the Foundation, Communicate Expectations and
Get Out of the Way
few years ago, someone actually did a study by interviewing
thousands of employees at scores of firms to determine
if communicating with employees actually adds to the
bottom line. This study found that employee performance
drives the financial results of the company. This study
is akin to saying that the way to deal with starving
people is to give them more food. Employees at many
companies are starving for information. Feed them the
information they need to understand the goals and objectives
of the company as well as how their jobs fit into the
overall scheme of the success of the company. The entire
organization will be better for it.
a High Performance Workplace
the foundation for a positive work environment through
communicating your mission and values as well as developing
policies and procedures that complement them. Your values
should be based on trust and mutual respect. Once this
is established, the behaviors your company desires from
employees should be continually reinforced. For example,
a healthy work environment actually encourages differences
of opinions and opposing views. This results in better
communications and superior decision making. A climate
that respects and supports different ways of thinking
and effective ways of dealing with the various ideas
of its employees also makes for a more energized workforce.
an underpinning for this respect, every company should
develop Equal Employment Opportunity and Harassment
policies and a mechanism to raise complaints without
fear of reprisal. The reasons to implement, communicate
and train your employees on these policies are numerous.
The first reason is to create an environment that is
free from discrimination and harassment. Wouldn’t
it be nice to go to work every day knowing that your
workplace does not tolerate behavior that is demeaning
or humiliating? This applies to companies of all sizes.
A second reason is financial. Discrimination complaints
can turn into lawsuits if not properly handled. Even
when the company prevails in court, these lawsuits are
expensive and embarrassing to the organization.
with the Basics
establish this type of work environment, the employer
must start with the fundamentals. Set a plan on where
you want to be in three to five years and map out what
has to be done to get there. Share this plan with your
employees. This gives employees a sense of security
as well as an idea of their own opportunities for growth.
The worst thing a business executive can do is spend
months working on a business or strategic plan and not
share it with the employees.
the employees and their managers jointly determine standards
of performance that are in concert with the goals of
the company. Communicate often. Things to communicate
include: revenue, profits, new clients, lost clients
– and why they were lost. Employees should get
feedback on meeting performance standards. These standards
should be reviewed for relevancy often – every
three months at a minimum.
Celebrate success together. Increased revenues are accomplished
through the efforts of all of the employees not just
the sales staff. The best way to communicate is through
face-to-face meetings that allow for questions and clarifications.
They can be periodic group meetings or one-on-one performance
the stage for a high performance workplace, then stand
back and watch things happen.