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Thursday, July 16, 2009

WORKING WITHIN: Five Blinding Flashes of the Obvious

Working Within with Leanne Hoagland-Smith

Of the 130 plus million U.S. labor force, one third of them are baby boomers and represent the largest demographic within this labor market. As these soon to be retired workers leave employment, most businesses will be facing a critical human capital talent gap. #1 Blinding Flash of the Obvious

Looking at the K-16 educational experience, there is far more focus on acquiring knowledge and skills than developing good attitudes and habits. This focus continues in corporate America where training is still about technical skills while people or soft skills have perceived little to no value based upon the emphasis within existing training curriculum and budgets. Yet when analyzing performance failure such as in sales, customer service or management, the question to be asked is not “Do they (employees) know it, but rather do they want to do it?” #2 Blinding Flash of the Obvious

President Teddy Roosevelt was quoted as saying “No one cares how much you know until they know how much you care.” #3 Blinding Flash of the Obvious

Business research continues to indicate that people leave managers and not companies. #4 Blinding Flash of the Obvious

Additional research by the HayGroup suggested that worldwide one-third of the workforce was thinking of jumping ship to work somewhere else given the first four Blinding Flashes of the Obvious. #5 Blinding Flash of the Obvious

All of these Blinding Flashes of the Obvious can be traced back in many cases to failed internal networking where mutually beneficial relationships have not been maintained. From the top down to the bottom up, many individuals feel devalued and disconnected from the organization. These feelings create distrust and distrust breeds fear. Fear creates uncertainty resulting in people leaving the organizations. This migration or what others call turnover costs billions of dollars annually including:

  • New hiring costs estimated at 1 to 3 times the annual salary
  • New training costs estimated at $750 to $1,500 per person per year
  • Additional costs such as unemployment taxes, etc.
  • Lost customers to lost productivity
  • Lot more stress increasing health care costs, absenteeism, etc.

Within many small to large organizations, silos (think turfs) are created. Everyone is concerned about his or her immediate turf area and cannot see the entire football field so to speak. For example, the inside sales manager for a 15 person industrial wholesaler cannot get the Warehouse manager to make a delivery because it would mean overtime. Yet the client who needs the material is a significant long-term customer with a pending multi-million dollar contract. The salesman does not want to be disturbed because it is not his job and it’s the responsibility of the warehouse manager. Everyone is protecting her or his turf and bottom line the company loses so everyone loses.

One of the activities I share with CEOs to department managers to small business owners is to ask them about their employees. The purpose of this activity is to illustrate how well the employees are known by management. If you, as the owner or manager do not know simple information about your employees, how can you create mutually beneficial relationships?

Years ago, many companies provided opportunities to know fellow co-workers a little better. These events usually happened in the summer and in many cases involved picnics with associated team activities including: baseball, horseshoes and volleyball. By having these internal networking events, employees had time to play together and learn a little more about who they were working with.

Now is the time to invest in your internal customers (a.k.a. employees) before they leave you for greener pastures. Through internal networking and creating opportunities for your team (employment force) to interact will only strengthen your organization, create a culture of mutual trust and keep you from having one of these
Five Blinding Flashes of the Obvious.

For more information, please visit Leanne's TNNW Bio.

Posted to THE NATIONAL NETWORKER (TNNW). All rights reserved.

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1 comment:

Lillian D. Bjorseth said...

Thanks, Leanne, for again emphasizing that good relationship-building skills are as vital within companies as they are externally!

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