message? If not, why?
- Am I understanding what the employees, what the customers, need?
- Am I using the best, most effective methods to communicate?
- How can I talk to my employees in a way that is understood and acted upon?
- How can I get my company to a higher level of understanding through better communication with myself and with each other?
You can’t just start communicating with your employees when there is a business problem or a business issue. You need to be communicating daily:
- the vision
- the understanding
- what needs to be done
- why you’re on their side
- why you want employees to succeed
- how you are going to help each and every employee to succeed.
You need to make all your employees feel like they are part of your company’s family – an important part of the business. Why? Because they are important and integral to the success of the business.
Start today to think about how you are going to put yourself in a position of better understanding the employees that work for you. When it involves communication, there is always a better way, a more effective way to communicate. When you communicate often and in a way your employees will understand, they will go out of their way to absolutely do their job in the very best way possible. Communication works both ways.
- You are the leader.
- You are the one who sets the tone.
- You are the one who decides what strategy will make the company MORE successful; the employees and customers happier.
- The directions you give to your employees and how those directions are communicated will mean the difference between success and failure.
To your success!
Howard Lewinter guides – focuses – advises CEOs, presidents and business owners throughout the United States to MORE success – MORE profit – less stress. Get MORE from your business! Talk with Howard: 888-738-1855.