I recently returned from the TLS Automotive CX Summit in Marina Del Rey and had the pleasure of hearing two thought leaders speak to dealers and OEMs about how to maximize employee potential by implementing a “winning system” in the workplace. Their perspective was rich with experience. Heather, a long time consultant, coach, and facilitator and Chuck, an Executive with Honda both had a passion for excellence that captured the audience’s attention as they laid out 6 elements that create and foster a winning system in any organization.
They are all age-old concepts. None of them revolutionary, but the defining moment of the discussion was when they spoke about being consistent and only if you have all employees working together will the leader achieve the success and results they are looking for. The dynamic duo reinforced the idea that organizations typically focus on one or two of the elements and then switch gears, rather than staying the course. But focusing on all six elements and making them part of your routine, will ensure you don’t fall off the rails.
Here’s a quick overview of the 6 elements of a winning system:
Everyone is connected today. We are attached at the hip to our phones and other mobile devices. The use of technology is a means to connect, mobilize and communicate with the workforce and is now the price of entry to make an organization more attractive to potential candidates.
New hires want to know why their onboarding and employee expectations are not online when you can get an app for everything. Beyond that, the new age workforce, and its not just millennials, but all generations of workers want transparency and they want to see where they stand. Getting your workplace online solves these needs.
Chuck spoke about “hiring the right DNA” and using a screening tool or psychometric profile to start the process. Don’t hire an accountant for a role where you expect someone to be creative or vice versa. Hiring right requires an organization to get clear about the role’s expectations.
Once you have the right hire through the door you must be clear about not only what you expect from them but the specific behaviors that will lead them to meet those expectations. Both Heather and Chuck emphasized that you can never be too clear. This is where you want to outline the very tactical tasks you expect from someone. Often leaders think they have set their employees up for success by communicating the outcomes but they fail to layout the behaviors they need to reach that outcome.
Now that behaviors are clear, it is critical to give your employees the opportunity to take part in the feedback process. It’s the key to making sure employees don’t feel micromanaged but instead, are engaged and committed to improving. By allowing your employees to self-assess you put them in the driver’s seat and allow them to change and grow as clients are also changing. Chuck talked about how manager assessments coupled with the employee’s own assessments, closes the loop on feedback and accountability. Heather echoed his sentiments and felt that this component is the key to the winning system.
As they ran for the finish line on creating the winning system, Chuck paused to express the importance of evaluations and measuring outcomes.. None of this means anything if the outcomes aren’t achieved. Heather talked about how 80% of employees want to do a good job, and they want to work hard but often they don’t know how they are doing. By formally evaluating employees and the system at least one time per year, you get that progress report.
Last item in the pack was to recognize and reward. Heather asked the room how many people had been recognized in the last 2 weeks by their peers or their employer, 20% of the room raised their hands. It comes as no surprise as this is a universal problem and always has been. Both Heather and Chuck agreed that perhaps the silver bullet for helping leaders recognize in a way that is consistent with today’s new age employee is through online social recognition. A handshake is still the best approach but you have to be consistent and an online tool makes it manageable and easy to get everyone involved.
In closing, the presenters wrapped up by advocating that maximizing employee potential in the workplace is essential to achieving a great and consistent client experience. Using the analogy of “fish” and the importance of having all the fish swimming upstream together, will make a leader’s journey to excellence much easier.
Written by Brianna Newman, Director of Partnerships at The Minery.