…. and why it's super profitable for the CEO's you work for!
One of my dreams when I was a little girl was to own a huge company! Through the years I've had 3-eCommerce businesses, I worked over 20 Direct Sales companies as a Distributor and Leadership figure. I"ve done Coaching, Business To Personality Matching ( Helping clients find their best job) and a variety of other positions from Public Speaking, SEO, PPC, Online Branding and more. Currently I own a Copywriting and Marketing firm that has grown by over 300% in the last 3 years.. My fascination with Management and good Leadership skills has grown enormously .
What actually makes a great place to work for? Is it important for company profits and growth?
A recent article in Fortune Magazine reveals the Top 100 Companies To Work For and what it is like to work for such companies. This article really grabbed my attention because I've met a lot of CEO's in the last 5 years and have been paying attention closely to what works and what doesn't in company growth.
Sad and pathetic is the CEO who thinks that his or her attitude, leadership and company mindset doesn't affect their bottom line. In my opinion I've found far too many CEO's do not take this seriously. It seems, at least to me anyways, that many of the company leaders I've met care more about how their employees are acting and producing then they themselves are. Sadly they don't realize the principle of like breeds like.
I've had situations where the mindset of "Do what I say and we'll all be ok" rules a company. The old adage of "I'm the leader, your the employee so don't ask questions, no opinions, lets get our work done and we'll all do well" isn't working any longer in the day of the internet, information and many employees desiring a more rewarding career.
During the last 3 years I've gone into companies that are struggling at the $ 800k- $ 5 million mark and repeatedly I see employees who feel as though they can't talk to the CEO. Even when I would represent a Direct Sales company as a top leader it surprised me how many employees didn't feel safe or appreciated at their workplace. They oftentimes feel intimidated or there is some unspoken rule that you 'don't question the boss'. But behind the scenes everyone is questioning each other, everyone seems to be pitting the other against themselves or a co-worker. It's a culture that seems to create an atmosphere of superiority and dominance.
A dominating and controlling leader creates a fearful and snide employee base. Everyone always looking out for themselves rather than the expansion and growth of the company. One of the most disturbing things happening in the current economic challenges is an unhealthy competition amongst employees. The goal becomes 'how well do I look and how good can I appear to the boss so I can earn a raise' rather than 'how can we make this company expand and bring high value to the marketplace.
Google always gets high reviews on a FUN & enjoyable company to work for!
It is my belief that when leadership falls to a place where 'we have to do this!' and the employees are constantly fearing their job being sifted it might be time to get NEW leadership and management. A company can go from $5 million to $500k really fast simply because leaders don't pay attention to what is declining. Bottom line management becomes more important than the belief and encouragement of the employees.
But is motivation merely enough?
Company owners might think that having happy employees and giving respect and honor to those who work for them is all just hype. But the research found in Fortune Magazine and some of the results I've seen with some of the companies I've visited proves the opposite is true. Perks such as unlimited sick days for example prove to actually cut down on abused sick time off. On site day care centers offered at a very low rate of $ 100 per week creates a more focused and dedicated employee rather than one who worries about their finances and their children.
While smaller companies with less than 100 employees might think that the 'ideal' company model would never work for them there are many factors to leadership that could easily remedy some of the current struggles smaller companies might be experiencing.
The business model of many online companies exists with delegation and outsourcing. An image of the CEO having free time and not having to work 40 hours per week is often given as the 'idea' pursuit. While being the center of all universes isn't ideal for any company owner outsourcing and leveraging just for the sake of profits isn't always a guarantee to expansion and growth. If the wrong person is put in charge or someone with a low level of leadership skills the entire company and mindset of the office could suffer.
A common sign that things are not ideal is when gossip is high and the 'boss' still doesn't know half the employees don't like each other. Tension during brain storming sessions, an unspoken, "We're the leaders and you are the very lucky employees" no longer works. People hold a company together and when people are lead rather than merely managed profits will rise automatically.
What Can You Do To Increase Profits & Make Your Company More Enjoyable To Work For?
1. Give your employees opportunity for expansion- Be willing to invest into your employees. There comes a time when even the best worker will grow weary of constantly having to 'perform' for you, the leader. Put your best foot forward by being willing to invest INTO the current employees you have. Give them an opportunity to expand their skills and increase their value. Remove all 'performance' based ideas and really take a personal interest.
2. Be sure company focus is the goal and not playing favorites – Competitive and results oriented leaders need to be careful when they put challenges out amongst their staff. Be sure the focus is company growth and personal growth as well. Don't buy into the old-school immature process of pitting people against people. Manipulation and favoritism no longer works. Showing good faith and sincere honest interest in who works for you will come back to your advantage as the leader. Cast a vision for the company rather than always picking a 'trophy' or 'favorite' employee you can feature. Jealousy is not a good motivation to have among your employees.
3. Create leaders and remove those who don't increase their leadership- Healthy leadership is always the goal. When a leader is losing their edge, they grow overly controlling or seem to be manipulating people rather than leading it might be time for a vacation. But maybe the leader needs a vacation with pay rather than a vacation without pay and punishment. Face the fact that not all leaders will last forever and when they need to be removed, remove them. Be willing to promote people and offer opportunity for everyone. Leadership can exist as Fortune showed in their company reviews in all positions at a company. Remove the 'higher up' mentality and make it beneficial to have a team atmosphere.
The year 2010 demands a new level of leadership. Customers, clients and employees are getting sharp. It is my belief that we're going to enter a day and age of increasing entrepreneurship. When your employees are rising in their skill be willing to help them grow rather than always covering your own bottom line, holding onto someone who needs permission to fly.
Gone are the days of manipulative sales, 'good ole boy' dominance and poor leadership. Fortune magazine gives great insight that any company could glean from. As a CEO it's important to always be pouring into yourself so that your company can follow. Create a company that people would pay to work for – your profits will show you're on track regardless of economic challenges.
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