As a business owner, it can be really frustrating when it seems like your employees don’t care about their jobs or the company as a whole. We all know these team members—the ones who show up for work but may not show much initiative. It may seem like they aren’t invested, but in reality, perhaps they simply do not feel challenged to do better in their positions.
This can be especially true if there’s not really a structure, a set of routines, or targets and goals for them to reach. Once those systems are in place, everyone, business owners and their employees alike, will be focused and more empowered to make better decisions for the company.
The first step for a business owner is to identify the people who are making decisions that impact on the bottom line. Sometimes that person is an obvious choice; perhaps it’s the Marketing Director or Purchasing Manager. But the people who make that difference on the bottom line aren’t always those that come to mind first. Sometimes that person is an Executive Assistant or Office Manager.
It’s not that these employees do not care about the business that you’ve have built, or because they are lazy people, or bad team members. They simply may not be challenged enough, and do not have the understanding of how THEIR decisions impact the business.
For example, there was an Executive Assistant of a company who had the same tasks month, including a large print job for the company. For years, she used the same printing company, not realizing just how much her decisions were impacting the bottom line of the business. She was not lazy, or a bad employee. She was very well-intentioned but was not challenged to do better. Once the company realized how much money she was responsible for, she was given a budget and a target, with greater accountability and more opportunities to have a say in monthly meetings. There were even opportunities for bonuses if she reached the goals set for her.
The Executive Assistant now felt empowered to think outside the box, and she saved the company hundreds of dollars every year by finding a printing company who get the job done for less money. And this is the outcome of only one example. Imagine the implications of all her decisions, and how much money she, and employees like her, can save the business once they are given targets.
The solution to seemingly disinterested employees is to bring them into the fold. Give them the understanding of how the decisions they are making an effect how well the company is doing and incentivize them to make better decisions that are in the best interests of the business.
Involve your team and your managers in the budget setting process and their targets. This gives them some control over their budgets and numbers, which empowers them to make better decisions. The targets should be a challenge to meet, but not impossible. They are the goals you and your team should strive to achieve.
Your managers and your team are integral to the success of their business, but sometimes it’s hard for them to see that when they do not understand how their choices are making an impact. If you bring them into the mix to help build out the budget, they will see that they also make important decisions to your company and, ultimately, to your bottom line.
If you do not give them the knowledge they need to make better decisions for the company, they can’t succeed in their job, and the business will never evolve. Empowering them through challenges and holding them accountable for their decisions will make your company more successful.