3 Things CEO’s Must Do in 2018

1. Develop your People.

The war on talent is stronger than ever in 2018. Finding qualified, effective people is difficult and expensive. Keeping them is vital! Developing your managers into true leaders should be CEO’s one concern. Closely followed after that is developing all employees: from the receptionist or maintenance staff to your executives and board members. Why? A recent Gallup report states employees desire engagement and if they do not get it from their management team, they will be looking for a new job. The same report states employee’s leave due to lack of career growth opportunities. In other words, if you do not develop your employees, someone else will. Employee and Leadership Development is a now a cost of doing business and is no longer avoidable.

Engagement is not just random chatting with your employee’s or throwing them a holiday party. Engagement is truly communicating, listening and being transparent (as transparent as possible) about the state of the company, why decisions are being made, what the goals are for next year and beyond and of course getting employee’s involved with achieving the vision of the organization. Engagement strengthens relationships, bonds people together and develops long-term loyalty.

How can you tell if your people are not engaged? CEO’s will like this because it is cheap! Host a potluck lunch event and see who shows up with a dish to pass, a friendly conversation to be held and even who offers to help clean up! If your attendance is low and there is no real reason such as project deadlines, you may have a people engagement problem. The CEO can change this in 2018.

2. Implement Performance Conversations.

Managers who hold staff accountable for their actions and behaviors are well respected by their colleagues and their own team members. Respect is key to engagement. Accountability is not just telling people what they did wrong. It begins at the hiring phase with setting clear expectations and goals and continues with year-round performance conversations so there are never any surprise employment decisions such as a performance improvement plan (PIP) or termination. Self-accountability along with the art of being humble is vital to performing as a strong leader. Saying, “my team made a mistake and I take full responsibility for it” sends the respect level of your colleagues, board members and staff to a new dimension. CEO’s should mentor staff through “storytelling” and openly sharing business mistakes. This provides the human element that is often missing in today’s work environment. This also sets the stage for other leaders and managers to do the same. In the end, we are all human (even the CEO), we all make mistakes and we all need to take responsibility and be held accountable. But employees will not know about these mistakes, and in turn cannot fix them or learn from them, without regular performance conversations. Waiting for the dreaded and often ineffective annual performance review is useless.

3. Openly Discuss Profit.

In most businesses, employees do not know how the company makes or spends money. A lot of employee assumptions are made and often these assumptions turn into wide-scale rumors and end up being permanent perceptions from your team members. Once a CEO or CFO educate employees and managers on the business cycle process, cost of doing business – from billable and non-billable labor to employee insurance and liability insurances to marketing and project management costs, the meaning of revenue versus profit and finally your strategic decision-making process, they become engaged. With education and transparency, they will better understand why there is a travel spending limit, the purpose of timesheet deadlines, the billing cycle timeline, the value of great customer service to reduce the length of time for accounts receivable and even the effect of giving back to the community on your brand. Knowledge is power. Give the power back to your employees and in the end, increase your company profit.

We call these the 3P’s: People. Performance. Profit. It’s What We Do!

We wish you a prosperous and productive new year. Call us for a free 30 minute 3P Assessment today. 407.367.0883

Wendy Sellers, COO, BlackRain Partners is the “The HR Lady”