After years of working with entrepreneurs I’ve watched you sweat over making payroll. I’ve seen how you saved yourself for last, and often times you didn’t pay yourself because there wasn’t anything left. You sacrificed so you could make payroll, and your vision of a better future kept you going when the going got tough. And it did get tough at times. It may even be tough right now.
Still, I think many if not all entrepreneurs don’t think of payroll as their best business investment.
New equipment . . . certainly.
Great marketing, yes.
Travel and sales expenses to close the next big deal? Of course.
Most of you would say it is a necessary expense. Maybe even a necessary evil.
In fact some of you resent the very people you pay because you don’t think they are giving you 100%. If you are really honest with yourself, you have felt this way more than once, haven’t you?
At the same time, how many of you know how to maximize your payroll investment? How many times do you pour part of each month’s payroll dollars down the drain because you don’t know how to get the best and most out of your people?
As a business consultant and coach I see payroll waste. I know entrepreneurs who have killed the spirit in their people. They micro-manage. Solve problems for employees rather than let them do it themselves. I’ve seen employers constrain their people in such a way they have gone brain dead. They are just showing up for a paycheck, doing enough to get by, and if you are lucky you are getting 50% on your dollar. It happens all the time. In fact, Marcus Buckingham in his book The One Thing You Need to Know says that in his research, only twenty percent of people he surveyed said they are well matched for their jobs. This means employers are generally out of touch with their people and the work they are having them do.
Truth is we frequently put people in jobs that don’t fit them, or so constrain our people so they feel underutilized and we get much less than their best and much less for the money we pay them.
So here is the question. What would it take for you to know your payroll investment is the best money you ever spent on your business? How would you know that payroll gives you the best possible return on your investment each month? How would it make you feel if you knew that each person you hired would automatically add to your bottom line? Wouldn’t you recruit more of these types of people just to make more money?
So the end to our employment dilemma is for executives in business across America to learn how to make their payroll their best investment ever. We all need to learn how to maximize the payroll investment, and know how to connect people with work in such a way that they are inspired each day and give their all. They would love their jobs rather than endure them. They would know exactly where they are making a difference, and they could show you the results. And your customers would know it too. They would keep coming back to buy more because of your great products and services. But more importantly they would love your people.
This will not only turn around your business; this is the way to turn around our economy!
Where do you begin? Start expecting that your payroll investment must become the best investment you ever made. Here is how . . .
- Ask your employees what it would take for this to be the best job they ever had.
- Ask what they want from you and their supervisors to give their best every day.
- Listen to what you hear as if your profitability and your future depend on it.
- Do what they tell you.
- Invest in the skills training.
- Invest your time in them.
- Demonstrate you really care.
- Let them show you what they can do.
- Make agreements to do what you decide together.
- Remind them if they forget to keep their part of the agreement.
- Keep listening and working on targeted improvements.
Do this and I think you will be amazed. Continue to hold the vision that your payroll is your best business investment. Set new goals. Share the vision and ask for help. Let me know what happens.