successfully manage your Employees
You've just been in a
serious car accident. You've got massive internal injuries
and a broken jaw. You're going to be in the hospital at
least a month. Your jaw is wired shut so you can't use the
phone. Will your business run easily and well while you
recover? Will your customers be served while you are gone?
If you've just experienced heart failure over this
prospect, the following list is for you. The information
below, if put into practice, will reduce your stress,
increase your business' productivity, and give you the
vacation you so richly deserve. Here's the top ten things
you can do to make your business run as smoothly as
Most businesses hire bodies
for particular jobs rather than people to help build a
future. Your business is only as good as each individual
employee's contribution to its functioning. Therefore,
look for the three i's when you hire: intelligence,
initiative, and integrity. For every position, from
receptionist to packing clerk, hire only the best you can
find. Conversely, if you have current employees who are
not performing well, consider whether they are a wise
investment of your money.
2. Build a
team, not your ego.
Many employers let their
egos dominate their interactions with their employees.
Stop the pattern. Instead, trust your employees to do
their jobs. Make each employee feel that they are an
invaluable member of the company team. Let each employee
know they are an integral part of the company's end
product. Set the example for positive interaction at all
times between members of the team even when ideas or
performance must be corrected.
When you get good
employees, reward them financially and emotionally. Be
sure their pay is at least at market rate. Take time often
to acknowledge each employee's contribution. The two
biggest loyalty builders are two simple words -- thank
4. Be hands
Know each employee's job
and how to do it. This not only gives you an automatic
reserve employee and trainer (yourself), but has an added
bonus. If you show an employee that you are willing to
learn or have learned his/her job, you are communicating
that you believe their work has value. Every employee
needs to know that whether they are emptying trash cans,
setting the presses, or selling the large accounts, their
work is worthwhile and valuable.
5. Make your
In a small company, every
employee should know how to do at least two jobs,
particularly on the technical and service sides. For
critical tasks, at least three employees should know how
to do each job. Thus, you always have an on-the-premises
reserve who can step in when needed.
6. Give away
tasks, but not ultimate leadership.
What is it you do best? Are
you the idea man, the best salesman in your company, the
organizer? Find your best talent and then delegate all
other tasks to your employees. Train them appropriately to
do their job, let them know you have confidence in their
ability to perform well, and then let them do their jobs.
Adding responsibility with confidence will increase your
employee's willingness to work and their pride in the
company's end result. At the same time, you must maintain
ultimate leadership. In any well run ship, the captain
makes final decisions and you are still the captain,
albeit a benign one.
Communicate, communicate, communicate.
You must talk with your
employees, solicit their suggestions, and positively
correct their mistakes. Conversely, you must create an
atmosphere where employees are willing and able to talk
with you. The two best sources of information on how your
business is doing and how to improve it are your employees
and your customers. Pay attention to both.
8. Give your
best and always and encourage the same in your employees.
Pride in the company and
its product or service always begins at the top. If you
give a half effort or let a sloppily produced product go
out the door to a client, you are sending a message to
your employees that you do not respect your clients or
your work. Your employees will adopt that view as well. If
you set the example of giving the extra effort, pitching
in when needed, caring about your fellow team members,
working as a unit to be the best in your particular
business, and taking care of the bottom line, your
employees worth having and keeping will follow suit.
innovation and creation.
Give your employees a stake
in the future. Once a month, have a meeting where the
employees make suggestions on how to improve your product,
service, efficiency, or bottom line. Give monetary rewards
when the ideas produce increases to the bottom line. Give
positive encouragement for the process.
10. Have a
second in command.
No general goes into battle
without a major who can take over if he is felled by a
bullet. You are your business' general and must act
accordingly. Find someone you trust within your company
who has the same goals, ideals, and a similar business
style. Train him/her appropriately. Let others know he/she
has your confidence and authority when you are gone. When
that is done, leave on vacation and test the theory out.
If you have completed steps 1-9 above, your business will
run easily and well and you will have regained a healthy
balance in your life
Become a Master Networker
was a fad. It was the yuppie answer to the good ole'
boys. Over-dressed and over-ambitious people attended
over-crowded cocktail parties and frantically swapped
business cards while planning to "do lunch" soon. No
longer a fad, networking in the 90's is a survival
success skill. In our competitive business world, the
more contacts we have..the more people who know about us
and what we do..our talents and abilities...the more
opportunities we will have. For some people, networking
comes naturally. Their antenna is always up. They
actually have FUN with it. However, for most people,
networking is a learned skill and one that needs
practice in order to feel comfortable and be effective.
Try these tips to give yourself a jump-start and enjoy
the rewards of becoming a Master Networker.
the right ATTITUDE.
You have to want to make
the effort! We are all attracted to people who are
approachable and friendly. SMILE and ENJOY the
opportunity to make new contacts.
EVERYWHERE and with EVERYONE.
The opportunities to make
new contacts are endless. People frequently think of
networking only at events such as Chamber of Commerce
meeting and Professional Organization. Some of the most
productive contacts come from chance encounters...in the
grocery check-out line, at the ball park, in the
doctor's or dentist's waiting room, in an elevator, at a
party, and the list goes on. Whenever and wherever there
is another human being there is an opportunity to
3. Set a
Networking Goal Each Week.
Set a goal each week for
the number of new contacts you want to make. Start with
even one or two until your confidence grows. Then,
increase the goal.
4. Make The
Greet everyone with smile
and a friendly hello followed by a positive comment or
open-ended question to get a conversation going. At a
party or other gathering approach people standing alone
and draw them into conversation. Most people hesitate to
approach a group of friends already in conversation. The
individual standing alone will welcome your approach and
you will find it easy to initiate an interchange.
5. Work Up
A Memorable Introduction.
In twenty-five words or
less be prepared to say who you are and what you do...in
a way that will make the other person want to know more
about you. Then, immediately ask questions to learn more
about your new contact. Use their name several times
during the first five minutes of conversation.
Yourself With Professional Business Cards and Wear An
Attractive Name Tag.
Both business cards and a
name tag, especially a name tag that lists your
profession or business name in an intriguing way helps
attract the interest and reinforces name recognition.
John Doe, Business Coach , is almost guaranteed to
prompt questions about what coaching is...a great
opening to share your expertise and gain new clients or
referrals. When you do swap cards with someone, jot down
a reminder on the back such as where you met, what you
discussed, sales opportunities, etc. Printing a quote,
helpful hint, or other original and interesting
information on your own card will encourage others to
keep the card and remember you. Finally, always carry
your cards in an attractive case. Dog-earred and stained
cards dug from the depths of a handbag or pocket detract
from your professional image.
Prepared With A Mental GET & GIVE List.
Networking is a
reciprocal process. It is about getting and giving
information, resources, advice and referrals. Maintain a
mental "Give List"...a tip, idea, resource, or recent
discovery you can share. Your "Get List" will be
information you are seeking, people you want to meet,
and referrals you would like to have.
Your Network Resource Bank.
Record new acquaintances
and contacts on your Team 100 List, in a rolodex, use
computer software or even index cards. Set up whatever
system works best for you to keep in touch and nurture
your new contacts.
Use your resource file to
keep in touch with those in your network. Never give out
your card and say, "give me a call." Follow-up is your
responsibility. Research shows that amazingly only 20%
of sales leads are ever followed up....80% of potential
opportunities are lost by failure to follow-up. Use
every opportunity to send a follow-up personal note, a
thank you, a congratulations, or a relevant article of
The only place success
comes before work is in the dictionary. Remember WORK
makes up the better part of Networking.