Knock It Off With These 3 Archaic Business Practices

November 19, 2015

We simply don’t do business like we used. No one sticks around for 20 years for the gold Rolex despite a rigid schedule. Skilled employees won’t put up with a company culture that doesn’t make room to accommodate and appreciate their personal lives. Clients won’t stay loyal because you sent them a ham and a handwritten card. Things have changed, has your organization?

Work/Life balance?  Sounds like a “You” problem.

By 2020, 46% of US workers will be Millennials. As we all know, each generation comes with general characteristics. In the workforce, Millennials are known for working to live, not the way around. Meaning, they have jobs to support their personal passions. If that job should get in the way, they will either move on to another company, or start their own. Entrepreneurship, freelance work and part-time work are all on the rise.

Is employee work/life balance starting to sound more like an organization problem now? It should, because it is. As business owners, even we believe, if you can’t take time for yourself at your current job, you should find a new job. It’s not worth it!  At Volano, we tell everyone they shouldn’t miss a kid’s performance because of work.  That’s really why we have flex time – so people have the flexibility to prioritize everything they have going on.

Quick Stat: Research company, CompData did a 2014 survey of over 30,000 organizations across a myriad of industries and found the average total turnover rate was almost 16%.

Stop micromanaging.  Instead, foster accountability.

Not only does micromanagement drive employees off by the droves, we truly believe that empowerment and accountability result in a better product and service. Take Zappos for instance, their success was widely driven by their customer service, and they took a unique approach in this area to get that rep.

Instead of putting a middleman between the customer service agent and the customer to make just about every customer care decision or action, they empower their employees to make these decisions on their own. Who wants to be put on the phone or a chat with someone who has zero power or authority to do virtually anything for you? No one. We have a very similar business model between our developers and our clients, by eliminating the middleman, which in our case would be a business analyst or project manager.

Here’s what we suggest to replace micromanagement with accountability…

  1. Set expectations.
  2. Define what success looks like.
  3. Let go.
  4. Measure success.
  5. Give feedback to those accountable.

Everyone is Replaceable.

Not only is this archaic attitude detrimental to employee engagement and morale, it’s not a safe place to put your organization. The level of impact having someone leave your team – and you must think that everyone will someday leave your team – will vary. You might not experience so much as a hiccup, or you could lose a major client that requires that unretained employee’s skill set.

We recommend cross-training as not only a safety net for the organization and clients, but also as an employee incentive and investment. We also favor consulting groups over independent contractors as a way to ensure that when someone leaves, the transition will be as smooth as possible.

This week we took a break from software and workflow talk, and we’ll do that from time to time. We’re not only concerned with the systems and processes that drive your success, we want to be a resource for our community when it comes to the issues you might be facing as a business leader.