Yesterday, we were visiting with a current client and they graciously thanked our management team for locating our office staff next to our current production processes. They pointed out several times that employees appreciated the top management being accessible at all times. Think about it for a second, how many large companies have their offices in a completely separate building, many miles from their production facility. This is the design of many large companies.
Clients quickly notice this type of culture and really do not know how to address this matte run conversation. This real-life example really helped me revisit this topic to look at specific areas to look at as part of an evaluation and review.
Names of Employees
Do you know the names of your employees on your production team? Think about a time when you worked at a large company and the CEO came walking down the hall of your department. Did they know your name? If so, that really makes you feel important in a matter of seconds.
Awareness of Issues
The last thing you need as a manager or executive is to learn that an issue has existed for sometime and you were not informed. I see this all the time. Some executives are too busy to want to know what is really happening at their business and they turn away from such issues. Over time, employees pick up on this and tell these type of executives less and less information. Don’t be one of those executives who isn’t aware of issues or turns away from employees who try to communicate potential issues.
How productive is your staff? Which departments are performing well and which departments are under performing? This information could be extremely important, especially if a new clients is doing business with your company and you are trying to determine why the client’s needs are not being met. Develop a set of metrics to use to help measure productivity.
Understanding important processes and assets
Many top executives do not understand some of the back-bone processes in place at your company. Executives should continually try to build up their knowledge of the company’s products, services, assets and key resources. If you as an executive do not make any attempt to learn more about current processes in your company, why should your employees try to learn more. Lead by example.
Do your internal employees understand how important their job is with respect to clients’ needs
Do you employees simply perform the same tasks day in and day out or do they have a good understanding of why their job is vital to the overall delivery of a product/service. Make sure to connect with employees and ask them what type of work they are working on.
Are you including all employees with respect to personal development?
Some employees are looking to grow and grow at a rapid pace. Are you helping facilitate this process of personal development? Many companies do not have any type of personal development programs. It is critical that employees be able to led through instruction as well as encouraged to seek out their own education outside of work. Try bringing in an outside motivational speaker or determine a topic to discuss.
Do you meet with your client service staff and sales staff on a regular basis?
The relationship that you establish with these teams will speak volumes with respect to the way you inform, sell and support your clients. Everyone needs to be on the same page and know their objectives. Take time and work with these team members on a daily basis. Find out what projects they are working on and make sure it connects with the work that you are doing.
Typically, people in these areas are harder to relate to, but if you make a conscious effort to understand the work that they do, you will see how that relationship may help you down the road when you need these resources for a future project.
Get out of your office and start connecting more with your internal clients. These people are the backbone of your company. Sometimes their work is overlooked and taken for granted. It you want to be a leader inside your company as well as outside, you need to make sure people are listening to you and are committed to your company mission and vision.
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