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FEELINGS Drive the Real Bottom-Line in Organizations!

Aug 17, 2007
"Formula = How to Get Customers and Employees to Love Your Business"

Why are so many businesses and organizations struggling? Why are many employees more disloyal today than ever before? How can managers and leaders continue to produce more, with fewer resources, with more organizational changes, and with an encroaching global market? How can managers maintain high performance while organizational chaos and dysfunction abounds?

E-Mail Amusement or Management Reality Check?

Recently I received one of those chain e-mails captioned "idiot sightings" that would appear humorous if it weren't so true. It read like this:

At a good-bye luncheon for an old and dear coworker who was leaving the company due to "downsizing," our manager commented cheerfully, " this is fun. We should do this more often." Not a word was spoken. We all just looked at each other with that deer in the headlights stare. (Fortune 500 Company)

Given my 30+ years' experience in corporations, I suspect that at another luncheon the leadership team of the same company was addressing lack of employee commitment, employee morale, missed goals, employee absenteeism, and employee turnover!

If you think this manager is an isolated incident, here are more examples from my past while working my way to the top of several organization(s); namely, health care, automotive manufacturing, education, robotics, paper packaging and financial services:

-A CFO berating his entire staff, on average once per week ......
"I can get anyone off the streets to do a better job than anyone I currently have on staff!"
-A VP Marketing asking his Assistant to falsify receipts for him in order to gain company expense reimbursement.
-A CEO shouting, "I don't have to be a good manager, I am the leader of this organization."

How do you think employees in these organizations deal with outside customers? Unbelievably, these same companies support "programs of the year" and programs of the month" to address customer service issues and employee retention programs!

How and Why People Perform? What's the Formula?

Those involved in mastering the heart and soul of human performance have learned from great research and authors such as Allison Rossette and Dana Gaines Robinson, performance experts, that the formula for human performance is really simple:

Skills + Knowledge + FEELINGS = Performance (Good or Bad)

Wow! Now, take a look at the examples above and ones from your own experience. What's the missing link? The obvious answer: FEELINGS, yet many organizations spend millions of dollars training skills and knowledge; in fact, hire employees based upon skills and knowledge. Success Magazine says most people fail in business not because of capability but because of a lack of people skills!

What impact does CHANGE within an organization have on an individual's performance, department performance, company performance? From the idiot example above, how long would it take that manager's department to re-establish peak performance, if ever?

It is really very simple but requires a deep understanding of the SIMPLE, STEP-BY-STEP EXPERIENTIAL PROCESSES involved in achieving organizational success, no matter what business or industry; it's all about relationships and people. It's about hiring the right people, trusting them, and managing them like owners.

Values, Faith Based Management

Perhaps because of the media attention to the Enron's, Arthur Anderson's, and other corporate scandals, we see an emergence of more discussions in management circles on values, ethics, and even faith-at-work programs. We also see CEO's and Managers who wish to impose their "goodness" on their employees; for example, CEO of Prince Industries, Mark Miller says he believes in "helping his employees even when they may not be open to his help."

Intent vs. Impact. As we look at the performance formula, would the impact of such good intentions have the same potential negative impact as the idiot quotation?

Companies that Get It! Understanding & Managing the Performance Formula

I consistently have a delightful experience when I visit my local Starbucks because every clerk shows me that they LOVE their jobs; in fact, I even asked one of them about that the other day and he forthrightly said he LOVED his customers and his job. At another visit to the same Starbucks, I asked the Manager how he hired people; his response, "I hire for the right attitude; I know that I can train them on the skills to perform the job." Notice how many companies are branding themselves around customers feeling the love of their products and services?

Here are a few more examples of corporate champions of performance success - bottom-line profitability:

* Southwest Airlines....Connie Barrett "Queen of Hearts".....hiring the right people and creating ownership and accountability.
* Synovus Financial.....Jimmy Blanchard offbeat style called servant leadership
* GSD&M (third largest advertising agency in the US)....Roy Spence
* Quad Graphics.....Harry V. Quadracci (believed in management of trusting his people)
* SAS Institute...Jim Goodnight...."Software companies the size of SAS have to replace more than 1,000 people a year; SAS loses fewer than 100, a difference that saves the company between $60-80M annually." Jeffrey Pfeffer, Stanford University

Organizations are no different than family............

...........They mirror the behaviors of functional and dysfunctional family interaction. We must focus on the interactions and behaviors emanating from leadership and how those interactions and behaviors manifest themselves throughout the organization.

It's not about motivation; it's not about all singing the company song; it's not about cooperation vs. achievement. It's about people coming together around a common cause, understanding clearly the direction for achievement, have clear delineation of roles and responsibility, everyone understanding, honoring and respecting their uniqueness and strengths and the diversity of others, aligning their values with those of the organization and holding people accountable.

This can be SIMPLE but definitely a well defined set of processes!
About the Author
Peggy Pattison, Author, Speaker, is currently one of America's top performance coaches. She is the author of KISS Performance Solutions - 12 Guidebooks on Management/Leadership Training Series.

Visit her website at: http://"www.PeggyPattison.com for more information.
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