Our goal is an “Open Door” where employees are free to bring issues to leadership, and where leadership seeks employee input. We call it a two-way Open Door! We help clients with what we call “7 keys to an Open Door:”
1. Create Culture
The culture of any organization is set at the top by intention, or by default. It is created by everything the leadership says, does, promotes, or allows. We help organizations figure out who they are, and who they want to be. We create strategies that work with that culture, identify patterns that are incongruous with it, and coach leaders on how to stay true to it.
2. Define “it”
One of the best known Phil Crosbyisms is, “Do It Right the First Time.” Phil also used to say that in order for people to do that, they have to know what the “It” is. Agreed upon expectations lead to success. We help organizations set expectations in terms of responsibilities, behaviors, norms, parameters, outcomes, and means to those outcomes, all in a way that people can relate to, understand, and embrace. We further help organizations articulate unacceptable outcomes and behaviors, describing expectations not only in terms of what will be effective, but also what won’t be.
Professional Sports Teams and the military have a better idea of what recruitment means. They don’t do it as a one-time even; they are constantly re-enlisting their best. We help organizations do more than just recruit people for jobs; we help them enlist people in their mission. We help organizations define and create their own “Enviable Employment Brand,” and find people who are wired the same way. We create tailored team member selection techniques and strategies, train leaders in how to use those, and assist in the selection process when needed.
4. Provide Feedback
Most people hate performance appraisals. There are good reasons for that. But people like honest feedback, giving them credit for what they do well, and highlighting things they can work on to grow. We encourage more frequent dialogue about accomplishments and concerns. We tailor process, mechanism, and training to fit the organization. We also coach managers through challenging discussions, and serve as a 3rd party or facilitator when useful.
The best forms of appreciation are not necessarily money, but rather, those which create a trophy value or a residual value (memory). The only way that works is with solutions that are tailored to the organization and its individuals. We help create ways to appreciate effort and honor success that fit the organization, drive dollars back into the organization’s network, and create positive PR events out of them where possible.
6. Create Ownership
An entitlement mentality is prevalent in our day, and nowhere is this more obvious than in the employment relationship. Makes sense – when we’ve allowed the employment relationship to become a transactional one, people are treated as an asset, or a commodity. Much of the way people are paid produces entitlement. We refer to that as “butt in chair” compensation. We help organizations create a team with more of an ownership mentality by using pay and rewards to reinforce your culture. We design ways to reward significant contributions to strategic goals, to focus employees on the things that business owners focus on, and to reward behaviors, all without annuitizing the reward.
Most people shy away from confrontation. Bosses don’t have that luxury. There is a skill that can be developed, practiced, and used effectively to do more than just address a problem; it can improve behavior and increase alignment. We help business leaders address the people problems in their organization, rather than hoping they will go away. We do this by coaching leaders on dealing with challenging team members, by coaching team members on performance improvements, by facilitating confrontations, and by helping both parties part ways and get closure when things are at impasse.