Make The Elephant Jump -- Leading With A Kind HeartWritten by Brent Filson
PERMISSION TO REPUBLISH: This article may be republished in newsletters and on web sites provided attribution is provided to author, and it appears with included copyright, resource box and live web site link. Email notice of intent to publish is appreciated but not required. E-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Word count: 567
Summary: A leader who wants to consistently motivate people to meet tough challenges and achieve extraordinary results must have a kind heart.
Make The Elephant Jump -- Leading With A Kind Heart by Brent Filson
Leadership is not about getting people to do what they want. If they did what they want, you wouldn't be needed as a leader. Instead, leadership is about getting people to do what they don't want to do (or don't think they can do) – and be ardently committed to doing it.
This paradox lies at heart of all great leadership.
Unlike management, which involves simply care and feeding of your organizational elephant, great leadership gets that elephant to jump.
Anyone who knows anything about elephants knows that they may run, they may stand on their hind legs, they may kneel on their fore legs, they may roll over; but they don't jump.
And that's what leadership is all about: getting organizations to do what they usually can't do, i.e., getting great results consistently.
Now, you can't do jumping yourself. The elephant must do it. You can't push elephant into air. It must jump of its own volition.
Making elephant jump involves cultivating a special relationship between leader and people of organization.
Many leaders misunderstand that relationship. They try to use fear and pain to spur activity needed to achieve consistently great results. "Sure, I'll get this elephant to jump. Just give me a cattle prod!"
But inducing fear and pain are habit forming and ultimately destructive both to leader and people.
Improve Profitable "ROE" with RetentionWritten by Phil McCutchen
"R.O.E.: Return On Employee -- A measure of corporate business performance as determined by gross revenue achieved per staff employee."
by Phil McCutchen Marketing Manager, VCG, Inc.
As definition above points out, ROE (Return On Employee) focuses on your staff, people who generate revenue that makes your operation profitable. For any business with above-average employee turnover, ROE is a critical component of success that is too often neglected by management. For purposes of this article, we'll focus on staffing industry; temporary employment and recruiting agencies that provide important personnel-related services to business community, yet typically suffer from above-average staff employee turnover. We will show you challenges and offer some tips and techniques to improve turnover situation and thus, ROE. In our analysis of available operational data, average ROE for commercial staffing firms is a bit under $400,000. We've also seen some firms (many of them VCG staffing software clients) with ROE's that exceed that by 50% or more. Why do some staffing and recruiting firms settle for average or less, while others excel? One key to success is staff employee retention. According to data from ASA 2002 Staffing Industry Compensation Survey by Mercer Human Resource Consulting Inc., average annual turnover for staffing industry jobs was 48 percent. In fact, in previous years, turnover was as high as 70% for some positions. As might be expected, impact of such high staff turnover -- for whatever reasons -- can be tremendous. One case study in "Continuity Management" by Hamilton Beazley, chairman of Strategic Leadership Group, an Arlington, VA-based consulting firm, pointed out potential cost with this true story. A large company delayed a major product launch by nine months as it struggled to resolve a technical issue. The delay allowed a competitor to introduce a similar product first, gaining a competitive advantage among customers. As a result, firm's product never reached its projected volume and revenue potential. In investigating launch, it was discovered that solution to technical issue that caused delay already existed as firm's intellectual property based on research that had been done 15 years earlier! Knowledge of that research was lost due to staff turnover. Total cost to firm in duplicated research and lost revenue was $1 billion. Similar losses happen on smaller scales every day, and that includes your staffing firm -- all because 'head knowledge' was lost. Such quantifiable losses however, are just most easily quantifiable part of problem. Among more obvious issues of turnover are: •Loss of morale among remaining staff members, leading to reduced productivity •Increased 'Ghost Work', i.e., remaining staff taking on burdens and tasks of departed staff, which can also be stressful and demoralizing •Loss of revenue directly or indirectly attributable to loss of staff •Cost burden related to recruiting and training of replacement staff •Loss of tacit 'head knowledge' and experience. According to Boston-based Delphi Group, tacit knowledge represents some 70% of an employee's knowledge base. It includes knowledge about those they consult and discuss business with, company culture and operations experience, and unique experiences in business that lead to innovation Planning An Employee Retention Program Recognizing that employee retention is important is easy enough. Doing something effective about it requires both strategic thinking and smart tactics, especially for staffing firms. Temporary staffing and recruiting firms may justifiably pride themselves on their intimate knowledge of human relationship management, but may also expend much of their efforts on clients and temporary or contract employees instead of their own staff. Changing that focus will change your business and its productive profitability big time. Let's start with strategic planning factors: •First, be aware that employee needs differ from management's. They typically don't have 'ownership', and so their motivations are markedly at odds with what management believes they want. According to a number of surveys done over past 50-plus years, top ten things employees want vs. what managers 'think' they want are: Top 10 Things Employees Want vs. What Managers 'Think' They Want FACTORSMANAGERSEMPLOYEES Full Appreciation for Work Done81 Feeling 'In' on Things102 Sympathetic Help on Personal Problems93 Job Security24 Good Wages15 Interesting Work56 Promotion/Growth Opportunities37 Personal Loyalty to Workers68 Good Working Conditions49 Tactful Disciplining710 Sources: Foreman Facts, Labor Relations Institute of NY (1946); Lawrence Lindahl, Personnel Magazine (1949). Repeated with similar results: Ken Kovach (1980); Valerie Wilson, Achievers International (1988), Bob Nelson, Blanchard Training & Development (1991), Sheryl & Don Grimme, GHR Training Solutions (1997-2001) •Second, acknowledge that employee retention is great for business. A recent survey conducted by Gallup organization researched Impact of Employee Attitudes on Business Outcomes. They found that organizations where employees have above average attitudes toward their work (that is, high employee satisfaction), have: o38% higher customer satisfaction scores, o22% higher productivity, and