Feeling stressed in Your Business?

As a Business owner I am sure you can relate to the idea of Stress.  Stress can come from many places, working long hours, poor cash flow, staff issues, too much work, feeling like you are doing everything yourself, tension in your personal life, feeling like there is not enough of you to go around.

Unfortunately, stress is one of those things that you simply cannot afford to ignore.  Stress simply does not go away through ignoring it; in fact it grows!

We have spoken many times about the cost of poor communication.  It has been shown in research to cost up to 32% of profit.  For a business making $500K pa, this is $160K, that's not small change.

So you have a business and there are issues, perhaps management is not perceived as approachable, perhaps there is relational tension as different staff clash with each other, perhaps staff don't feel valued or understood.

Gallup found that 95% of staff will leave a job due to problems with either their boss or co workers.  This is that relational stuff they feel just can’t be solved.

The sad thing is that many times they either haven’t tried, because they believe it won’t change anything, or they don't have the skills to have these hard conversations.  We have all been there, it just feels too hard and we believe that the grass is greener on the other side.

Now it may be, but what happens when you come up against the same issues in a new workplace?  Isn’t it better to have the skills to deal with it when it happens again? It is not that difficult, I promise.

So, Poor communication costs the Business owner in many ways;

  • Low productivity
  • Poor engagement
  • Bad Customer service
  • Low Morale
  • Wasted time
  • Stress
  • A Leadership gap
  • Poor retention
  • The costs of new hire

I am surprised that the cost to business is not higher than 32%.  When you look at the list above it may surprise you too.  However, every business is different and will face a combination of the issues listed above. 

Over coming posts we will tease out these issues and go deeper into how they may be affecting your business and what you can do about it. 

The real cost of poor communication is hard to measure as many businesses don't have measures in place to capture this.  From my perspective the most important thing is to understand the foundation cause of the issue.  For example if it is productivity, is it because staff don't feel motivated, are not supported, are confused, are working without the resources they need, do not know what to do.  There are many layers and it is critical to understand what is going on so you can address it and fix the problem.

You go into business to kick goals, have some freedom, create a legacy, do what you love and make a difference so let's make it happen!

We are here to resource you so that you can create the business of your dreams, kick those goals, create a highly productive team and future-proof your business. 

If you have questions you can get in contact via our website or our Facebook page.   Don’t keep struggling alone, there are answers, there is support.  You can create a team that is productive and engaged and create a business that is profitable.  If you would like support to grow your business with a Communication Strategy unique to your needs you can get in touch or check out our online courses.

Until next time Care, Connect and be a Courageous Communicator.

Let’s grow your business one conversation at a time.

What is Poor Customer Service costing your Business?

Congratulations you are in Business, well done, it takes courage and determination to step up and take on a Business.  If you are familiar with my work you will know that I am passionate about helping Business owners use their Communication strengths to succeed in business.

We have spoken many times about the cost of poor communication.  It has been shown in research to cost up to 32% of profit.  For a business making $500K pa, this is $160K, that's not small change.  One of the biggest ways it can show up is poor customer service.  Luckily, this can be easily turned around once you know what you’re dealing with.

So you have a business and there are issues, perhaps management is not perceived as approachable, perhaps there is relational tension as different staff clash with each other, perhaps staff don't feel valued or understood.  In this article we will focus on poor customer service.

I want you to stop and think about what would happen if your best customer stopped buying form you tomorrow? It may be a very sobering thought. 

Customers are the lifeblood of your business without them you do not have a business.  Customers can make or break your business, in and ideal world we all want ideal customers who love our service, rave about us and spread the word for us.  Wouldn't that be nice!

To get to this stage we need to know what our customers want from us and meet their needs.  You can do this many ways but I find the old fashioned way the best, ask them…..

Now this may freak you out but really, what is the alternative, guessing?  Imagine all of the work you put into providing a service only to find it is not what people want…. Absolutely soul destroying.

Some people do this as customers come into store, others will call and have a conversation, some will do a survey.  Surveys are helpful but the return rate can be low and a challenge. 

The next factor is your team and how they provide service to your customers.  You probably have a preferred way that you want your team to interact with customers, but do your team know this?  You may also have some stars in your team that do an awesome job, and you may have some who are ok and others that you are concerned about. 

I remember working with a Transport company years ago and they had a long sanding team member that had so many strengths, she literally ran the place, except she was very abrupt on the phone.  A large part of her role was dealing with customers via phone answering questions, solving problems.  Yet her manner and tone was somewhat disrespectful, brash and dismissive.  The Manager was frightened of her as she was a very “big” personality.  They needed help and they needed it fast.

What we found was that she was a Powerful Communicator and had no idea how others were perceiving her.  With some coaching and support, she was able to improve her customer service and things improved.  We also worked with the leader so he knew how to speak up and deal with this big direct communicator. 

One of the things I encourage the businesses I work with, is to learn their strengths as Communicators, and to learn the strengths of their team.  Every person you have hired brings different things to the table.  Once you are aware of the strengths you have to work with you can ensure that your team provide the customer service required, using their strengths. 

For example a Patient Communicator will never work the same way as a Powerful Communicator and that is ok.  Why?  Your customers are different too and some will relate more to one DNA style than another.  Your team and your customers have different Communication DNA.

Your team needs a process to follow, a best practice and then to be able to use their strengths to fulfill that process.  For years I have been helping business understand their Communication DNA so they can see what makes each member of the team tick, what strengths they have, how they work best and how to bring out their strengths.

If you would like to know more you can learn more about Communication DNA here.

If you would like to learn what your Communication DNA is you can do so here

If you know you need more support to unravel what is happening in your business we offer Coaching and Training services as well as our very popular online Master Communication in Your Business

We are here to resource you so that you can create the business of your dreams, kick those goals, create a highly productive team and future-proof your business. 

Until next time Care, Connect and be a Courageous Communicator.

Lets grow your business one conversation at a time.

The real cost of losing staff due to poor communication

What is the real cost of losing staff due to poor communication? 

So we have spoken many times about the cost of poor communication.  It has been shown in research to cost up to 32% of profit.  For a business making $500K pa, this is $160K, that's not small change.

 

So you have a business and there are issues, perhaps management is not perceived as approachable, perhaps there is relational tension as different staff clash with each other, perhaps staff don't feel valued or understood.

 

Gallup found that 95% of staff leave jobs due to problems with either their boss or co workers.  This is that relational stuff they feel just can’t be solved.

 

The sad thing is that many times they either haven’t tired, because they believe it wont change anything, or they don't have the skills to have these hard conversations.  We have all been there, it just feels too hard and we believe that the grass is greener on the other side.

 

Now it may be, but what happens when you come up against the same issues in a new workplace?  Isn’t it better to have the skills to deal with it when it happens again? It is not that difficult, I promise.

 

One of the many costs is the costs of new hire.  Let’s look at this a little closer.  Perhaps you have the staff member who had all of that procedural knowledge that is not necessarily written down, all of that experience that cannot be quantified.  What happens if they leave?  All of that knowledge will be lost.  What price can you place on that?

 

Research estimates that on paper, the costs of losing a staff member can be between 16 and 20% of the salary of the person being replaced for low to medium positions.  For senior executive roles it can be as high as 213% (Zane Benefits, Small Business and HR)

 

Deloitte, found in some recent research that the true cost is much more when you consider;

 

  • The cost of hiring a new employee including the advertising, interviewing, screening, and hiring.  Not only this but the time it takes to find the right person. 
  • Cost of on-boarding a new person including training and management time.
  • Lost productivity... it may take a new employee as much as 1-2 years to reach the productivity of an existing person.
  • Lost engagement... other employees who see high turnover tend to disengage and lose productivity.  As well as the rick you take when hiring, will the new person fit in.  Is the culture you have healthy?  It may not be.
  • Customer service and errors, for example new employees take longer and are often less able to solve problems. 
  • If the new team member is entering a toxic workplace then stress levels will surely add to mistakes and communication issues
  • Training cost. For example, over 2-3 years a business likely invests 10-20% of an employee's salary or more in training.  You don't want to be in that position of just training them and then they leave…..
  • Cultural impact... Whenever someone leaves others take time to ask "why?"

The real cost of losing staff is hard to measure as many workplaces don't have measures in place to capture this.  From my perspective the most important thing is to understand why the staff member left and to address any communication, staff or systemic issues that contributed to them leaving. 

Until next time Care, Connect and be a Courageous Communicator.

Let’s grow your business one conversation at a time. 

How to deal with a negative culture that is harming your business

Congratulations you are in Business, well done, it takes courage and determination to step up and take on a Business.  If you are familiar with my work you will know that I am passionate about helping Business owners use their Communication strengths to succeed in business.

We have spoken many times about the cost of poor communication.  It shows up in many ways but the bottom line is it costs.  It has been shown in research to cost up to 32% of profit.  For a business making $500K pa, this is $160K, that's not small change.

One of the issues can be a negative culture.  This is where your team are not on the same page, perhaps there is negativity and stress.  Perhaps there is relationship tension between the team (people not getting on), there may be gossip, backstabbing and tearing each other down. 

I spoke with a team recently and the CEO was all about their culture “ we have your back”.  No matter what, as long as the team member was following the agreed process the rest of the team had their back.  So if mistakes were made, first thought, we have your back.  They were creating a culture of excellence and honesty where issues were raised quickly and respectfully.  This will create a very positive team culture.

The opposite of this is where no one takes responsibility, a team member may see a mistake being made and turn a blind eye “that's not my job”.  Perhaps there is nitpicking and backstabbing.  Perhaps there are negative team members.  Perhaps management are not providing the leadership and support the team needs.

The bottom line is if a team is not performing the responsibility of addressing it lands on the Leader.  In most small businesses this is the owner. 

It has got to start with us.  If our team is confused, struggling, poorly performing we need to ensure that the right environment for success has been provided.  We need to ensure that the team knows what is expected of them and are given the tools to do their job well.

Once this has been provided if people continue to underperform this needs to be addressed again.  If it is a skill issue then skill can be developed.  If it is an attitude issue then the team member may need to find a better fit for them.  Regardless something has to be done and it falls on the leader / owner of the business.

As Business owners we must take complete responsibility for whatever is happening in our business good bad or ugly.

As you can see, it starts with us as the Leader.  We are essential to our business running well and we need to understand the effect we have first on the business.  A great way to understand your strengths as a Leader is to understand what makes you tick, what do you bring to the table, what is your Communication DNA?

Once we understand this we can then begin to look deeper into understand your team in the same way.  For years I have been helping business understand their Communication DNA so they can see what makes each member of the team tick, what strengths they have, how they work best and how to bring out their strengths.

If you would like to know more you can learn more about Communication DNA here.

If you would like to learn what your Communication DNA is you can do so here

If you know you need more support to unravel what is happening in your business we offer Coaching and Training services as well as our very popular online Master Communication in Your Business

We are here to resource you so that you can create the business of your dreams, kick those goals, create a highly productive team and future-proof your business. 

Until next time Care, Connect and be a Courageous Communicator.

Lets grow your business one conversation at a time.

 

Help! My Business in Not Productive enough

I am passionate about helping Business owners use their Communication strengths to succeed in business.  Business is tough so I believe if there are ways we can harness our strengths to get better results – Let’s do it!

We have spoken many times about the cost of poor communication.  It has been shown in research to cost up to 32% of profit.  For a business making $500K pa, this is $160K, that's not small change.  Money I am sure you would like to remain in your pocket? 

So you have a business and there are issues, we have said before that Communication is foundational to our success.  Additionally, that Poor Communication destroys business in many ways and today we will look at the relationship between Poor Communication and Low Productivity.

What is Low Productivity“ less than ideal output, below required productivity, low sales and low or no profit.”  In terms of staff your team may not be producing enough per paid work hour to ensure they are worth the investment.

You may pay an assistant $100 per day, yet productivity of the business has not increased in line with that investment. What can you do?

In terms of working with people and their strengths there are many things you can do to turn this around.  But here is where we need to get curious and start doing some research and asking some questions.

First of all, I always recommend we start by understanding ourselves.  What is Your Communication DNA, your needs as a Communicator?  As a Business owner the buck stops with you so you need to know this.  You need to know what strengths you bring to the table and what may be any potential challenges.

How do you communicate in your business?  Does your team know what is required?  Do they have a clear idea of your expectations?  Do you have a clear idea of theirs?

Are you approachable?  Can your team ask your questions?  Will they feel silly, embarrassed, stupid?  Do you complicate things so they leave even more confused?

Depending on your Leadership style your team will be affected in different ways.

For example the Powerful Leader is great at telling people what to do, loves to delegate and loves control.  BUT to others who do not understand them they can come off as Bossy, dictatorial, unreasonable and unapproachable.  If this is you, then your team may not feel they can ask you.  They may not be brave enough to fess up to any mistakes. 

If you have a team member who is also Powerful they may not like you telling them what to do, they may need a little more freedom and control so you may have a silent tussle for control going on. 

If you are a Playful Leader, no doubt you are everyone’s friend but they may not take you seriously.  Your team may be confused between friend and Boss.  Processes and organization is not always a strength of a Playful leader so your team may need processes, direction and organisation in the chaos to ensure they maximize productivity.  

If you are a Patient Leader, your team will feel supported but they may lack direction.  Patient Leaders can avoid telling people what to do; as they fear it is rude and blunt (they are the opposite to the Powerful), so they say nothing.  This leaves your team lacking direction and focus.  Sometimes your team may feel like they are running the business and they may resent that.

If you are a Perfectionist Leader, there is no doubt you have high standards and equally high expectations.  This may stifle your team as they know, no matter what, they will never measure up.  There is nothing like that for a productivity killer.

As you can see, it starts with us as the Leader.  We are essential to our business running well and we need to understand the effect we have first on the business. 

 

Once we understand this we can then begin to look deeper into understand your team in the same way.  For years I have been helping business understand their Communication DNA so they can see what makes each member of the team tick, what strengths they have, how they work best and how to bring out their strengths.

If you would like to know more you can learn more about Communication DNA with this free video  

If you would like to learn what your Communication DNA is you can take our test

If you know you need more support to unravel what is happening in your business we offer Coaching and Training services as well as our very popular online Master Communication in Your Business.   

We are here to resource you so that you can create the business of your dreams, kick those goals, create a highly productive team and future-proof your business. 

Until next time Care, Connect and be a Courageous Communicator.

Lets grow your business one conversation at a time.

What is Poor Communication costing your business?

You are in Business, Congratulations, it takes guts to put everything on the line and build your dream.  I wonder how is it going?  It is all smooth sailing?  Can it be really hard at times and some days you wonder what on earth were you thinking?  Do you feel alone at times like no one else knows the stress you are under?

Have you ever wondered, there has to be a better way?  You will be pleased to know that there is!

I don't know if you are like me but when I went into business for myself I didn't know what I was doing, I was awesome at my “zone of genius” but I didn't know how to run a business, how to reconcile accounts, how to build a kick ass marketing plan.  I had to learn all of that.

Like you, I am sure that you are great at your genius too.  But what about the things you didn't bargain on?  Things like managing staff, like leading a team, having difficult conversations, motivating staff and dealing with customers that sometimes feel like they are sucking your soul out of your body?  Can you relate?

When we don't manage Communication, actually no, when we don't Master Communication then business is hard…..

Communication is in and through everything you do, whether its deal with suppliers, staff, customers, marketing, landing the next big deal, it is all communication.  It is everywhere, so do you know your Communication genius zone?

Like your skill that is the reason that your are in business, maybe you are great with numbers, perhaps you are creative maybe you build or fix things.  You have your own skills and strengths.  Did you know you have the same skills and strengths as a Communicator?

When we don't harness out strengths we are allowing poor communication to infiltrate our business.  This will cause havoc and cost you big time!  Now you work hard so it is not on to let any of that hard earned profit be lost to poor communication. 

When we do not Master Communication across our business we are at the mercy of many worrying trends;

Things like;

  • Poor productivity
  • Poor morale
  • High staff turnover
  • Bad Customer service
  • Stress
  • Increased sick days

And the list goes on and on.  This ends up costing you your hard earned profit.

Imagine this, you have a new hire.  They interviewed well, once you found them.  The process of finding the right person was hard enough.  They have been with you for about 6 weeks.  You have shown them what you need them to do.  At first it was great, the possibilities seemed endless.  Then you notice it just doesn't feel quite right….  You ask them to do a task and it seems to take forever, when you ask for it they mumble something and you still don't have what you need.  Your frustration builds, all you can think of is “what am I paying them for?

When you finally get the completed task it is not what you asked for at all and in fact it needs to be done again!  How could this happen, you gave clear instructions, all of this time has been wasted and now your customer will be delayed because of this stuff up!

You do not know what to do, how can you speak clearer, how can you get them to work faster?  How can you ensure what you ask for is what you get?

Has this or anything like it ever happened to you?  I see this over and over again, whether it is in an accounting practice an engineering firm a mechanical workshop.  It's the same, how to do ensure you are heard and understood?

The key is ensuring that you are Communicating in a way that your team understands.  Did you know that sometimes it is almost like we speak in completely different languages?

Learning your communication needs, strengths and challenges will open your eyes, change your world and revolutionise your business for the better.

Over coming posts we will tease out these issues and go deeper into how they may be affecting your business and what you can do about it. 

The real cost of poor communication is hard to measure as many businesses don't have measures in place to capture this.  From my perspective the most important thing is to understand the foundation cause of the issue.  For example if it is productivity, is it because staff don't feel motivated, are not supported, are confused, are working without the resources they need, do not know what to do.  There are many layers and it is critical to understand what is going on so you can address it and fix the problem.

You go into business to kick goals, have some freedom, create a legacy, do what you love and make a difference so let's make it happen!

So, if you are keen to harness your communication strengths and Master Communication in Your business, welcome!  Things are about to change for the better. 

Until next time Care, Connect and be a Courageous Communicator.

Lets grow your business one conversation at a time.  

Ever Wondered about Communication DNA and your Child?

Ever Wondered about Communication DNA and your Child?

Have you ever wondered about what makes your child tick?  Are they different or similar to you?  Do they ever push your buttons or confuse you?  Understanding our kids at the level of their Communication DNA will build such connection in your relationships with your child.  if you would like that, then read on....

3 Communication Hacks for Better Connection in your Personal Relationships

3 Communication Hacks for Better Connection in your Personal Relationships

Communication is the oxygen to our relationships.  Poor Communication causes up to 68% of relational breakdown.  That is a scary statistic and can so easily be remedied.  Understand the keys to better communication and you can ensure that your relationship will be more connected, resilient and happier.  Regardless of what is happening in your world you can communicate effectively stay strong and stay connected.  How great does that sound?