Staff are your greatest asset. The success of your business depends on them.

Your staff are:

  • Representatives of your culture and your values.
  • What makes your business run.
  • The gatekeepers of the quality and service your customers receive.
  • Key to how the different parts of your organization work together.
  • Gatekeepers for the opportunities your business has to improve every day.

Without them what do you have? A few assets lying around waiting for someone to use them to add value? It is so easy to take staff for granted.

Positive reinforcement

When was the last time you “caught” someone doing something well? What did you do about it?

This is an opportunity to make them feel great with just an affirmation or a kind word. Or even better get them to share their “knack” of doing things with others. Now everyone has moved to a higher level. Kiwis say that they don’t need kudos. But think about last time someone caught you doing something well. How did you feel after they noticed?

So often we end up focusing on things that have gone wrong. If it’s a matter of assigning blame and moving on, the outcomes are usually poor and we are left feeling negative. However, if you peel back the layers to the root causes and remedy them, more outcomes follow. They can ripple through the whole organization. Have your staff become part of the solution – not the problem.


The operator just made a batch of poor-quality product.

The experienced operator must have been having a bad day, you could just tell them to try harder and move on.

Or you could dig deeper and discover that the machine has changed recently. This is what caused the issue because only half the operators know about the change. Prepare for more issues until everyone learns about the different way the machine runs.

Your front desk person blows up at a customer.

You could just tell them off and move on. It’s strange, they are normally good with customers?

Or you could talk with them and find out that they have just had a traumatic experience outside work. They really just need to sit down and have a chat to get their head straight. Not doing so will create other issues because their head is not in the game today.

Capture hearts and minds

You need to capture the hearts and minds of your staff and you do that by talking to them! Get everyone on the same page and pulling in the same direction. You will need to have a clear picture of your company vision and values. What does your company stand for? Why should people come to you and not to an alternative supplier? You need to communicate this to your staff so that they can buy-in and feel as proud as you do about the great work your company does.

Once they understand and buy-in, they will see and suggest ideas to improve things that align with what the company stands for. Success breeds success. When they see their small changes being acted on, you will get more and more improvement suggestions.  Watch your business move to the next level.

On the flip side, no one actually came to work to do a bad job today. If you can unlock the things that are getting in the way of your poor performers being great or at least good – think of all the pain and angst you will avoid.

  • Read more about how we can help with leadership & development in your organisation.
  • Find out how to make it easier for staff to do the right thing with Russell’s help.

Contact Russell