A Split Decision | Owner vs. Employees
When a split decision of owner versus employees occurs, it often means the owner has backed down to avoid conflict.
Unfortunately, many owners simply retreat when faced with opposition, even if the matter under evaluation would greatly benefit their company. Also, company owners often postpone making key decisions, seeking employee BUY-IN.
However, although having buy-in by employees is helpful, it is NOT essential.
Fact is, many employees evaluate company issues and acquisitions based on what’s best for themselves, and NOT the company.
To be blunt, in a split decision of owner versus employees, NOBODY WINS!
How do I know?
Back in the 1990’s, we needed to make a life-changing decision to move our business forward. Consequently, when discussing that all-important decision with our employees, even BEFORE making it, skepticism and opposition was immediate. In fact, pessimism came not only from employees, but from business associates and family.
Although surprised by the push-back, I made the decision to organize our business by implementing Total Quality Management in every phase of the company. A term and method of management we learned from reading countless books and articles.
In brief, Total Quality Management is the continual improvement of not only a business, but the business owner themselves. In other words, a never-ending process of development, for business and life!
To that end, I believe ALL high-priority decisions should be the OWNERS.
Unfortunately, despite an owner’s best efforts, there are always those who stand in the way of business organization; not to mention, progress. For the simple reason, systematic organization holds employees accountable for their actions and in-actions.
Employees Buy-in to Leaders Who Lead
A split decision of owner versus employees should never occur when owners lead effectively. Moreover, informing ALL employees upfront that the OWNER will make THE FINAL DECISION shows leadership!
Nonetheless, the owner should ask for wise counsel and input from employees and others, BUT the LAST WORD will be the owner’s.
In that spirit, “Do as I say, not as I do” is NEVER appropriate when leading.
Owners demonstrating effective leadership and consistent performance in their own duties is KEY to employee buy-in.
For example, if an owner makes the decision to overhaul their company’s management software, they MUST take the lead in the project. For the simple reason, employees follow and buy-in when witnessing the owner’s COMMITMENT to assuring correct implementation of a project.
Owner procrastination is extremely damaging to employee morale!
Who Suffers by a Split Decision of Owner vs. Employees?
Using the example above concerning acquiring a business management system to improve quality; delaying this crucial decision, because of a split decision, means everyone suffers.
Unfortunately, the one who suffers most is the OWNER. When errors occur in customer jobs or services, who gets the blame? And, who PAYS for re-doing mistakes?
That’s right, it’s THE OWNER!
You can be sure, when the rent’s due, payday arrives, and government regulations need compliance, the owner is responsible. Also, he or she is the one who would face any possibility of going to jail for EPA violations.
However, to be fair, the owner reaps most of the awards by having a successful business. Therefore, they SHOULD bear the responsibly for business operations and employee morale.
Did I mention, great systems work… when owners lead!
Philip Beyer, founder/president of Ebiz Products LLC and founder of Beyer Printing Inc. in Nashville Tenn., is a chronic entrepreneur, business systems analyst and consultant. Author of "System Busters: How to Stop Them in Your Business" and recipient of an InterTech Technology Award for the design and development of System100 business process management software. Beyer speaks to business owners across the country on how to bring lean, sustainable order to their businesses. Contact him at (615) 425-2652.