Over the past decade, many US companies have undertaken aggressive acquisition and expansion plans in part due to the slow, but unusually long, expansion cycle. And most of these companies have recognized “acquire and forget” does not yield long-term shareholder benefit. Optimization and integration of new businesses and new organic expansions have become a critical, PE-driving force in how operational managers are promoted and compensated.
The most successful leaders and managers focus on each team member’s performance in the same way a football team trains and coaches each player, from quarterback to punter.
These “high-performance” businesses have launched initiatives to select, mentor, and retain their employees. This has proven to:
- increasing profitability by 8%
- reduce unplanned attrition by 12%
- increase revenue per employee by 9%
Managers – and their behaviors – ultimately drive these improvements, regardless of a company’s industry or geographic location. Gallup recently completed a study of over 3,000 managers from companies in the oil and gas, banking and finance, property development, tourism, automotive, and telecommunications sectors. Their findings point to 3 specific things that drive higher efficiency, higher shareholder return on equity, and higher revenue per employee.
Point the way: Set clear expectations and defining employees’ roles
- Clearly explain roles and connect the dots to other team members’ roles and to company goals
- Provide agile and customized communication to employees using formal agreements and informal or less structured check-ins, as needed, to realign and modify expectations.
- Reinforce how and why each person’s contribution is fundamental to the team’s success and ultimately to the organization’s sustainability.
Many businesses are reluctant to invest in their employees’ growth and development fearing employees will leave and take those skills to another company. Gallup’s research shows both employee performance and employee retention improve when companies demonstrate that they care about employees’ growth.
The best managers at the best performing companies:
- Emphasize and support – and often require – continuous learning.
- Foster dialogue about talents and strengths. No employee is great at everything, and aligning an employee’s interests and strengths have shown to always benefit the organization
- Encourage feedback, typically using regular, periodic feedback opportunities with the employee
Building cultures of exceptional efficiency
The slow expansion cycle in the US has driven companies to defer hiring but continue to grow. Managers are in a unique position to help businesses and employees meet the corporate growth goals while holding the line on hiring.
Businesses are acknowledging that managers are the decisive factor in winning the hearts and minds of employees. Gaining commitment and inspiring effort from employees is becoming both more difficult and more necessary because workers can easily move to new opportunities as the global demand for talented employees remains strong.
In conclusion, the best managers in the US promote outstanding performance by setting clear targets, expectations, and objectives while encouraging employees to grow and develop in an honest environment. And, the best employees will want to join and grow at these high-performance organizations that show they offer them growth opportunities.