The Three R’s
for Business Success
Durante and Kirsten Hagman
In these challenging economic times, when we are surrounded
by businesses struggling to succeed, it is hard to stay positive and
focused on our goals. Good managers would be wise to go back to the
basics and keep it simple in their management techniques. As young
children we learned that the building blocks were “reading, ‘riting
and ‘rithmetic.” As successful managers, the new building blocks
for challenging times could be considered respect, resiliency and
counselors often see a major factor in divorce is a lack of respect.
If you lack respect for your partner, you will lie and cheat without
remorse or regard for your actions. Certainly, these factors apply
in the workplace as well. Employment is also a partnership, a
marriage of sorts. Many employees spend more time each week in the
workplace than they spend with their families so it is important to
create a respectful, positive environment. These changes will have a
positive impact on the bottom line. One of the most forgotten
elements of success is respect. Research shows that respect fosters
connectedness and leads to increased employee loyalty, higher
customer sales and greater creativity in the workplace, as well as
stronger interpersonal relationships.
Publix Supermarkets have been known as a Top 100 company to
work for since 1985. They offer their employees a number of
excellent benefits that help to create a positive environment where
everyone from the store managers to the baggers feel valued. Founder
George Jenkins always made respect a priority in his dealings with
his employees as well as with his customers. This chain shows that
respect in a number of ways, such as allowing all employees a stock
option to increase that feeling of ownership. Also, they are
always closed on major holidays so every employee may spend that
day with friends and family.
Whether you are a big corporation or a small “mom and pop”
business finding ways to show your respect for employees every day
is invaluable and will have a big payoff. There are many ways that
you can start showing that respect for your employees on a small
scale: email an inspirational quote each day, include a brief but
genuine note of gratitude with each paycheck, and acknowledge and
recognize the efforts of at least one employee a day. Perhaps you
could make “TENS” a daily routine in your workplace- we shake hands
with each person that we come in contact with (T for touch), we make
eye contact (E for eye contact), address co-workers by name (N for
name) and don’t forget to Smile! Smiles have been found to be quite
contagious and a good mood often spreads throughout the office (much
like we have all seen happen with a bad or stressful mood).
It starts with the little pleasantries like saying “good
morning” or sincerely asking how their weekend went. It expands to
using kind language, cleaning up after ourselves and offering to
help our co-workers. Interested in increased respect in your
workplace? To try this simple activity you will need a roll of
pennies and a small bowl or jar. Keep the roll of pennies in your
drawer. Every time you engage in a respectful interaction with
colleagues put a penny in the bowl on your desk. This visual
reminder will help you to watch the respect habit grow.
Look at an
elastic band and then stretch it! After it stretches it looks like
it returns to its natural shape. However, the molecules in it have
actually shifted and it is not exactly the same as it was before the
stretch, it has been changed. This small symbol is a reminder of our
ability to withstand the challenges and crisis in the workplace. In
fact, the Chinese character for crisis is actually made up of two
characters, one is opportunity and one is growth. Resilient people
are well aware that hard times are often an opportunity for growth.
Research supports the finding that resilient people share
common traits. They all have a basic belief in their ability to set
goals and to make change. Resilient people recognize their strengths
and see themselves as strategists. They perceive bad times as
temporary and have faith in the future or in a higher power.
Resilient people do to not try to “go it alone”. Their most
important characteristic is the ability to create and expand their
circle of support. Resilient people do not look in the rear view
mirror, they only look ahead.
This opportunity for growth can help managers and employees
look at problems from different perspectives. Luckily, resiliency
can be taught. Encourage brainstorming with your employees using
insight, humor and creativity as cornerstones of the process. The
elasticity of the elastic band reminds us to be flexible and that we
can learn to bounce back from a trauma, especially if we remember to
expand our circle of positive, supportive colleagues.
business the respectful, resilient environment that will produce the
third R- Results! Thinking about these basic building blocks
throughout your day will result in success and greater employee
satisfaction. Little things do make a difference in the end.
Henry Ford said, “Coming together is a beginning, keeping together
is progress, working together is success”. Here’s to your success!
Read other articles and learn more about
Dianne Durante, Ed.S.
Kirsten Hagman, LMSW.
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