Productivity Measurement

Given that most employees are working from home during the current pandemic, how do you know if your employees are productive? Or productive enough? Should you? Claiming to have good employees that you trust is one thing, but backing it up with data is essential.

Have you established metrics to measure productivity directly based on your annual company goals?  Are the metrics simple and easily understandable? Do you communicate them effectively to your employees? How often do you post or discuss measured results? Are there periodic meetings (even with video-conferencing) to analyze performance and develop methods to improve productivity?

Working productively from home is required now or might be the way of the future, but gauging its effectiveness with productivity measurement data makes it more meaningful.

Once you do measure productivity of your employees and obtain successful results, align your reward systems to be in line with productivity improvements.

Improving productivity of your employees is a sure way to deliver more to the bottom line. Are you doing that? If not, why not?

Ravi Patel

Investing During Lockdown

With the stay-at-home orders in place in most states, how could Entrepreneurs benefit?

Many articles and books have been written about Entrepreneurs investing in businesses and property. Our blog has alluded to investing in their people.

This is an opportune time for Entrepreneurs also to invest in themselves.

How do you invest in yourself? Improve your skills, thinking, knowledge, perspective and so on. Entrepreneurs need to invest in themselves by continually improving themselves – not only as business leaders, but also as individuals, marital or other partners, family persons, and social and community leaders. Now is the time to do so before you get caught up in running your business.

Investing in yourself provides emotional and spiritual rewards that far exceed material ones.

Ravi Patel

 

Published in: on April 14, 2020 at 6:41 am  Leave a Comment  
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“Mismanaging” Your Time

There is enough written about time management and numerous seminars are available to obtain practical tools. So, this is not a blog on how to effectively manage your time.

Instead, think about time management in another way. If you don’t have time to get things done, are you actually doing the Right Things? You might be “mismanaging” your time!

Entrepreneurs, especially early in their careers, often have a tendency to not only do everything themselves, but also focus on doing tasks right – whether they are important or not!

The focus for Entrepreneurs should be to define and do the Right Things and delegate the rest. Once you discover and focus on the Right Things, you will probably have more time to do them. Wasting time on things that Entrepreneurs like to do, being perfect on insignificant tasks, or not delegating steals time from more important things to do for your business.

Do the Right Things!

Ravi Patel

Lessons from Music

There are a number of similarities between creating melodious music and Entrepreneurs developing a fine-tuned business.

Creating a melody requires the correct musical notes. While a spectrum of notes is available to all, picking the right notes to create a musical piece is critical. One or more wrong notes and the resulting music is noticeably out of tune.  Similarly in business, an Entrepreneur has access to various resources – markets, clients, management team, employees, facilities, investors, suppliers, advisors and so on. Creating the right blend of these resources, just like selecting the appropriate notes, will allow the development of a beautifully functioning business. A wrong choice or decision here and there ruins the musical piece or a well-oiled business machine.

Playing only the correct musical notes does not make a melody; the notes have to be played to the appropriate beat. The business activities of a growing organization have to be running at the right pace. You cannot have some parts of the company forging ahead while others are lagging. Moving towards the goal at a managed pace leads to success.

Entrepreneurs do not have to be musicians, but applying lessons of music might help them in successfully growing their businesses.

Ravi Patel

Empower Your Employees to Think

Why do Entrepreneurs start businesses? Usually, because they have new, innovative ideas as a result of “thinking outside the box.” They identify under-served niches in the marketplace and find unique ways to fulfill unmet or unrecognized needs.

Do Entrepreneurs, once they start and grow the business, foster the culture of “Thinking Outside the Box” in their employees?

The reason for the Entrepreneur’s original initiative due to creative thinking is also applicable to his/her organization. If the culture of the company is one of innovation and finding unique ways of doing things better and faster, it will promote not only continued success for the company but also tremendous job satisfaction for the employees.

Entrepreneurs should be careful not to create a control-oriented impression that “Thinking Outside the Box” is only meant for them. It gives a feeling of “Do what I say, not what I do.”

Empower your employees and let them come up with creative ways to perform their jobs better and improve processes in the company. Entrepreneurs for this employee performance management philosophy should also think outside the box !

Ravi Patel

Pacing Growth

“To climb steep hills requires slow pace at first.” – William Shakespeare

As most Entrepreneurs know, starting a new business and helping it grow is akin to climbing a steep hill. If you climb too fast you run out of energy and might not get to the top; a slow pace is required at first to build up strength and stamina to reach the peak.

Entrepreneurs too need to pace their growth. At first, one needs to move slowly to ensure that all the building blocks (fully developed product or service, employees, backroom systems and processes, etc.) of the business are in place. If one starts running without these fundamentals, one might not be able to get too far.

Starting with a slower pace also ensures that you have time to make sure everything is working as intended. If corrective actions are required, you have time to fix the problems before you get too far down the road.

Once the foundation is in place and you have warmed up, you can gradually increase the pace of growth as your building blocks are strong and the business has stamina.

Pace yourself in business to climb to newer heights.

Ravi Patel

Published in: on February 4, 2020 at 6:36 am  Leave a Comment  
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Engage Your People

Recruiting and hiring good employees is not enough for Entrepreneurs.

After new employees start work, on-boarding, orientation and making them aware of the company’s Vision, Mission and culture should be a standard part of any hiring process. How many Entrepreneurs do that?

Even if you have a robust on-boarding process, what do you do to keep your people actively engaged in your company?

Entrepreneurs don’t treat working in their company as a “job.” They need to develop that sense of spirit in their employees. People should feel closely attached to the Mission of the company such that they view their job in a macro sense – as having a direct impact on fulfilling the Mission rather than just completing assigned tasks.

Offering material rewards for accomplishments works for a while. What is more important is the emotional engagement of employees in the company such that they personally identify themselves with the company’s success (and failures). Finding ways to engage employees in a meaningful way should be a key objective for Entrepreneurs.

Engaged employees are generally happy and productive. Involve them in your in your company.

Ravi Patel

Lead by Example

Leaders often encourage their followers “to give their best” to whatever they are doing. Entrepreneurs do the same when motivating employees towards fulfilling the Mission of the company.

In a team environment it is normal for all employees to contribute to fulfilling the objectives of the mission. However, is it always true for the leaders?

If Entrepreneurs expect the best from their employees, then they too should give their very best to the employees and the company. Do they? Leadership by example is not just a catchy phrase!

Entrepreneurs need to give their best to the organization to inspire their employees to do their very best. If Entrepreneurs show an attitude of “do what I say, not what I do,” their employees are not going to be motivated for the long haul.

Doing the right things for leaders means giving 100% or more to prove to the employees that they all are part of the same team and everyone needs to contribute their very best.

Ravi Patel

Published in: on December 10, 2019 at 7:00 am  Leave a Comment  
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Value Adding Performance

Classifying employee performance  varies with each company. Most traditional ways focus on actual performance against expectations or against established goals.

Here is an alternative approach. Entrepreneurs should categorize employees into three categories – those who add direct value to your business, those that are neutral or add indirect value, and those that reduce company value.

Clearly, you should pay special attention to the first category by training and motivating them so that they continue to add value. Have a strong retention program for these individuals so that they don’t leave your organizations.

Deal immediately with people that reduce the value of your company. These are the bad apples that need to be removed from the company as soon as possible.

The people that are neutral as far as their contribution to company value need to be either moved to the category of employees that add value by training, or red-circled if they are providing a support function to the first category of employees. If there is a chance that they would reduce the value to your company, they need to be transitioned out.

Identifying the three categories of employees and dealing with them appropriately will go a long way in building the value of your company.

Ravi Patel

Leadership by Example

Leaders often encourage their followers “to give their best” to whatever they are doing. Entrepreneurs do the same when motivating employees towards fulfilling the Mission of the company.

In a team environment it is normal for all employees to contribute to fulfilling the objectives of the mission. However, is it always true for the leaders?

If Entrepreneurs expect the best from their employees, then they too should give their very best to the employees and the company. Do they? Leadership by example is not just a catchy phrase!

Entrepreneurs need to give their best to the organization to inspire their employees to do their very best. If Entrepreneurs show an attitude of “do what I say, not what I do,” their employees are not going to be motivated for the long haul.

Doing the right things for leaders means giving 100% or more to prove to the employees that they all are part of the same team and everyone needs to contribute their very best.

Ravi Patel