Today’s guest post from Randall Gates is all about quality management software. After you read this, check out the counterpoint from our own Robby Slaughter.
It’s true, even as a young child you were the one who manned the lemonade stands, you even dragged a little table at your parent’s garage sale, and after extensive research online, sold your old sports cards accordingly. Wherever there was a chance to make an extra dollar you were all over it. Your brother however, was another story. He rolled his eyes at your over-zealous money scheming ideas, never showing up for his lemonade shift. After a long day of sitting under the blazing sun on the sidewalk corner, you’d find him at home, basking under the air-conditioning, hooked up to his video game console.
Two brothers, two completely different motivations. But isn’t this true of the business world? The savvy business owner already knows that employees come with varied strengths and abilities. Now that you’ve put all of your accrued business smarts in a company of your own choosing, you’ve invested every penny and every fiber of your being, but what about your employees? How can you keep them working at top performance and not falling the way of your unmotivated brother? Let’s take a look and see how quality management software can get your company not only organized, but running at its full potential.
- Choose wisely: This is key. What is a company without its employees? Start at the ground up here, extensive interviewing is well-worth all the extra time and effort. Does the interviewee seem as excited as you are about your product? Is there fire in their eyes when they make their cold calls, do they seem undaunted by the initial brush off, and actually work even harder to make the sale successful? Remember your brother and his path of least resistance. Finding success in the business world is only found through the little extras; time and effort. And what about that management system you have in place? Does it work as hard as you do or does it slow you down? Remember, your business is a direct reflection of yourself. You maintain good manufacturing practices and remain compliant for all regulatory elements. But what about your company’s inner workings, tracking employee hours, sales and those all-important bonuses? Are all your documents organized and secure? Quality management software ensures that you and all your hard work has not been made in vain.
- Teamwork: You’ve always adhered to the belief about being only as strong as your weakest link. And this of course applies to your business. You dread those the end of the quarter days as do your employees, it’s stressful and those last minute deals are slipping and sliding left and right, your sales manager is pulling out her hair and the tension could be cut thick with that proverbial knife. Take a deep breath, you’ve got a secret weapon here; with a brisk clack of a few keyboard strokes, you know exactly where each and every sales person stands. A system that uses total quality management can quell those mad-rush, end of the quarter hysterias. You bring your managers in and pull up each and every opened and closed sale, no question here about what needs to get signed, dotted and faxed. We’re all in this together, you remind your managers, and it’s true; that successful quarter is even sweeter when you click glasses together as a team.
- Breed Positivity: You’ve had to learn this one the hard way, but at least you’ve taken a lesson from your childhood and applied it to your business life as well. Yelling and screaming at your brother never did work with him. And it doesn’t seem to get the most out of your employees, either. You recall your mother telling you that you get more bees with honey than vinegar, and that is the creed you’ve embraced throughout your business venture. Does your company hum and flow like a gentle breeze or is it more like an inclement storm burst that rages with a bout of angry customers and numbers that seem to be falling into the red? How do you treat your employees and your prospective clients? Do you do more listening than talking? Give yourself an honest assessment and take a look at your company, walk the halls and get a sense of your company’s vibe. Do your employees come in early and stay late, or are they resistant to the idea of coming in and working on weekends if asked to? What is the climate in your workplace? Is there a sense of camaraderie or does the atmosphere appear hostile, close-lipped and silent during most of the day? Don’t forget, they are ultimately looking to you as that barometer. If you come in whistling with a little spring in your step, chances are they will see and reflect it in their own work performance.
Remember, you are the leader. You can’t force your employees to be little tiny molds of yourself, but you can certainly encourage all aspects of their potential. Stay positive, use management systems that maximize your company’s assets and choose your potential employees wisely. You’ll always love your brother, despite his choices in life, but that doesn’t mean you would hire him to work for you, either. Using your business smarts has gotten you far, but that doesn’t give you a license to take it easy, after all you’ve got a lot riding on those shoulders of yours.
Randall Gates is a business professional who specializes in quality management systems and software. He frequently writes on these topics and currently blogs for cebos.com, a provider of compliance management software.