Saturday, August 02, 2008

Get your staff to do more

How do you get your staff to dig deep and “go the extra mile” for you?

An Oshawa, Ont. entrepreneur asked PROFIT Magazine that question, and this week a number of other entrepreneurs offered their solutions. This “Peer to Peer” feature is one of the coolest resources for Canadian entrepreneurs, because it’s not some journalism grad telling you what to do – it’s experienced entrepreneurs telling you what’s worked for them.

The question: “How can I encourage my team to be more entrepreneurial? Why don’t they care more about my business?”`

Here’s a selected look at some of the answers PROFIT’s readers came up with.

Answer 1: You can’t. That is why they are employees and not entrepreneurs. What you can do, however, is to start finding out what is truly important to them, then gearing their compensation (financial and other types) around it.
Most employees will not put in the extra effort if they believe it won’t get them something they value in return. ... If you do this, you’ll start to see a gradual change over time towards a more employee-preneurial atmosphere.

Answer 2: The most important thing you need to do is set expectations—from the recruitment process, during employee orientation, in regular team meetings, and with your performance-management programs.
To find entrepreneurial people, you need to identify in the recruitment and selection process those people who are keen to grow a new business.

Answer 3: Change the feel and atmosphere from “my company” to “our company.” … The staff have to see and feel the results from going the extra mile.

… When they feel the results—or lack of them—from their work and the effects on “their company,” they will feel empowered… Raving Fans: A Revolutionary Approach to Customer Service by Ken Blanchard comes to mind first as a recommended read, but there are many others.

Answer 4: Commitment comes from a sense of ownership. In some cases, selling shares or parts of the company to key employees is an effective option, though it is not usually very easy or simple. …

The other option is to create leaders. When someone is (really) in charge of a project that they helped get started or that originated from their ideas, that person essentially “owns” the project and will often go the extra mile to see it through.

… Talk to your people, asking them questions such as, “Are there operations that don’t make sense?”, “What would make a given task easier?” “How would you do it?” and “How should it be done?” Not only will you probably be surprised at their answers, you will likely perceive some of your staff differently.

You must be willing to involve them in improving certain aspects of their job, as well as get them involved in something bigger than simply completing the order, shipping the units or finishing the project.

Great stuff, huh?. Click here now for the full story.

For other Peer to Peer solutions, click this way.
This page also includes a clickable form for you to ask a question of other Canadian entrepreneurs. Go for it!

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