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Do You Want a Company of Heroes or Zeros?

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(Posted on Sep 6, 2014 at 06:53AM by William Cosgrove)

Being a business owner, manager and employee in different industries over the years I have learned many things. I think the most important thing I have learned is that it all starts and is all dependent on the quality of people that you work with.

First you want people who are going to tell you “What You Need to Hear” not people who are going to tell you “What You Want to Hear?”

If you want your employees to take good care of your customers and to be creative and responsible then start by taking good care of your employees. Reward them and treat them with respect and get personally involved in tackling their issues and needs. Ensure you have outlets in place for employees to openly express their concerns without fear of retribution. Communicate what is expected of them what you are doing and how long it will take, and directly involve them in the solution.

Bottom line growth is not sustainable only top line growth is and only top line growth will get you the results that will take you where you want to go with the rewards and success that come with it.

So how can some think or where did they get the idea that they can get the best marketing, sales; service or support minds on the cheap? These people who are on the front lines day after day - Are you Business- and the ones who are going to make the difference in its success.

Saving money is something we are always looking to do but making money means that you are doing the right things to be successful and to be successful you need to have the kind of people who can get results and this means you need to “Pay for Performance.” If you want to save money save it on office supplies, Press your vendors for discounts, change your electric company but don’t think that a gift certificate for dinner or a pat on the back alone is going to recruit or retain the talent you need to drive and sustain your goals.

Were you born a business owner or senior level executive or did you have to pay your dues and earn what you have today? Did you seek out the companies that thought people with your experience and talent were a dime a dozen and didn’t want to pay what you were worth? I think not.

I stayed at the last business I worked at because they knew the value of people from management to salespeople to every worker there. I and my talented co-workers made more money than we could elsewhere and the business made even more and were consistently at the top of their region and district. Here is a business that to this day continues to prove this all out. How can this be? It is a direct result of sharing with and respecting the people who make it happen for you. It means making an investment that unlike the stock market is guaranteed to pay off. There is no complex formula here to figure out.

Do you want to attract Independent thinking people who can create value for your business? Or do you want parasitic people who are going to attach themselves to you on the cheap because they have few or no other options?

We all lose sight of things that were in front of us all the time. Open your eyes and you will find the key that will open the door to reveal who will take you to those next levels of success and beyond- Your Employees.

William Cosgrove

Communicating In The Modern Workplace

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(Posted on Apr 12, 2014 at 04:40AM by William Cosgrove)
Including employees as part of an onsite social community can act as transparent communications ecosystem in which to collaborate, communicate and provide your employees with a platform from which they can interact with their social channels, you and your customers.

The following Infographic from The Queens University of Charlotte, Communicating in The Modern Workplace, defines a modern workplace which can be managed and fostered in a company sponsored community benefiting both your employees and company as a whole.


William Cosgrove
Bill Cosgrove Straight Talk


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'Bad Management' is Just Plain Bad for Business

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(Posted on Feb 22, 2014 at 06:06AM by William Cosgrove)
Picture As promised, I am following up on my article from yesterday “Do You Want a Company of 'Heroes or Zeros?' which came about from an article that received a lot of comments entitled “The Secret to Delighting Customers? Put Employees First” That brings up problems in the workplace that we all have encountered and all need to find solutions for.

Bad Management

Bad management runs rampant in organizations.  Always be suspect when in an interview when a manager says “What goes on here stays here” or “It’s my way or the highway”.

A good manager is secure in his or her position and is someone who can encourage ideas and foster an atmosphere of openness and collaboration. An insecure manager or bad manager will not hold on to good people and many times staff does not want to go to upper management for fear of retribution. This has devastating effects on performance of the department.  

All emotions stem from insecurity and must be controlled because it has no place in a workplace setting or anywhere else for that matter. It is a disease that will eat away at and hold back any organization.

An insecure manager will isolate themselves and more often than not hold people their ideas and consequently the business back because he or she are afraid of losing their position to someone else who they feel may be seen as more qualified. If someone is in fear of losing their job to someone under any circumstance, they probably should not have gotten the job in the first place.

There are many other factors that define a bad manager. One kind of manager is the one who is inconsistent saying one thing and doing another without explaining their actions and who is arrogant in believing they are always right and makes sure everyone knows it. This type of manager is often egocentric and makes every issue about them, doesn’t listen to advice offered but ignores it before even considering it. This inhibits the staff from even mentioning any ideas they may have and leaves them feeling helpless and feeling that nothing will ever be done to improve on a bad situation.

 These managers are also often self-centered and do not support, encourage or look out for their team. The worst are mean and abusive and make people feel bad for no reason.

Then there are managers who micro-manage and refuse to delegate anything, despite what they say. This isolates them so they often don’t involve others in decisions and rarely look for ways to support or encourage the work of their team. This is often is caused by incompetence or the lack of basic communication, intellectual, or emotional skills needed to for their role.

 And the complacent manager is content with the way things are and is not open to change. They like things the way they are because they have become lazy or are afraid to rock the boat for fear that things might take a turn for the worse or jeopardize their position.

One experience I had when I was still a salesperson at a dealership where there were 24 salespeople we had a GM who we called “Little Caesar.” This title came from his short stature and dictatorial style of managing. He would hold three to four meetings a day and would rant and rave and almost every day a salesperson would end up getting fired. He would always say “Your weak, give me your plate and keys, you’re all done”

Another time The GM as the son of the owner who raced sailboats and was rarely at the dealership.  I believe this had an effect on our GSM because he spent more time outside the dealership hobnobbing with hockey players from the Boston Bruins who were spokesman for the dealership and relying on myself and my counterpart to run the daily sales operations.

I have also be part of organizations where a manager spent valuable company time in generating options as solutions to a problem but the problem was created by this same manager. Incompetent managers create more problems than they solve and then waste time to solve the same problems they created in the first place.

I have given some example here of what I have run into over the years being part of the workforce. These experiences convinced me to spend most of my working career being self-employed trying to avoid the pitfalls that bad management can inflict.

Let’s hear some of your experiences of how it has or may be affecting you and thoughts on possible solutions for this age old problem and human condition that affects the performance of so many businesses.

William Cosgrove
Bill Cosgrove Straight Talk