Monday, October 24, 2011

Occupy This

And while the law of competition may be sometimes hard for the individual, it is best for the race, because it ensures survival of the fittest in every department. --- Andrew Carnegie

While the media is in a frenzy covering "Occupy Wall Street," and "Occupy Any-Other-City-That-Brings-Attention," businesses are moving forward doing what businesses do... making things and providing services that satisfy a need in the community, that creates jobs for people in that community, and pays taxes for public services rendered to that community.

For all the hoopla surrounding the brouhaha of occupying things, it seems that the interests of the public can bests be served by occupying the workplace. I'm certain that some of the participants of these demonstrations have some real issues that bug them, but as business leaders, perhaps we can help our team members to stay focused on real production by keeping them occupied with their calling of duty.

For example, a good way to keep team members engaged is to find out what it is that keeps them on fire in their work. Hopefully, most of this was accomplished at the interviewing, hiring, and orientation level, but still some employees may find that their reasons for being has changed over time and now it is time to help them find their groove.

If an employee was exceptional at one time, but now his or her performance seems to be going downhill, take the time have a chat with this team member. It may be some personal issues they don't wish to share with you, it may be health issues, or it may be that they are simply getting bored with their jobs.

There are three things you can do today with this person to help them find out what they are best suited for within your organization:

1.) Ask them what it is they really want to do. Communication is the first step in determining is your team members are content in what they are doing. Find out if they understand what the mission of the business is and how what they are doing contributes to the overall success of the company and how that helps them to be successful. Use this interviewing time to see where the hurts are. Jot down key words and phrases they use to describe their work environment and their job satisfaction.

2.) Help them to determine what it is they want to do. It may be a simple lateral move to a new position or it could be as drastic as helping them to find a job with someone else. Using tools such as the DISC profile as well as others can help the employee hone in on what it is that makes them tick and that makes them happy in their job and therefore more productive in their work.

3.) Place them into what it is they want to do. Don't just take the time to interview the employee and then not use that information to make productive changes. Place the employee into a position that is available and that suits their strengths, desires, ability, and knowledge. Again, you may have to cut this employee loose, but do so with understanding and assistance from you. Use this experience as a learning tool for you and the employee. Let this team member know that you want them to be successful and happy in what they do.

These three steps will help to ensure that your employees are occupying positions that propel them and the company forward.

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