The Importance Of People To Your Success


Last week, I met with a longtime client. He is a co-owner of a multiple franchised restaurants, and you’d instantly recognize the business name if I was of a mind to tell you. He’s such a good person that I agreed to meet with him in person at his office across town. (It was the first time I’ve worn long pants in more than two months).

On my drive back home, I remembered one of my favorite stories about their business  and a constant reminder about how every employee – no matter who they are or what they do is so critical to success, and why being quick on the trigger to fire is better than the opposite (although lawyers and HR ‘professionals’ have been trying to brainwash us the other way for years).

Here’s the story.

In 2010, I was invited to speak to about 200 of their franchise owners at their annual franchisee meeting in Las Vegas.

I showed up early and watched a breakout session. Apparently there was one franchise owner who was renowned for being able to take over a low performing restaurant and turn it around almost immediately. Everyone wanted to know his secret.

He said, “I buy the restaurant, and the first thing I do is fire all of the employees and hire new ones.” It was that simple.

He put in employees who were better at customer service, who were trained how to upsell, who were better with people.

I’ve used that story in one of my books and many times when giving keynotes at conferences.

People are the one thing that takes most consumers from feeling transactional about our product, service, restaurant, to feeling transformed by our service, product, restaurant. People are the difference between going somewhere once and becoming lifelong customers.

As a leader, in this economy, you’re about to have your pick of many people grateful to have this experience and you shouldn’t settle for anything less than fantastic, transformative, passionate and enthusiastic about what you do and whom you do it for.

15 Ways To Help Employees Connect When They Work From Home

Working from home because of COVID-19? Here are 10 ways to spend ...

  1. Make sure there are opportunities, whether onsite or virtually, to have small groups of remote employees have coffee meeting from time to time (say, on a quarterly basis) to hear directly from the organization’s leaders, including opportunities for Q&A. Keep the groups to less than 8 people for maximum engagement and involvement
  2. Assign a mentor to connect with employees monthly. Not just for mentoring specifically, but also company communication and especially for the office grapevine.
  3. During zoom meetings, assign one person who asks for remote staff input.
  4. When office social events resume – especially office lunches, make sure to send delivery services to remote employees.
  5. Remember birthdays and work anniversary dates remote employees.
  6. Set up daily Zoom Office Lunches. Whoever wants to join, can. No pressure. Very informal, and make sure to keep most of the bosses away.
  7. Encourage remote employees to have virtual coffee breaks, cocktails, or even walks with their peers.
  8. Direct supervisors should have a regular ‘check-in’ session with remote employees and even discuss issues that aren’t business related.
  9. Send some company branded items/swag remote employees can put in their office, and any time similar items are distributed, make sure they’re sent to the remotes.
  10. Create an electronic newsletter/Slack channel to keep remote employees in the loop and to recognize them.
  11. Make sure you have the right people managing remote employees. Managers who are competent, but not great communicators and connectors are not appropriate to manage remote employees
  12. Set expectations and manage to them weekly. Not ‘how’ or ‘when’ to do things, but results. These days, goals are far more important than activity.
  13. Ask remote employees individually for their suggestions on improving engagement, whether they be new tools, or communication ideas, or how frequently to communicate. They’re in a better position to know what works than you do.
  14. Friendly competitions are always fun. Create a company-wide trivia game on a Slack channel. One question daily.
  15. Ask each remote employee for their best practices when it comes to health and wellness when working from home.

“It’s Never Going To Be The Same” – No Kidding.

I’m getting tired of hearing “it’s never going to be the same” as if the status quo and the way we’ve always done things has never changed in our lifetimes. It’s changed constantly. It would’ve changed significantly even if there had not been a pandemic.

People fear change because it moves us from the known to the unknown. But change has happened consistently since time began, and guess what: it’s gonna change again.

Remember flying before 9/11? The check-in and security process changed after that, didn’t it. We got used to it, and now it’s normalized.

Remember television prior to streaming? Prior to cable? When there were only 13 channels? Or maybe you remember (like I do) when there was black-and-white only and no remote control?

Are you doing the same work you did 5 years ago? Using the same tools, communication devices? What about the people who work with you? Any of them leave in the past 5 or 10 years?

Point is, nothing is ever going to be the same again because nothing is now the same as it was before. What makes the human species (and much of nature) unique is that we adopt to change. Doesn’t mean we have to particularly like it, but we adopt.

So if you’re scared of the fact that it’s never going to be the same, get over yourself. Your success in life or school or your chosen profession is not based on whether or not there is change, but how you adopt to it. How well you adopt, how easy it is for you adopt, and what your attitude about the new world is.

The great Dan Sullivan, “You have no responsibility for what’s happening in the outside world, but you have 100% responsibility for how you respond to it.”

It’s OK to look to the past and remember what was, but don’t live there. There is only now, and what will be.