Little Things Can Have a Big Impact

Little things, it’s amazing how much difference they can make.

Is how a business owner, or other member of a leadership team, talks to employees, team members, important? Could a simple, little thing like that have an impact on whether or not a company will reach its goals, get results?Certain behaviours can have an adverse and costly impact on the success of a company

Sara and I were kicking that around last week. Here’s how the thinking went.

Let’s assume that when companies realize that an employee isn’t going to work out they let the employee go.

Logically then, the remaining employees are there because the company has confidence – even trust – in them.

Looking at it another way, why would a leadership team, in a free market for labour, employ anyone they don’t have confidence in or trust?

So, assuming the business owner and her/his management team are surrounded by people they trust, why would they talk “at” them? Or worse, talk down to them?

What do we mean by talking “at” someone? For example, person A is talking to person B but not listening to anything person B is saying. And I’m pretty confident that most people reading this know what being talked down to is like.

Do these behaviours have an impact on results? Absolutely.

The persons B eventually become tired of being treated this way and leave. Turnover has all sorts of costs associated with it and can disrupt a company’s ability to perform at maximum effectiveness.

But turnover isn’t the worst thing that can happen. If a business owner or member of the leadership team doesn’t let an employee participate in a dialogue they risk not hearing feedback or an idea that may be better than anything else up to that point.

Would an employee be capable of coming up with such an idea? Probably, remember they’re there because the owner and management team had confidence, if not trust, in them. And, if you’re still not convinced, just watch an episode of Undercover Boss to see this in action.

So why isn’t the world like this?

Because human nature gets in the way. For example, while the owner may develop confidence and trust in person D, another member of the leadership team just may not; when people are under pressure because the company’s growing too slowly – or too quickly – it’s easier just to tell people what to do. It’s sad but true.

But it’s also expensive.

If you enjoyed this post you’ll also enjoy The People Pipeline

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Tags: business owners, communicating, company, effectiveness, feedback, goals, ideas, impact, Jim Stewart, Leadership, listening, People, performance, ProfitPATH, results, turnover

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