I travel an awful lot, not only for speeches and various interpreter sessions, but I’m out there in the market with customers and employees. I’m constantly asking: What can we do differently? What can we do better? What do we need to change? What do we need to do better?
I try to get to a lot of the managers’ meetings on a regular basis throughout the course of the year. I’ll ask what’s on their mind. What went well with our customers this week? What did not go well? What are some of the challenges we’re currently having?
Reward enthusiasm. Encourage people to participate. If they are in an environment where they feel they can contribute openly and honestly and that their feedback is going to be taken into consideration, people will do more of it. People will recognize if you reward for good behavior and you reward when there is great success.
I personally believe in picking up the telephone and making X amount of calls every week to key employees when I see something that is noteworthy that needs recognition. Getting a letter or a phone call from the president of 7,000 employees is very difficult to do from a timing standpoint, but it’s extremely important.
Success always begets success. If you have an open environment where you encourage people to perform at their highest level of achievement and you publicly recognize the top performers, it encourages a healthy environment for everybody wanting to be a part of that excellence.
Develop accountability. People will get paid for great performance. People recognize that management is in this with every single individual in the company. We try to make very transparent what everybody has to do. In doing so, we also make very transparent what people have not done.
Everybody has a personal responsibility to sign up and agree to do their fair share to make this company continue to be a success. Everybody has some objective they are very closely monitored on.
Find out what your customers need and let’s try to be creative in addressing a solution that adds value. You hear people say to think outside the box. There is no box. The sky is the limit.
Follow up on goals. Objectives that were set by the president at the beginning of the year and the objectives carried out throughout the group are reviewed every single week. How are we doing with what we said we were going to do? Where are we ahead? Where are we behind? If we are behind, why are we behind? What are we going to do for corrective action?
If there is a problem in a given part of the business, then it goes back to the communication. We all bond with that problem, and we collectively agree that we need to do the following changes to get ourselves back on track.
Always strive for solutions. With every individual within our company, we have personal challenges and professional challenges. If you have a challenge or you have an issue, acknowledge it and be open about it. But let’s encourage people to be empowered to come up with the solution.
Don’t just bring up the problem. What is your best recommendation for solving the problem? If every one of our managers and executives ask for encouragement on solving the problem, people will feel empowered to come with, ‘Here’s the problem and six suggestions on how I think we can fix it.’
Encourage people to showcase their passion and rise to their level of talent. Give them the opportunity to speak out. If you empower your people to do something with it, chances are you’re going to have a very successful solution.
How to reach: Language Line Services, (800) 752-6096 or www.languageline.com