Be the type of business owner, manager or operator people want to work for and they will pay you back with longer employment tenures, better customer service and ultimately, higher sales and profits.
How? It starts and ends with being employee-centric.
What is Employee-Centricity?
Employee centricity is the ability of leaders in an organization to understand employees' situations, perceptions, and expectations. Then to act on these understandings to make employees the focal point of all behaviors and actions taken by the business leaders to create employee satisfaction, loyalty and advocacy.
I believe that focus and presence are two key elements that business leaders need to work on to get the benefits of employee-centricity, but first, let me explain why you should take this seriously.
Why is Employee-Centricity Important
The secret to productivity and great customer service is focus and presence. And this starts and ends with the owners, managers and operators of a business.
Simply put, presence is a state of mind that is free from distraction. Your level of presence is the extent to which your mind is not occupied with thoughts unrelated to the project immediately at hand.
Lack of presence is obvious. Have you ever been talking to someone who was listening to you, and then suddenly they weren't?
I bet you knew immediately that their attention was elsewhere.
Have you talked on the phone with a person who was doing something else as they spoke to you? Even though you couldn't see them, wasn't their distraction apparent?
If you do this, your employees will too.
A distracted state of mind creates irritation in other people. It is incredibly annoying to talk to someone whose mind has wandered, yet we do it ourselves all the time. We think that the way to be efficient is to do several tasks at once.
This is flatly wrong.
The Case for Focus
Bear with me here, this is a long passage but it’s important. It’s from a great article called How a Simple Math Equation Can Transform Your Productivity and it’s truly worth a read.
“Most of us go through life operating at a fraction in everything we do. We check email during Zoom meetings. We shove a sandwich into our mouth with one hand while scrolling through our phone with the other. When we work, we think about play. When we play, we think about work. We exist in this in-between state—we’re neither fully here nor there—constantly operating at a 0.2 or a 0.8 instead of a full 1.
As a result, our output suffers. What we produce becomes less than what we put in. We achieve only an iota of what we’re capable.
When people meet a great leader, they often say, “She made me feel like I was the only person in the room.” Imagine giving that type of complete attention to everything you do—and making that thing the only thing in the room.”
The key point is that distractions are poison to presence (and you’ll soon see that presence is vital) and this kills your productivity. When interacting with employees, give them 100% of you and you’ll reap the rewards.
The Case for Presence
So the truth is that you can only focus your attention on one thing at a time.
For example, when you are talking with a person, there is nothing you can do at that same moment. You can’t finish other items on your schedule or handle any other chores on your list. So why try?
The secret to productivity is to drop distractions, focus on the immediate task at hand then move on to the next project. Presence (lack of distraction) will enable you to more accurately assess situations and deal with them efficiently.
Focus and Presence Lead to Employee Centricity
Business is based on personal connection.
The reason customers return to your business is based on the level of personal connection your employees create with them. If an employee is distracted, there will be no personal connection. The customer will feel less well served and purchase from, rate and talk about your business accordingly.
Does this sound too easy? Try it and watch the results. What we’re talking about here comes at absolutely no cost. So what’s the downside?
Your “people problems” might just start disappearing. Just be with your employees when you’re with them in person. There’s no more important place to be!
Focus and presence are powerful forces that enhance the feeling of personal connection and increase management effectiveness. As you remove distractions, you will naturally become more expert with people, improve productivity, reduce stress and increase enjoyment of your life both on and off the job.
Before you go...
We all know that small business is about doing the little things right.
The little optimisations, the high-impact tweaks and the 1% gains you can make to your business to make it a little better, a little more profitable and even a little bit more pleasant to run.
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