Most of the people that know me are fully aware of my fondness for using sailing analogies. Honestly, I can’t help it; sailboat racing has had a profound influence on my life, and much of what I learned about the importance of teamwork has its roots in my sailing endeavors.
Over the course of the past 13 years, I’ve interacted with nearly 200 business owners who had questions about optimizing employee engagement within their organizations. It’s not that the organizations were in desperate need of help. On the contrary, some of these businesses were performing very well, and the owners of these companies simply wished to explore the possibility that some ingredients might be missing that would allow these companies to perform even better if they could be discovered.
The 7Q7P Framework is partially built on the presumption that employee buy-in needs to occur on an ongoing basis. Having a single discussion with your workers and having them agree that they belong in your organization is a great start, but things are never static in business, and all of the elements that drive the business forward are constantly changing. In addition to that, the features of your employees’ private lives will also fluctuate as time marches on.
The Coronavirus pandemic is having a crippling effect on many business organizations throughout the world. Within the 7 Question - 7 Promise Framework, perhaps the area most likely to be compromised by the havoc caused by the spread of this virus and its stifling effect on commerce is the ability for your employees to maintain a “yes” answer to the 5th question “Do I feel heard?”
Dear Clients and Friends,
I wish I were not writing this, I am cognizant of the situations and extremes I may be writing to and I pray for the best as soon as possible. We are in this together, and I want to take some time to share some guidance I have seen work in past recessions.
In the pages of The Patient Organization, I laid out the 7 Question-7 Promise Framework, which allows everyone within your company to align themselves with your mission by deciding if they can answer “yes” to questions of belonging, belief, accountability, measurement, communication, development and balance. The ultimate benefit of this process is the creation of the type of workplace environment that can power an Organizational Operating System (OOS).
If you visit the website of the Executive Education department of several major universities and look at the class listings, there is a very good chance you’ll find an offering for courses promising to educate you in perfecting your “Executive Presence.” As I write, there is an Executive Presence course offered by the Neeley School of Business at Texas Christian University, and it promises to educate “...business leaders at all levels who want to become more self-aware, improve their ability to establish genuine connections, and deepen their ability to communicate, influence and lead positive change.”
Measuring your employees is a simple necessity that is made unnecessarily complicated by the misguided assumption that employees don’t want to be measured. In light of this erroneous supposition, many business owners - often under additional coercion supplied by their HR departments - opt to measure their employees by a set of wholly business-centric metrics that fail to account for the realities of the jobs the employees are asked to do, and the environmental limitations to performing those jobs.
In most hiring situations, the first time a candidate comes across the radar of a business is when the job seeker submits a resume to the HR department or HR representative. If the applicant appears to check all of the necessary boxes - an impressive education, and years of employment that indicate how the candidate has acquired experience and demonstrated expertise with the requisite skills - then the applicant is brought in for an interview.
When it comes to balance in the workplace, several different explanations are employed to describe what it means, and many of these definitions are correct in one respect or another. In fact, the most complete description of workplace balance incorporates multiple elements from the popular definitions of balance. This ultimately means true employee balance combines considerations of work-life balance with opportunities for thought and reflection within the workplace, while also understanding that keeping employees productive is not immutably connected with keeping employees in motion.