(Treat Employees Like Luxury Vehicles was originally written for IowaBiz.com and posted on April 29, 2016)
If you are a leader in an organization, your employees are a lot like the luxury vehicle(s) you may have parked in your garage.
They are expensive.
Their performance is dependent on regular checkups and maintenance.
Poor performance is frustrating.
If they break down, you go nowhere.
It's hard to get ahead if you are constantly replacing them.
Let's pretend for a moment that you own four different luxury vehicles and each vehicle takes a different type of fuel.
Your sedan takes regular unleaded gas.
Your SUV takes diesel.
Your hybrid takes unleaded fuel, while also powered by electricity.
Your fourth luxury vehicle is 100 percent powered by electricity.
I'm no mechanic, but common sense tells us that if you want top performance out of each of your four luxury vehicles, a good place to start would be to make sure you are fueling and powering each with the fuel and/or power they are designed to take.
Would you agree?
I mean, if you ignore the needs of your vehicles and try to use the wrong fuel or power, what results should you expect? Do you really have a right to get frustrated when you put diesel fuel in your hybrid and its performance is poor, or worse it doesn't run? What do you do then? Do you trade it in for another vehicle you hope will meet your performance expectations or do you figure out how to fuel it and power it correctly?
Your employees are like your luxury vehicles.
Forty years of research suggests you likely lead, manage and work with four different types of people. Like the four luxury vehicles outlined above, each type of person needs a different form of fuel. Failure to fuel people correctly will lead to poor performance and frustration. Success Skills Mastery is understanding the fuel needs of the people around you and giving them what they need.
We use a program called SOCIAL STYLE ® to help clients learn more about the people they lead, manage and work with and what fuel each needs to achieve top performance. SOCIAL STYLEs says your workforce is made up of the four following Styles of people:
Over the next few weeks, I am going to outline each of the four SOCIAL STYLEs in greater detail. In subsequent posts you will learn the following things about each Style:
How to identify an employee's Style
Their strengths and why you need them on your team
How to correctly fuel them
How they prefer to work and make decisions
Their weaknesses and opportunities for growth
What stresses them out
How they behave when there is too much tension
How you can work with them to achieve maximum results
Your organization can have purpose and vision. Your strategic plan can be well developed with meaningful goals, plans, and processes. But, none of that matters without people to share your purpose, be inspired by your vision, and have the desire to achieve your goals.
Take some time to think about different individuals you work with. What makes them valuable to your organization? What gives them security? What motivates them? How do they prefer to work? What is their decision-making process? What are their weaknesses? What stresses them out? How do they behave when stressed? How can you help them succeed?
Fuel your people. Fulfill your vision!