image courtesy of Pexels.com
The biggest question I ask all my clients this time of year is, what did you learn from the previous year? What went right, what went wrong, and what are you learning from both?
It is not enough to celebrate the wins. You also need to celebrate the challenges because without them, you, and your employees, would not be able to adapt to your company and make it better.
Now comes the hard part, how are you going to communicate what you have learned effectively, throughout the organization, to vendors and customers, so that they understand that you learned from whatever the challenge was and are fixing it?
That is the hard part, communicating to others what did not go right. Admitting that things were not perfect and that the path to success has had some bumps. But here is a secret, everyone has these bumps. Whether they are willing to admit it or not, no company has a perfectly straight trajectory to success. Every company has challenges; the difference is, those who assess them, learn from them, fix them and communicate how they worked through them have a much better chance for long-term survival.
No company is perfect. No company has all the answers. All companies face setbacks, challenges and tough times. That is the reality of business. No one expects companies to be perfect, they expect them to admit their mistakes and work through them in an open and honest way.
image courtesy of Pexels.com
So, I ask again, what are you doing to communicate what you have learned from the challenges you faced in the previous year? This is an important question. It is a question that enables you to build trust and value with customers, vendors and employees alike. Trying to sweep mistakes or challenges under the rug and believe that no one notices is naïve and dangerous. Everyone noticed! They may not know the full extent of what went wrong, but in a world where social media is king, and Google Alerts are becoming more and more widely used, people can put the pieces of the puzzle together far more quickly than they could even a decade ago.
Employees talk to vendors and customers all the time. Isn’t it best that they have the facts straight? Isn’t it best that they know what happened, what was learned, how the company is fixing the problem and how things will be better moving forward rather than letting them assume inaccurately and stir the rumor pot unnecessarily?
Wouldn’t it be better to use this as a teaching moment, throughout the organization, to enable the various teams to be better at what they do? To give them the knowledge and eventually, the tools that allow them to use this as a learning opportunity and get the company back on track?
Let’s start the year off right!
Take the time to embrace your reality. The good, the bad, and the ugly and make the changes needed to improve it all. Utilize the combined knowledge of everyone within the organization and ask them, what would they do to make things better? What have they seen in other organizations that they have worked for that would make you more efficient and effective? Ask them why they feel the current policies and procedures are leading to bottlenecks within the organization? Create small task groups to evaluate areas of concern and develop solutions and then report back with plans. Enable your people. Give them your trust and allow them to help you make the company a better one.
By doing so, this will help you not only fix problems but will enable you to engage, retain, and grow your most valuable assets. . . your employees who will then become the best advocates of your brand.
Ben Baker wants to help you engage, retain, and grow your most valuable asset … your employees. He provides workshops and consulting to enable staff to understand, codify, and communicate their value effectively internally and externally and Retain Employees Through Leadership. The author of Powerful Personal Brands: A Hands-On Guide to Understanding Yours and the host of the IHEART Radio syndicated YourLIVINGBrand.live show, he writes extensively on leadership, brand, and internal communication strategy.
Our FREE ONLINE COURSE is now available: “Four Ways to Engage, Retain and Grow Employees” CLICK HERE to access the course