Week four – What do staff think of you?

3 to 9 October

When thinking about courtesy in business, sometimes we can focus all our attention on our relationship with customers and forget relationships inside our business. These are important, whether we work in a large company with tens, hundreds or thousands of employees or as a sole trader. As sole traders we’ll probably deal with a number of suppliers who are vital to the running of our business, just as employees are in a bigger business.

Does it matter what employees or suppliers think of managers and bosses? After all, they get paid to do a job, so what relevance is it?

It matters if we want employees to play a full role in the business and commit as much of their energy as possible to it. Research at Stanford Research Institute into why businesses fail showed that the average employee puts just 35% of their energy into their work, while motivated employees can apply up to 50% of their energy. The resulting increases in productivity and performance could be invaluable. This is what we’ll be looking at in week four.

Review management styles for better performance

Businesses are operating in a particularly challenging economy at present. Many are looking to improve sales and reduce costs. Employees will be the key to both in most instances. Motivating them and getting their buy-in is crucial to the success of programmes, especially where they involve new or changing internal processes. Courtesy can be a key component in achieving success.

That’s why managerial style matters. A mature managerial style showing consideration to employees can help achieve buy-in when there are tough targets to meet.

So it’s important to see if employees listen and take note of us or whether they forget what we’ve said when we’re out of sight. How can we use courtesy to become more effective managers and bosses?

Once again, there are online resources on managing courteously and mature management to stimulate thought. But it’s likely that you have your own ideas and we’d be keen to hear them.

Meet and exceed sales and other targets

If you have targets you need to meet, eg increasing sales, or are introducing new products or services or trying new marketing or sales methods, it’s a good time to review management style to ensure 100% buy-in from employees to maximise success. This is also relevant to smaller businesses or businesses relying on suppliers to help them. Buy-in from suppliers can sometimes be as important as support from employees.

With full buy-in from all sides, perhaps your business can not only meet its targets but exceed them.

And don’t forget to recognise and acknowledge everyone’s contribution to this.

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