When my daughter was probably in the 7th or 8th grade, her school had a “go to work with Dad day”. As we were riding the elevator she asked who owned the company? I answered that it was a publicly traded company fully knowing what the next question would be. Well, as I expected, she wanted me to explain what a publicly traded company was. You may not work for a publicly traded company but some of this will apply to any company. I asked her to wait until we got to my office. The elevator ride bought me a few more minutes to come up with an understandable explanation for a 13 year-old. When we arrived at my office, I had decided on an answer. My daughter understood checking accounts so this was my explanation.
I explained that we had this huge joint checking account and the people that have money and experience in this checking account are customers, employees and shareholders. In order for us to be and remain successful we have to make sure that all three parties, customers, employees and shareholders don’t decide to take all or hopefully any of their money or experience out of our joint checking account. I explained how the employees could take their experience and leave the company. This would hurt our ability to serve our customers. I explained how a customer could decide to leave us and go elsewhere. I then explained how we needed to provide a fair return for our shareholders so they would continue to buy and not sell our stock. This and the customers money went into our joint checking account. I explained how we had to balance or juggle these three things – customers, employees and shareholders in order to keep everybody happy and the company profitable. I said as long as we can do those things, our checking account does well. As long as we can keep the three parties happy, we could keep their money and experience in our joint checking account.
I thought that was pretty clever for a quick answer. She understood and I have used that story many times since. We discuss this in our ALARMT™ course. A manager plays a major role in this juggling act. An ineffective manager can cost you customers and employees which will ultimately impact your ability to attract shareholders.
I just read in Success Magazine this morning that in the 2nd quarter of 2010, more people quit their job than were laid off for the first time since 2008. When I read that, it hit me as good news, bad news. The good news is that maybe the economy is recovering. The bad news is that many employees are not happy in their jobs and they are leaving. In ALARMT™ we talk about how an employee is so much more productive and satisfied in their job if they know their manager and their company is FOR them and not against them. What is even worse is that some don’t know if their company and manager are FOR or AGAINST them. The article suggested finding programs that help employees live up to their full potential both professionally and personally. We feel that ALARMT™ is such a class.
Even though we promote ALARMT™ as a management class, it is much more. It contains life lessons from a 20 year personal growth journey that includes hundreds of books and dozens of seminars. I love to share the benefits of personal growth that does not involve letting your belt out an extra notch or increasing the size of your britches. I truly believe in investing in myself and others. I do not view the books and seminars as expense. It is definitely an investment.
Think about this. Drive through any small town. What business normally has one of the largest buildings in town? Banks! What do they invest in? They don’t want cars, boats, houses, 4-wheelers, jet skis or land. In fact, if they EVER end up with any of these, it is for sale quickly. A bank invests in people. They take many factors into consideration before making the investment but ultimately they invest in people. When the banking industry got away from their proven methods and factors of consideration, there were problems.
Consider the similarities of the loan process and the employment interview. Okay, but here is the major difference! After the loan is approved, the bank is done. It is the responsibility of the borrower to repay the loan and the bank says NEXT! After an employee is hired, your work has just begun. It is NOT a one-time investment. You must insure the employee has the tools and knowledge to perform their work at a satisfactory level. What investments are you making in your employees?
What training have you provided to your management team?
If YOU don’t offer training to your managers, WHO WILL?
If not now, WHEN?
If not ALARMT™, then WHAT?
Remember, remain personally accountable and manage results, not people!