In every business there are three sources of cash flow:
- External customers and sales that bring cash in.
- Internal production processes that can efficiently and effectively keep cash in.
- The people who control the flow of both - they can keep the flow positive or bleed your company dry.
Companies usually spend most of their time and money on sales training and process improvement but little on the attitudes of their people.
Why? Because most don’t recognize the high cost of low attitudes or don’t know how to benchmark attitudes.
To read the rest of this article from the Memphis Business Journal, see: Problem People: The high cost of low attitudes http://memphis.bizjournals.com/memphis/stories/2004/03/01/smallb4.html
I’m not talking about sweetness and light, goodie-two-shoes attitudes. I’m talking about attitudes necessary to make sales training and process improvement effective.
Statistics vary for the toll that low attitudes take in lost productivity, absenteeism, turnover and health care costs, and workplace incidents leading to delays, defects, loss of customers and litigation. See original article for statistics and details.
Don’t waste time questioning the accuracy of each statistic. Instead, cost out the people problems that drive everyone to distraction in your department or company.
Do you dread coming in to work because you’re going to have to deal with “you-know-who” again? How often do you hear, “that’s not my job description” or “that’s not my fault”?
How many hours are wasted complaining about the same problem leaders, managers and employees or reviewing the latest round in an on-going fight? How much money flows down the drain fixing mistakes caused by people who insist on doing it their way or because leaders of two micro-empires won’t work with each other to maximize overall profits? How many good people get frustrated and leave?
I propose the 180/20 rule instead of the 80/20 rule. The 20 percent of people problems waste at least 30 percent of six people’s time and energy. Do the math. No one I’ve surveyed has yet argued to lower the percent wasted.
In my consulting and workshops, people who come for professional and personal growth easily identify the same bad actors at their companies. And they know if their managers are trying to change these attitudes or are willing to let good employees be abused.
You can’t create good attitudes by bribing people and hoping they’ll work harder. So, what can you do?
- Apply the same benchmarking approach you use to improve processes. The secret to developing metrics for soft skills is to convert un-measurable attitudes into observable behaviors that either speed the flow of cash into the company or decrease its hemorrhaging out.
- To increase buy-in, facilitate the development of soft skill metrics at every level of your organization.
- The guidelines and timelines for improving individual and team behaviors must become part of evaluations.
How will you know when you’re succeeding? You’ll recover control of your time and energy and gain an extra 10 or 20 or 25 percent productivity at no extra cost.
Often, individuals need coaching and organizations need consulting to help them design and implement a plan that fits the situation. To get the help you need, call Ben at 1-877-828-5543.