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Internal Connectivity – 3 Ways to Determine How Well Your Company is Connected

While it is important to focus on sales growth and profit margins, it’s also critical to understand what is connected to a company’s ability to function well internally. You know how the saying goes – “what happens on the inside becomes visible on the outside.” Here are 3 ways to determine how well your company is connected internally.

Core Values

It is a good idea to have a set of core values as they are connected to the culture of the company. Core values should define:

How the company will treat the employees.

How the employees will treat one another.

How everyone will treat the customer.

When these are defined with core value statements and adhered to, the culture should be a positive one where everyone is treated with respect and dignity – even when disagreeing. No one is allowed to violate the core values as they are the foundation of the company. Are your core values well defined and adhered to by all?

Role Descriptions and Performance Standards

Role descriptions act as another agent of connectivity in two ways. First, they provide detailed information regarding what role is responsible for what tasks. Secondly role descriptions are connected to the training experience as they act as the training outline for the role. When a new employee or an employee moving to a new role is trained, the role description is utilized to ensure the person receives training for each task that they will be held accountable for performing.

Performance standards are connected to a couple of items as well. They speak to the standard to which the person is held accountable when performing tasks listed on the role description. When combined with the role description, this is connected to employees receiving an objective performance review. Most employees prefer objectivity vs subjectivity when it comes to performance reviews. When employees feel that they are managed objectively, morale tends to be higher. So, we can say that objectively managing employees is connected to employee morale. How well is your company connected in this area?

Processes

Remember, when we listed the role tasks on the role description? Well, more than likely there is a process for completing the tasks. Analyzing your current processes is connected to your company’s ability to operate efficiently and effectively. When processes are analyzed with employees that participate in the process and or are impacted by the process, cross functional connectivity is addressed to ensure the needs of all within the process are met.

As a consultant, I often find that task completion procedures are not captured in any format. Creating written or video procedures for completing tasks is connected to employees being properly trained which is connected to customers – both internal and external customers – receiving a good experience. Procedure creation is also connected to the retention of task completion knowledge vs someone having this critical information in their head. What are the consequences should this person decide to leave the company? How well is your company connected in this area?

Internal connectivity is important to a company’s long-term viability. Look at the three areas discussed in this article. What does the internal connectivity look like at your company? Check your connections to ensure you stay on the path to longevity.

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4 Steps to Retaining Employees When Your Company Starts to Grow

One of the main goals of a business is to establish a consistent pattern of growth. It’s what keeps the business alive. When a small business experiences the good fortune of an extended growth period, it’s critical to maintain a low employee turnover rate. Here are 4 steps to retaining employees when your company starts to grow.

Consider the Ability of Your Current Infrastructure to Handle the New Demand
Business growth can challenge your current infrastructure. When developing marketing plans, one question that business owners and or leadership teams can ask themselves is – If we get the long-term response that we really want, can our current infrastructure handle that influx of new business? It’s important to remember to take this into consideration. When the new demand for a product or service is greater than the company’s ability to process the influx, the door is now open to both employee and customer dissatisfaction. Review your current processes to determine if there are more efficient methods available to handle more business. Can low cost technology assist in meeting the new demand? Do outsourcing opportunities exist? You may discover that additional employees are in fact needed to handle the increase in business.

Consider the Impact to Your Employees
During a growth cycle, it may be assumed that employees should be willing to work longer hours or wear more than one positional hat, but it’s important to remember that it’s critical to maintain experienced employees during the growth period. Losing employees in key roles can result in a negative impact to both current and new customers along with damaging internal morale. Refrain from statements like “They’re not willing to grow with the company.” as this can be construed as insensitivity by employees. Remember that your employees have lives. Communicate the value that your employees have contributed to your company and sincerely express your appreciation for their efforts.

Get in the Trenches
Here’s one suggestion that I recommend to my clients which I believe can change a business owner’s or leadership team’s perspective regarding what is really going on day to day within the company – especially during a protracted growth cycle. Spend time of the front line with employees to see what they encounter in their day to day roles. This exercise is usually an eye opener! One can truly experience what employees encounter when faced with the increased activity.

Make the Necessary Changes
When it becomes apparent that infrastructure changes are necessary, take the steps to do so! The suggestions above are but ways to determine what changes may be required. The most important task is acting on the findings. The goal is to keep experienced employees in place when growth occurs. Your willingness to make the necessary changes goes a long way in employee retention. It sends the message that you are serious about ensuring employees feel that their voice matters. High employee morale is the key to keeping the business machine humming during a growth period.

For more practical insights, visit our website at https://errolallenconsulting.com.

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Detox Your Culture for Better Customer Service

As a consultant, I get the opportunity to spend hour upon hour inside of client companies interacting with employees at all levels. The one thing that stands out most is the different company cultures and the impact to the customer’s experience. I have witnessed employees interacting with one another in a jovial manner. I have also witnessed employees living in fear within a tension filled environment. The root cause of both of these examples in my opinion is LEADERSHIP.

When leadership interacts in a professional, courteous, uplifting and encouraging manner, the rest of the organization tends to follow along and the customer ultimately benefits. Should leadership choose the opposites of the above mentioned characteristics, the organization is filled with tension, resentment, high employee turnover and as a result – a sub par customer experience. Leadership sets the pace. Leadership determines how employees will be trained, managed and reviewed. Leadership is responsible for everything, everything that happens within the organization. Leaders – be honest enough to examine yourselves. Are you the reason for your organization’s woes? If so – it’s time for a detox. Be the reason for your customers receiving a great customer experience!

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