Get Your People Engaged -Themes
SATURDAY, AUGUST 15TH, 2009
How do you get your people engaged in goals and aspirations of your business?
Your staff is faced with multiple priorities every day. They have their own individual priorities; frequently have daily assignments and department responsibilities, plus their personal lives to engage in. Without a compelling topic or idea to focus their attention on, days turn into weeks, weeks into months and eventually whole quarters and even years go by without much getting accomplished. A theme focuses attention on one priority, one rock that might be preventing you from moving ahead. Slowly but surely as you achieve results on one topic after another the business moves forward, you and your people see and feel progress, and the reward and celebration for success provides recognition to an often unrecognized and deserving group of contributing employees.
Alignment is essential to establish momentum. To get everyone rowing in the same direction in your business you need to unify their efforts. Themes provide a clear idea that gets your team focused on producing results that move the business forward.
Progress on key issues in your business will be made when your entire team is focused on one thing. Themes provide your team with a rallying point. A theme name, metrics to measure outcome and reward and celebration will focus your staff on achieving goals quarter after quarter.
Themes can be for a year or a quarter or two quarters. No matter what time frame you select, figure out the critical numbers that will drive your top priority. Company’s we work with have chosen as their top priority, customer satisfaction, turnaround time for customer support, sales goals, average ticket sale, even staff certification and establishing meeting rhythms. The key here is to decide by what metrics you will determine success and then create dashboards that will measure your progress. We suggest you red, yellow green the scoring to provide more visual recognition, but the main thing is to keep your goal in front of your people. One of our clients Adrelevancy.com, an Internet Traffic Builder, wanted to achieve some significant sales goals for their clients. They created a chart with a cruise ship in their break room to chart progress. As the ship moved through the series of benchmarks it got closer to the island the staff would win a trip to. Each staff person had to create and document a system to get their ticket on board the cruise ship.
You’ll need to develop the theme’s name. You might need to start with the objective and develop a concept around it. This may require some brainstorming, and it is a good idea to help stimulate ideas to involve your team in this. One company intended to get a lot of their systems finally documented. They had systems but nothing written down. They selected a theme of, “The Process is Right.” Another simply wanted to develop metrics for their business including individual metrics for each person’s position. They created a scoreboard theme complete with music from take me out to the ball game. The reward was a party at the minor league ballpark for the entire staff. There are lots of variations to this. One of our clients created a theme for their business “On the move.” The theme committee dressed up their meeting room like an airline, complete with aisle lighting, motion sickness bags and oxygen masks dangling from the ceiling. [See pictures] The CEO even dressed up in a Flight Captains uniform. Don’t be afraid to be dramatic or include showmanship when developing and announcing your theme to your staff. Chances are very good that if you really get into it, your employee’s hearts and minds will follow.
Looking for more help to develop your theme and would like more examples. Gazelle clients have created a short list of some of their best themes that you can view on line for additional ideas. Go to Gazelles Best Practices – Quarterly Themes
to discover some quick themes that have worked for Gazelle clients. Borrow their ideas or get more hints on how you can create them from the many [over 25 theme ideas] that are available to review. None will take you more than 15 seconds to read.
There’s a good deal of work to generating an effective theme, and there’s no guarantee your team will achieve the results you set. That’s possible the downside of establishing themes. The outcome however, all my clients will testify, is they always realize more from the effort then they would have without one. Best of all you can realize some dramatic results. The good will, morale boost and excitement it generates can lift your business to new levels of achievement.
are one of the best examples of the magic of numbers. We’ll look at some of the outcomes of measurements and how one of my clients is working on changing the culture of one of his departments by getting his staff to measure their outcomes.
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