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Problem Solved: Real People … Real Leadership Solutions, August ’09

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in Best-Practices Leadership,Firing,Human Resources,Leaders & Managers,Office Communication,Workplace Communication

Improving internal communications

"In every company survey, 'communications' is the No. 1 issue identified by employees as a company weakness.

"To improve our internal communications, we implemented a 'president’s council forum.' This council is composed of nonmanagerial representatives from each department. They meet with the president monthly to discuss issues in an open format.

"The issues discussed must pertain to improving the company—gossip, petty complaints and nonrelated issues are not permitted. Members of the council are rotated within each department to include different views and perspectives. Since we implemented this concept, successive employee surveys have shown that the area of communications has drastically improved, although it is still the top issue.”

— Joseph Gallagher, Fluid Seals Inc., King of Prussia, Pa.

Turn exit interviews into gold

"Ask the following five questions to anyone who leaves your company:

  1. If you owned this company, what are the first changes you would make?
  2. What conflicts hurt your morale or your performance?
  3. What conflicts are affecting the morale or performance of other employees?
  4. Are there any other employees who you think may be leaving, and if so, why?
  5. Did you have a job description with clear responsibilities that you understood and felt were fair?

"The answers to these questions can give you insights into improving your business.”

— Allen Fishman, Founder & CEO,  TAB Boards International, Westminster, Colo.

What’s your 1-10 rating?

"Knowing what your employees think is important.

"I was working on my strengths and weaknesses in the front wheel of Strategic Business Leadership®, and decided to ask my employees what they believed my strengths and weaknesses were. In a staff meeting, I explained to them what I was doing and gave them a simple form to fill out asking for my strengths and weaknesses. They were asked to return their feedback, not to me, but to my facilitator. This gave employees the confidence that their responses would be anonymous.

"The good news—there weren’t any surprises. All the feedback from the employees was consistent across the organization and in line with what I believe to be my strengths and weaknesses.”

— Bob Coffin, Joyco Multimedia, Arvada, Colo.

Putting a value on your time

"I put an hourly value on my time. From that number, I can calculate what the added value of my work to the company should be in a day, week, month or year.

"It helps me make decisions to delegate a particular task by thinking how many hours it will take me to execute that task. It also helps me hold people accountable to what is expected of them. At the end of each period, I can go back and ask myself, 'How did I use my time?' and 'Did I generate that much gross profit?'”

— Bob Knoll, Millennium Packaging Group, San Antonio

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Excerpted from Tips from the Top®, a publication written by business-owner members of The Alternative Board®. To learn how TAB can make a bottom-line difference in your company, visit TheAlternativeBoard.com.

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