If You Want to Succeed, Row Together

When we are not operating in alignment with our vision, we allow office drama to sink our boat.

Whether you have put much thought into it or not, office drama is costly. A study in 2008 discovered that employees in the United States spent 2.8 hours per week dealing with conflict which CPP estimated as costing over $359 billion in paid hours or the equivalent of 385 million working days.

What are your thoughts on office drama?

  • Is it inevitable?
  • Is it preventable?
  • Do you enjoy hearing the latest gossip?
  • Are you actively fanning the flames?

Have you been proactive in resolving drama in your office?

What is that costing you if each of your employees is spending 2.8 hours or 7 % of their 40 hour work week on office drama?

  • Will you continue to approach it with the same perspective and effort that you previously held?
  • Are you willing to allow those productivity losses to continue to leak, flow or flood out of your organization?   

Our organization is a boat. We want our team members to row together. We want to move water with our oars not be taking water into our boat.

Plug the leaks of office drama, keep your boat afloat.

The calculation above doesn’t even account for the collateral damage related to the fallout from office drama. What would you gain as an organization if every employee in your office could increase engagement and efficiency by 7%?

When we don’t address the leaks, we expend energy plugging holes rather than rowing. In service-based industries such as property restoration, organizations are struggling to attract, develop and retain good people. We respond to floods that cause water damage to homes and businesses but we should not be allowing floods of dysfunction to needlessly drain our team’s energy.

Drama that goes unaddressed by leaders leads to water flowing into the boat and resources flowing out of the organization.

To keep our ship in motion, we need to intentionally develop:

  • Our hiring process to bring the right people into our boat
  • Our employee development process to clarify and build our rowing culture
  • Our internal alignment of vision, values, and habits to keep us moving rather than sinking

It’s hard to row together when the team keeps changing, reduce turnover

Are you frustrated by high turnover? Turnover is a symptom of a leaking culture. You feel the burden of having to continually recruit and train new employees. Beyond that pain, there are hard costs for your organization as well as the demoralizing toll of strolling through the graveyard of co-workers past. Poor hiring habits and turnover are energy drains.

The cycle of hiring, training and losing employees is costly. If you want to stop taking on water start by developing clarity on vision and values. Apply this clarity to the hiring process. Don’t waste your time recruiting people that have skills but are not good value or cultural fits.

While you cannot control everything your team members do once they are in the organization, you can control who you allow on the team. Start respecting the process.

Resources to help you invest in the process of rowing together

The Blueprint of Success hinges on your ability to intentionally develop your people and your process. You need your people in order to have a team and you need a team in order to pursue your vision. When drama starts to leak through the organization, it is important to catch it early before it becomes a flow.

We tell ourselves that we don’t have time to invest in development but somehow we have time to continually plug the holes, pump water from the boat and chase drama around the office. Start the process of facing the facts and making some progress in your process. Nothing is more important to progress than rowing together.  




Are you tired of the revolving door of employee turnover? Are you willing to adjust your hiring process to stop chasing unicorns and start hiring according to your vision and values?

Recruit from you vision and build your rowing core from the start

Property restoration and other service heavy industries feel the pain of finding new talent. Previously we have written about the Three Character Keys for Acquiring Value Adding Talent. ​​In an age where unemployment levels are at record lows, those that want to compete for talent have to get creative. This creativity comes in searching where those of the status quo are unwilling to go. Finding new fishing holes and experimenting with different types of bait will enable you to keep bringing quality team members into the boat. 

Develop your organization by building a team that will row together

Whether you have a good team or you are committed to building one, who you let in the door is a critical decision. A bad hire costs more than a good one and the ripple effects can set your momentum back for an extended period of time. Conversely, as Gino Wickman points out in his book Traction, “If you could get all the people in an organization rowing in the same direction, you could dominate any industry, in any market, against any competition, at any time.” Does this inspire you? Isn’t that what good leaders want – a team with members who are rowing together and dominating? That process starts with an organization clear on their vision and values. 

Build trust by creating clarity around truth in your organization, consistently protecting those values and developing accountability within the team from the top down and the bottom up.

Are you willing to adapt your approach to make progress in your process?

In his latest article covering change management, author and coach Lex Sisney shares the Stop-Start-Ideal methodology of communication. While he shares this as a means to better communicate with team members who need to adjust their actions, it also serves as a metric for adjusting our own thinking. If you find yourself doing things that are not getting the result that you want, it’s time to stop doing the things that are setting you back. Get some clarity on your ideals. Start acting in alignment with your vision and values. Learn to fish with bait that attracts the type of fish you want in the boat. 

Check out our video on attracting, developing and retaining good talent. 


About Jon Isaacson

Jon Isaacson, The Intentional Restorer, is a freelance writer, business coach, speaker and 17 year veteran of the property restoration industry. His organization, TheDYOJO.com is the Do Your Job Dojo, which specializes in helping individuals, teams and organizations to Develop Intentionally. Recent resources include: The DYOJO Podcast (Spotify, iTunes, Google & Anchor) and a FREE E-book The 10 Commandments of Xactimate Estimating.

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