As I look back at my own career, I’ve had a number of interesting jobs in different organizations. In my first job I discovered that errors of any type were not tolerated. The smallest mistake was often highlighted and punishment, while not always swift, was certainly sure. That job taught me not to make mistakes. Of course, it also taught me not to take chances. And the best way to not take any chances was never to change anything that you did. Hence, each day became a repeat of the day before it. With my fertile mind I always had a lot of ideas on how we could do things differently and better. This job taught me to suppress those ideas lest they lead to change and the possibility of error. Boredom and disengagement go hand in hand, and I was both. I did what I had to do, but not a lick more. And it’s safe to say that all of my coworkers believed the same as I did. Collectively, we were prime examples of what it means to be disengaged.
Bored, tired, doing as little as humanly possible.
But I could not suppress my creativity and yearn for excitement for long, and soon I found myself with a new employer. The atmosphere at my second job was decidedly different. I was only on the job for a few days when I learned my new boss’s favorite mantra: “Is there a better way?”
That phrase was like music to my ears. It excited every creative bone in my body and made me want to think of new ways to accomplish the job. I was part of a group of about 30 – 40 people and each day we would look at our work and ask, “Is there a better way?” At this time I was working in retail accounting for a shoe company. We had 300 plus stores scattered across the country and every day they had to report to us their sales numbers, key inventory information, hours used, and a variety of other information from their remote locations. Tracking it all was a challenge to say the least.
“Is there a better way?”
The energy in that organization was palpable. Mind you, we didn’t change things every day, but we were alert for signs of how to do things better. We knew that we were being paid to think and not just crank out numbers.
I was in my office one day when one of my employees came in to visit me.
“I was thinking about how we capture and report the sales by department,” she said. “I visited our store in
It was brilliant. It was groundbreaking. It was the kind of idea that was going to save us hundreds of thousands of dollars.
“There is” she said, “a better way.”
Yes, there is. When you have an employee who is that engaged.
What I failed to mention here about this wonderful, enthusiastic, and engaged employee was her rank in the organization. She was an Inventory Control Clerk. She made .10 per hour above minimum wage.
You see, when it comes to managing your employees, there is a better way.
But, I’ll have more about that in next week’s blog.
At ECI Learning Systems LLC, we are dedicated to helping companies get the greatest return from their most valuable asset: their employees. We work with you to align 3 key organizational factors:
•Your Company Culture
•The Leadership Styles of your key managers
•The Expectations of your Employees
When these 3 factors are aligned, you create an energy in your company that improves productivity, reduces absenteeism, increases creativity, and positively impacts your bottom line. Contact ECI Learning Systems LLC today to get your free Workplace Evaluation.
Until next time.....
ECI Learning Systems, LLC