How do you get all of your staff to be on the same page regarding corporate goals? Does the person who sweeps the floor really know what the corporate objectives are? Does the entire management team clearly communicate the exact same corporate messages? Who determines corporate policy? Does it always come from the top or are things done at middle management levels that clearly direct corporate policy?
The larger the organization the farther removed from the staff the CEO becomes. The television show, Undercover Boss, does a great job reinforcing the distance between senior management and much of the staff. The best way to keep a large organization in step with the corporate objectives is first and foremost to clearly communicate the goals. Most of the employees on the show were conscientious and worked hard to honorably represent their employer.
The focus on tasks versus corporate objectives can cause a great deal of disharmony among different departments within the organization. I have managed hundreds of people in totally different functions and we always focused on the corporate goals in each meeting and the problem solving came later.
Even in my smaller organizations, I have always had regular weekly meetings to assure that each manager knows exactly what the top priority of the week is and how we are positioned for the coming week. Always clearly state what you want to achieve for the week or month so that everyone has assignments.
After the corporate overview each manager may want to change their departmental presentation to better stay in step with the latest corporate goals. The CEO must be clear about what is going on in ways that may seem to be more than they need to know. Do not be shy about what you disclose. We are all in business to hopefully make as much money as possible. So why not communicate financial goals to all.
Make your staff your partners in achieving goals. If someone in the organization is up for a bonus then why aren’t all the employees? As employers it is your sole obligation to put money in the pockets of your employees. Your bonus or target revenue numbers should be shared with every employee. They should have an incentive to share in the rewards as well.
Small businesses with less than 20 employees should have a bonus program for all to participate in monthly. Set daily goals for some individuals if it makes sense, but for all of the employees, a monthly bonus program is a great way to build a stronger team. The only thing people work for is a paycheck. While many people love their jobs, the end result is the ability to pay ones bills. So the employer should find ways to reach their corporate goals such that there is enough left over to include a staff bonus.
My staff is on a 25% bonus plan every month. If business is bad they will never see a bonus. If however for whatever reason, we hit our goals, each employee gets a bonus. In a small office the bonus must be similar. For example, my staff includes highly compensated individuals and more reasonably paid employees such as clerks and office staff.
We have a two tiered program with the highly compensated receiving two times the bonus compared to all non licensed employees. At a group meeting we discuss our production numbers and determine a common base. We then agree to a 20-25% monthly increase in our numbers. When that occurs each employee in a group meeting gets a check. For our organization, level one employees got $500 each, level two received $250 and part timers got either half or a flat $100 which ever made the most sense based on their hours worked.
That means that from the base month, your business grew 25% during one of the following months. That makes most managers very happy and they fully understand how the numbers translate into their wallets. The goal should be very difficult, that’s why they get such nice rewards. The new base is at the new level and sometimes you have to adjust the percentage based on volume capacity but growth of 25% from one month to another is huge.
My staff always agreed with the numbers but did not believe that they were always attainable. Through close team building efforts and a team approach, my staff grew a 20 year old mature business by 25% four times in one year, amazing growth which more than doubled our numbers. We achieved the maximum volume that we could produce and all was right with the world.
Never get too comfortable because the pendulum swings back every time, so goals must be readjusted. We have huge seasonal swings so we establish our goals based on prior year performance. The employees appreciate more money in their pocket, the organization is stronger because they all feel that there is a reward for corporate excellence. The CEO or the board of directors has seen a great increase in revenue and the goals of the managers reflect the goals of the organization. Even the person who sweeps the floor participates in our program and the facility always sparkles.