FranklinCovey Blog | September, 2009
Last week in our webcast, The 4 Key Principles for Getting Predictable Results in Unpredictable Times, we had several questions submitted that we didn’t have time to answer. We thought we would take the next few posts and answer some of them here. One of our participants, a hospital administrator, asked, “How do you keep employee morale up when you’re asking them to do more with less?”
The answer: Don’t ask them to do more with less.
Instead, ask them to do less of what doesn’t matter and more of what does matter.
Morale has little to do with how hard people work or how tough the job is. People will do extraordinary things and work incredibly hard if they feel their contribution matters. › Continue reading
The Center for Advanced Research at FranklinCovey recently completed a large study on goal awareness in U.S. organizations. The results were alarming. We found that 44% of companies, governments and other organizations reported no goals at all. In addition we found that even when goals have been established, a large percentage of employees have no idea what they are. For instance, we found that 74% of employees in government could not name even one of the goals of their departments or agencies. Overall, only 15% of American workers could name all of the 3 main annual goals of their work units or companies.
In a related study, using a larger sample of respondents but not distributing the respondents proportionately across industry sectors, we found that close to half of front-line employees blamed corporate leaders for not clearly communicating their goals to them. A full third of senior executives agreed with them. Furthermore, even when goals were known, 41 percent of workers said they did not understand what they personally were supposed to do each day to help achieve their company’s goals.
The study is based on results of surveys to 530 companies and 6,778 employees over a 5 year period ending in 2009. In some cases, the responses were weighted to provide an exact replica of basic U.S. industry categories.
It seems that when large numbers of workers show up to work each day not knowing why they are there nor what they are supposed to do all day, that business is probably operating very inefficiently, and that means poor service and lower profits.
It is crucial for employees to know both their team’s goals and their organization’s goals. What can you do today to get up to speed on your organizations goals? We would love to hear from you.
Click here to read the entire report
Most organizations consider customer service as a value. They’ll tell you it’s important to them to treat their customers well. But how do they know what their customers are thinking, how do they accurately and reliably measure how they are doing?
Typically when asked how companies measure customer service we hear one of three things:
- They have no measure
- They have an unreliable one (but they don’t know it)
- They have an unreliable one (and they do know it, but that’s what you have to put up with in customer service)
One of the most common ways we see unreliable customer service surveys is in the use of email or “back of receipt” surveys for data gathering. You’ve probably experienced this before – you go to a store and at the bottom of the receipt there is a website where you can take an online survey on your experience in that store. If you take the survey, (and I do now, since I’m fascinated with how others get their customer service metrics – but my guess is most of you probably do not) you may be asked to answer anywhere from 10—50 questions on your experience. This survey data is used to rank the stores and to get feedback on all the elements of the customer service experience. › Continue reading
What happens when your computer gets overloaded?
It slows down. Everything takes longer. It starts giving you error messages. Soon it freezes, and then it crashes.
It’s the same thing that happens to you when you get overloaded. There’s a natural principle at work here: the things I have to do are infinite, but the capacity I have to do them is limited. (In my case, quite limited.) In our new book, Predictable Results in Unpredictable Times, we talk about how to “push the reset button” on your work and your life when things get scary.
Here’s the issue: At work, everybody’s trying to do more with less. But the real question is, more of what? Are you just trying to do more stuff whether customers value it or not? Are you trying to do the jobs of people who aren’t here anymore, whether those jobs are worth doing or not?
Push the reset button. Ask yourself, what’s the job that really needs to be done? What job do my customers want me to do more than anything else?
Say you’re the only finance person left after everybody else is let go. Do you really need to keep track of every single data point that’s always been tracked? What are the company’s real needs right now? Protecting cash flow? Getting accounts receivable paid up?
Figure out what the organization really needs you to do. Then focus on that job. Instead of trying to do 2 or 3 jobs that “kind of, ought to” be done, strip yourself down to the job that you must do and that only you can do.
I hear you giggling. “Tell that to my boss.” No, you tell it to your boss. In these scary times, nobody—including you—can afford to carry responsibilities that aren’t core to the organization’s purpose.
What else can you do to succeed in the middle of the wild ride we’re all taking right now? We would love to hear from you.
Get a copy of Predictable Results in Unpredictable Times for 30% off.
As I have been contemplating the struggles that all of us go through in life, I am reminded of this powerful quote by Albert E. N. Gray:
“The successful person has the habit of doing things failures don’t like to do. They don’t like doing them either necessarily. But their disliking is subordinated to the strength of their purpose.”
I invite you to ponder on this idea in your own life. What are the things you know you have to do but are avoiding? If you were to discipline yourself and create a plan for doing those things, would you find positive, even breakthrough rewards?
For me, I know when I have avoided doing something, I have eventually seen that I’ve paid an even higher price by avoidance. For example, when I neglect my health by not eating right, exercising, or getting enough sleep, because I find it hard to stick to a disciplined regiment, I find myself feeling sluggish and not doing my best work. When I finally subordinate my dislikes to the strength of my purpose, things turn around.
I challenge you to contemplate your life and identify something you are avoiding and make a promise to yourself that you will do it. Make a promise and keep it. Subordinate the things you dislike doing to your greater purpose. I am confident that you the more you do this, the more strength you will build-and the more success you will find. What have you been avoiding? What is the end result you would like to see in your life?
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