When Shift Happens!
At 8:30 a.m. a room full of bleary-eyed PMCQ members were on their feet yelling out the characteristics of the most successful people they knew. No, they hadn’t had any Irish coffee with breakfast. They were simply responding to the energy and enthusiasm of ‘Shift Happens’, the PMCQ January breakfast meeting.
According to presenter Jim Feldman, a Chicago based consultant, author and expert in employee motivation; an employee’s attitude can have a big impact on a company’s bottom line.
“Customer satisfaction is now the primary goal of most companies,” says Feldman.
“Your employees are the first point of contact with your customer. You can not have a dissatisfied employee trying to satisfy a customer,” he added.
“It costs more to train someone than to keep them,” said Feldman. “You’re better off trying to keep your employee and make them work better, smarter, and faster than you are trying to replace them.”
The key to retaining employees, according to Feldman, is to empower them. According to Feldman, the objective of an employee empowerment program is to achieve pre-established business goals. The employer communicates the business objectives he wants employees to reach and rewards them in return for achieving these business objectives.
According to Feldman, most companies offer incentives to sales people but they don’t offer non-sales people a similar way to be rewarded. According to Feldman, a company needs to empower all its employees.
Generally, companies use merchandise, travel and recognition to empower employees, stated Feldman. Of the three, recognition has the most powerful impact, according to Feldman. Employees will forget how they spent a cash incentive. However, an incentive such as a key to the executive washroom or a preferred parking space shows all other company employees how valuable the recipient is to the organization.
Says Feldman, “Skills are taught, attitudes are caught.” Rewarding employees who have the right attitude is a good way to make an example of them to other company employees.
Feldman stressed that a company needs to ”treat each employee as if the goal is to keep him from going to the competition…Everyone can profit from employee empowerment. If you’re not doing it, your competitors are,” he concluded.
By Jadzia Jagiellowicz