Part III: How Small & Mid Sized Companies Become Large

In this the third of a multipart series of posts started with:”Why Small and Mid Sized Firms Grow”. This conversation will deal with treating everyone as you would like to be treated yourself.

To get the best out of everyone it is important that people are made to feel important and not just some replaceable part of a machine. This becomes more difficult the larger a company becomes as there can be thousands upon thousands of people to try to make them feel special. But for small and mid sized companies this should not be such a difficult exercise. It all starts with the philosophy at the top and having a CEO and leader that recognizes that staffing is not a manufacturing company and its people are its assets. And that the selection, training and nurturing of those assets pays the kind of dividends for a service company that maintenance and upkeep of plant and equipment do for companies selling a product.

So how does one make people feel important and get whatever rewards they need to become motivated and productive members of the company? Start with getting to really know your people, what motivates them, what gets them out of bed in the morning with “I can’t wait to get to work attitude” instead of “no not another day at the salt mine” or “how can I make time go faster so I can get back home again”. The answer to this question is again finding out how to motivate people, which is different for each of us. For most people its money and the rewards that money brings. This is why incentive plans and commission are usually so critical (which will be covered in future conversations). While everyone needs money, not everyone is primarily money motivated. For some people it’s the recognition and ego that has to be nurtured, for others it is feeling part of the team and being involved in meetings, for others it may be personal time off, perks, working conditions, or things you might not even think of if you do not ask the question. This does not mean that you have to agree to every item on someone’s wish list but once you understand what drives them you can often customize a program that works out to the mutual satisfaction of both parties. One example is one might give up some compensation to have more flexible hours, as long as this does not upset the chemistry of the group. Another might be that if advancement and promotion is a key goal they must be willing to learn new roles in the company and provide greater flexibility within the organization. This is the way you would like to be treated as an employee and need to do the same for your staff if you want to get the most out of them.

In the last blog, we discussed being honest and fair in a different context. Being honest and fair here is meeting peoples’ needs as to the rewards that they seek. If you find that your company goals can never mesh with theirs no matter how you try one may need to part ways and find people whose goals are more compatible. For example, if someone is simply not money motivated and will not work to achieve whatever standards of performance are needed from them, the sooner you find this out and they leave the better for both parties.

In the last blog, we also mentioned being accessible. Most people will not tell you what turns them on; you need to draw them out on this subject as you get to know them as individuals. This can’t be done in a group environment and this is where as a small or mid sized company you have the time to get to know dozens or even hundreds of people where one can’t do this when there are thousands.

Optimal Management is the premier management consulting company to the staffing industry. We act as mentors to owners and managers to maximize their sales, profits and value of their company. We become an extension of our clients operations and are there for all of their staffing and business needs, from sales, marketing and compensation plans, to finance, M&A, general management and everything in between.


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