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Friday 3 PM – What’s Your Staff’s Spirit? – Value of a Theme



It’s Friday, 3 PM at Ideal Computer Systems. There’s a cute bee, a hillbilly, Abe Lincoln, a maid and other costumed characters gathering around a set of chairs preparing to model their outfits. 
No, it’s not Halloween. That was a week ago; although you’d think it was, as you see employees dressed in costumes preparing for the Impersonator contest that the Ideal Computer Systems “Get Lucky” 4th quarter Theme committee scheduled for today. In many companies 3 PM on a Friday is a time to check out, make sure your desk is clean and wait for 5 PM or quitting time to roll around. Here this group is dressed up to share the fun of their 4th quarter theme and see what everyone looks like.   Even those who’ve chosen not to participate gather around curious to see what others are wearing.
When 2008 ended Ideal Computer Systems enjoyed a record year in sales and revenues. They had just completed their first theme, Ideal’s “On the Move” which achieved the goal they had set for a high customer satisfaction rating and an amazing 700% reduction of their support team’s average speed of answer. It cut turnaround time on customer calls from 62 minutes to just 8. It proved the power of focusing on One Thing and how when you align your team results follow. 
Ideal got a late start to the first half of 2009 and fell short of their priorities for the first half of the year.  It was disappointing after the success of 2008, but perhaps not expected due to the recession’s timing. While business maintained, the growth that the company expected didn’t occur. Rather than make reductions in staff several team members willingly accepted leaves of absence without pay in the 2nd and 3rd quarter. Everyone worked to cut costs and make reductions where ever possible. A new theme for the 3rd quarter generated great results as the sales revenue bounced back and a new mood of optimism after the doom and gloom of the recession resonated throughout the company. That new optimism is very evident in the building as employees playfully jest and leer at each other anticipating the results of today’s theme tied contest.
The result of having the right people is fun. It’s easy to see that this group is having a lot of it. There’s laughter, smiles and a relaxed feeling that only comes when people enjoy being with each other and appreciate the commitment that each is making to the success of the company. So far the customer support, programming, and sales have been the subject of the company’s themes, and each has benefited from the concentration. The improvement in Average Speed of Answer improved customer satisfaction rating, and also provided a major endorsement from a leading consultant in their industry. The previous week Ideal Computer Systems software was one of the featured exhibitors as the Louisville Expo focused on improving Outdoor Power Equipments service areas. Programming stepped up and provided new innovations and developments to Ideal’s software for Power Sports Equipment financing, which in turn provided a positive jolt to the sales department helping it to exceed its goal for sales in the 3rd quarter. They are well on their way to meeting or exceeding the goals set for the 4th quarter. 
The decisions you make for your business have a powerful impact.   They yield success or failure in a growing business. At Gazelles our business coaching focuses on Four Decisions: People, Strategy, Execution, and Cash. You need to get these right or risk leaving significant revenues, profits, and time on the table.  There are some simple powerful concepts regarding People.  We’ll explore People briefly in my next blog.

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