For the past few months, I’ve been trying to drive home the points of Open and Honest Communication and Mutual Respect as pillars to raise your companies and personal lives on.
Mutual Respect between management and the employees that work for them is crucial to maintaining a safe, and productive work environment.
Open and Honest Communication is the solid basis on which all relationships, personal and professional, should be based on. Being Open and Honest is also a good way to indicate to someone that you Respect them.
Without these two important components, all relationships and companies will eventually fail. But, as Winston Churchill once said, “However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results.”
So, today, we finally discuss the bottom line: Hard Results.
There’s hardly a wall in my office that doesn’t have these two words on them somewhere: Hard Results. Hard Results. Hard Results.
As a supporter and consultant for the Corrugated Industry, Hard Results are what I want to supply to you on a daily basis. As a member of the Corrugated Industry, Hard Results are what you want to achieve every day you go into work. At the end of the day, Stockholders, Owners and Managers want to see Hard Results, it doesn’t generally matter to them how you got them.
While some might interpret that last paragraph as contradicting my last few articles, articles that emphasized a certain way of doing things, that’s not the intent at all.
Every plant, and therefore every plant’s culture, is different, but the one common attribute of every plant, company, sports team, government or any other group of people is that at the end of the day, Hard Results are how you’re judged.
If a President or a Congress doesn’t accomplish what they said they would, they won’t be re-elected. If a sports team doesn’t win enough games, fans will eventually stop buying tickets. If a company doesn’t achieve the Hard Results they are looking for, heads tend to roll.
So the way to evaluate this is two-fold:
Are you achieving the Hard Results you need right now?
If the answer to this question is yes: that’s great!
If the answer to this question is no: what do you need to fix to get there? Is your strategy failing or is the execution?
While it can be easy for proud managers to say, “my strategy is brilliant! Those hourly employees not executing is the problem,” it’s important to give this an honest review. No one likes to admit they’re the problem, but impartial review and diagnosis is crucial at this part to figure out where the disconnect is and achieve Hard Results moving forward.
If you are achieving Hard Results, how can you maintain them?
This is where that dreaded “how” comes back into play. If you’re achieving the results right now, that’s great. But, can you maintain this level of success for a long period of time?
If your current strategy has you being extremely hard on your people to drive results, how long until those employees burn out?
If your strategy has you at the plant 16 hours a day, how long until you burn out?
If you’ve achieved Hard Results, but have taken the foot off the gas as a reward for that success, will that success be there in a few weeks?
These are all important factors to consider: Hard Results are important, but how you’re achieving those results is the key to determining how long you can maintain them.
At this point I probably don’t have to tell you what my suggestion is for achieving and maintaining Hard Results is, but I will anyway:
Commit to Open and Honest Communication with your people. Explain your strategy and lay out the Hard Results you’re trying to achieve to your employees, so they see what their hard work is aiming towards.
Push the concept of Mutual Respect and treat your employees with the same respect you want from your superiors.
Do those things, with a well thought out strategy, and you’ll find your Hard Results before you know it.