Working for a 'Well Done!'
Most people hope to hear “Well done!” believing they have done a good job at something. However, even working and doing your best, may find you disappointed. Why?
Not all owners and supervisors have the same management and/or social skills. The truth is, in many cases, management is so busy doing their own job, they fail to see others’ good work.
Importantly, we must encourage ourselves, and do our best despite not hearing verbal praise from peers, bosses, or anyone else.
In a word, we must be the “boss” of ourselves.
From this perspective, when it appears, we go unnoticed for our good works, how do we encourage ourselves?
The World of Me, My, Mine
First, begin by putting yourself in the place of others, i.e. bosses and fellow workers. In short, empathize with others’ situations. Most employees have little understanding or knowledge of what a business owner’s responsibilities comprise.
On the other hand, many owners, after owning a business for a while, lose sight of what employees experience daily. In fact, owners with ten or more employees can’t write down the daily routines of many of them.
How do I know? Hands-on experience!
Daily Amenity Counting
Second, enlisting the timeless admonition to “count your blessings,” we must be thankful and keep in mind all the comforts we take for granted. For example, having a roof over our heads, transportation, air conditioning and heating, hot and cold running water, refrigeration, access to modern medicine, clothing, instant lighting, cell phones and other technology at our finger tips; family, friends, brave 1st responders, police, firemen. Freedom in America! And, for all who are willing to work, a paycheck.
The fact is, kings of old never had it as good as we!
Okay, but what does this have to do with SYSTEMS? EVERYTHING!!
Systems Ensure and Define 'Well Done'
So, why count your blessings every day? For the same reason we count our money and track our assets. And, all the things we love.
There’s an old proverb that says, “Be sure you know the condition of your flocks and give careful attention to your herds; for riches do not endure forever.” In other words, take proactive care of ALL of your business.
For this very reason, we help owners and managers of growing companies with systematic organization via interactive Standardized Operating Procedures (SOP). Systemic Success!
Over the years, we’ve seen small business owners utilize our organizational tools to build unique systems for attending and tracking their own “flocks and herds.” Systematically tracking their jobs and services, and knowing what employees should be doing from morning to night.
For better clarification, consider a couple of stories …
The 'Atta Boy/Atta Girl' System
Using our software, one of our clients set up a customized system he called “Atta boy,” as he believed his employees should NOT go unnoticed when going the extra mile. He wanted to give them a verbal “Well done,” plus an AWARD, i.e. a dinner gift card for two.
How it works is simple. Any employee can access the “Atta boy” system quickly and use the dropdown to bring in an employee’s name. Next, they can type a comment on what they notice a fellow employee doing; something worthy of an “Atta boy.” Then, simply click submit.
At that point, the owner receives notification by email or text of an “Atta boy” report. In addition, the system stores a digital report, whereby each week the owner PERSONALLY oversees all “Atta boys,” and awards accordingly.
Are you thinking, this is going too far with systems?
Well, are you considering a company growing to 15, 25, 50, or more employees? And what about an owner’s increasing responsibilities as their business grows?
In fact, we should commend an owner who considers his employees enough to ensure that NO employee goes unnoticed for good works. Giving a well-deserved “well done” to others breeds encouragement and a more positive work environment.
To be sure, like errors on jobs and services, our best intentions will fall through the cracks, without a SYSTEM.
'If Only I Had Known!'
A few years ago, our team was onsite of a new client near our home office. I personally interviewed their employees, one by one, to document detailed information of their daily activities in order to develop a Daily Routine Checklist for each person.
One older gentleman, a former business owner (I’ll call him Frank), was a real challenge for us, when trying to understand his job complexities step-by-step. I’m not talking about a simple vague Job Description, but a comprehensive Daily Routine Checklist. Frank’s list of job duties, from the time he arrived, until the time he left in the afternoon. In addition, each job duty listed was a PROMPT, a call to action with many considerations. What some call, conditional logic.
Sadly, Frank was very evasive when asked to explain a process in detail for any part of his job. In fact, by deliberately frustrating the interview process, he was hoping I would give-up. However, Frank didn’t know me very well!
Although Frank knew his boss was committed to systematic organization of the company, whereby everyone would benefit, that didn’t seem to matter to him. You would hope a former boss would have empathy for another business owner. That was not the case.
Frankly, no pun intended, the reason many employees like Frank refuse to cooperate in building systems that hold everyone accountable is pride, selfishness, slothfulness, and rejection of any CHANGE!
Consequently, to complete Frank’s Daily Routine Checklist, we had to interview other employees to fill in the gaps; those having knowledge of Frank’s job duties.
Frank’s Surprising Turnaround
After being onsite for a couple of weeks, Frank and I had a surprising conversion. Frank said, with a heartfelt tone, “Philip, I really understand now what you are doing.”
He went on to say, he was sorry for not cooperating more fully with me and his boss. He figured I was just another consultant putting in a program doomed to fail.
In fact, Frank said, “Philip, if I had only known how to organize my own business using systems like you implemented here, I would have kept my business. The fact is, I just couldn’t put up with the chaos anymore, so I had to get out.”
Frank’s witness to our work was my “Well done!” Thanks, Frank!
Did I mention? Great systems work!
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.