Fuelling your Organization for Success

Great people not only keep a business running, but they also carry with them vast amounts of knowledge & talent that can leave with them if they walk out the door.

Fuelling your Organization for Success

People – managers, CEO’s, receptionists – regardless of the position – people are the cornerstone of any successful business. Sure, you can read endless business books on strategy, finances, marketing, and more, but when it truly comes down to it, you need a strong foundation of people to make any business operate successfully.

Great people not only keep a business running, but they also carry with them vast amounts of knowledge & talent that can leave with them if they walk out the door. The benefits of hiring and retaining key people are numerous. Many studies have shown your company can actually not just save money by finding and keeping the right staff, but it can actually increase revenues. Happy staff = Happy customers = Happy shareholders/owners…. respectively of course. Part of the problem that created inattention to customers and employees was the introduction of the term “shareholder value” that came about in the 1980s. This was supposedly created by the CEO of General Electric and subsequently adopted by other public companies, and eventually many private companies. While this may seem like a small thing, companies, just as people, follow the trend of the day, and suddenly the focus shifted from the customer to the shareholders, and in many cases completely ignored the employees.

The equation became this, which doesn’t equate: Happy Shareholders = staff that should be happy because they have a job = Customers who buy from you because their choices are limited. This methodology does work for a few very large businesses in which direct competition is extremely limited, but for small, mid, and even lower-end higher revenue businesses, this methodology does not and cannot work.

Fortunately, in recent years, it has become more popular to study the methods of leaders such as Richard Branson and Mary Barra, which is great, but too few companies are implementing similar practices. It seems to be a very slow process.

In specific terms, owners and managers often don’t have a strategy in place when it comes to hiring and retaining employees and it can be one of the places business owners look first to improve profits when times get tough. Instead, they implement layoffs, slash hours, or take away perks in an effort to improve their bottom lines. Common sense dictates the equation should be this, which for whatever reason gets forgotten:

Happy staff = Happy customers = Happy shareholders/owners

“Many studies have shown your company can actually not just save money by finding and keeping the right staff, but it can actually increase revenues.”

Challenge & Solution

R.W.A. Management Consulting has worked with organizations of all shapes and sizes to help them restructure, and over the years we’ve helped many of them succeed and prosper by making people the focus of their organization. Here are some tips that can help your company head in the right direction when it comes to your people:
1
Take the Reigns When Hiring:

When hiring for key positions, it’s best to do it yourself, after all who knows the role and needs better than you? Write down the roles and responsibilities that need to be filled, the absolutely necessary skills and traits (how they fit into the culture) for the position, and a wish list. Be ruthless and stick to your list. Don’t rely on HR to do the hiring. They may know the rules but they don’t know who will necessarily be the right fit in your organization. Instead let them handle the technical aspects, such as criminal checks and payroll set-up.

2
Hire Right the First Time:

Think of your organization as a finely tuned Ferrari – if you put anything less than ultra supreme unleaded in it, you get sub-standard performance. Highly capable, ambitious and entrepreneurial people are your company’s fuel, and they’re worth their weight in gold. The right people will eliminate the need to overstaff and fuel the creativity and thinking of an organization, while the wrong people will cost you money and time. Keep these people, and pay them as well as possible and they will accelerate your growth phenomenally.

3
Offer Something:

If you’re a small company that cannot afford to pay people competitively, ensure you offer other benefits. For Example, having a positive, energetic, enjoyable work environment without micro-management and in a creative atmosphere in which people can excel and master their trade, and therefore love working for you is extremely valuable to them. Most people will trade part of their salary to be at a place they love to go to every day. Never forget this. This desire is becoming more common among all employees and I have seen it in action with fabulous results. You can be at the forefront of a competition without the fastest car, but by cornering it and gearing it better.

4
Avoid Excessive Structure and Micro-Management:

While your staff needs to be monitored to ensure they are always working towards the overarching goals of the company and not wasting company time and money, don’t get carried away with too many policies and procedures and don’t micro-mange your employees. Progression relies on being dynamic and creative, and putting too many policies and procedures in place and/or micro-managing your employees hinders their ability to use their best skills and assets. In other words, keep the lanes of your track wide enough for your employees to move around and show their capabilities, but make sure they stay on the same track. Allow them to be successful and contribute to the organization.

5
Encourage Excellence:

Encourage everyone in their respective positions to be the best at that position – even better than you could ever be. As the saying goes, “If you’re the smartest person in the room, you’re in the wrong room.” And when people perform at a high level of excellence let them know by rewarding and acknowledging them, so they feel valued and motivated to continue at that level of performance or higher.

6
Encourage Participation:

Be open to taking feedback and ideas from everyone, not just key people in your organization. Everyone has the ability to come up with great cost cutting or revenue producing ideas, and never, ever assume that because a person holds a certain position, they can’t contribute in monumental ways. Why would you, it’s your team?

7
Cut the Slack ASAP:

No one likes to fire people. As difficult as it may be however, you’re doing yourself, that person, your other employees and the future of your organization a huge favor by getting rid of unproductive or negative employees. Bad employees disrupt productivity, creativity, the team, create a negative atmosphere that others will feed off of, and cost you money. Even an employee who is good at their position is not worth keeping if they disrupt or slow down the team. The latter is the most frequent issue I see.

8
Surprise your Staff and Managers (in a good way):

Maybe you just went through a grueling audit, and some of the staff and managers did what was necessary, and worked 15 hour days. Drop by one day after it’s over and tell them to take the rest of the day off and relax, with pay of course (Naturally not all on the same day). Actions such as these will let them know that you’re thinking about them and you acknowledge their hard work. The pay-back will far outweigh the cost.

9
Allow Energy!:

Allow a sense of vibrancy in your business. This not only translates to positive vibes for your employees, but your clients, suppliers, bankers and investors as well.

We hope these tips will get you thinking about how to best hire and manage the people you need to take your organization to the next level. If you’re looking for more information on how we can assist your organization do not hesitate to contact us today.
Eric Rolheiser
Eric Rolhieser
President, Core-Mark International, Canada & Northern U.S. States

“Several years ago Mr. Evanenko assisted us in turning our Alberta Division into the number 1 division in the company. His analytical work & extreme focus on the company’s profitability was top notch.”

Chi Houron - Owner The Thirsty Maiden
Chi Houron
President & owner, The Thirsty Maiden, Kanata, Ontario

“Rod not only developed a business plan for us, but got involved in assisting us with the lenders, which was above and beyond our agreement. He truly does care about the success of his customers. Our lender, futurepreneur, commented that the business plan was very strong.”

Douglas Epp, Former Senior Director Products and Business Development
Douglas Epp
Former Senior Director Products and Business Development, Fisev-Open Solutions, Calgary, Alberta

“R.W.A. Management Consulting helped us prepare for our acquisition by straightening out our financials, which were in disastrous condition. However, what was most amazing is that due to Rod’s tireless analysis and his recommendations, we started making a profit each and every month. This wasn’t part of what he was contracted to do.”