September 4, 2021

6 minutes to read

Opinions expressed by Contractor the contributors are theirs.

In business, there are what I call “microseisms” and “macroseisms”. The former are low intensity events, rarely felt beyond their epicenter (the place of activity or the area in which they occur). These can include, for example, electrical fires, theft and broken pipes – events that are causes of disruption, but are generally infrequent and cause no damage to life and little or no damage. to the foundations of the property. These are also rarely felt by employees or customers. Micro earthquakes, in short, are simply small inconveniences to deal with and overcome, with minor interference (if any) to overall operations.

On the other hand, we have macroseisms. The size and intensity of these events are tectonically significant, which means that a company’s direction, goals, strategies and tactics can often change as a result. They can take the form of a global health crisis, market collapse, major natural disasters, supply or labor shortages, war, changes in trade policy, evolving innovations. industry, etc. These influence the sustainability of a company and are real drivers of operational change.

When looking at companies that have survived intergenerationally, like Mars Inc., history has shown that most transformational business decisions are driven by macroseism. For example, in 1929, at the start of the Great Depression, the founders of Mars Inc. decided to relocate and open a full production facility in Chicago, and with them nearly 200 essential staff were moving. Despite widespread economic instability, but now with a more centralized location (and rail access), Mars activity has exploded. In fact, such success during this period was that in 1930 the company released the iconic SNICKERS candy bar, and two years later 3 MUSKETEERS. Both were, of course, great successes.

Recognize the excellence of people as an asset

As leaders navigate between microseisms and macroseisms, and even as they focus on developing and aligning long-term business strategies for operational excellence, success hinges on an equally important element: excellence of people. Its basic concept is that operational and business performance can improve by improving human capital, which is the stock of knowledge and individual attributes, including ingenuity and creativity.

Related: 11 Proven Ways for Young Entrepreneurs to Retain Employees

Investing in human capital is one of the best ways for a business to sustain itself, to remain competitive in terms of innovation and to produce greater economic output. Some examples of organizational investments in these areas include incentives to advance in education, technical or on-the-job training, career path systems, increased compensation, and mental and emotional wellness programs.

These areas are especially important in the field of pet health care, as patient outcomes depend on the quality of a caregiver’s equipment and the functioning of each hospital as a holistic system of care. . Relevant associated questions might be: “How willing is the technician to assist in a particular procedure?” Or, “Do we, as an organization, provide the opportunities that employees need and want to develop their education and role … are our clinicians practically and emotionally supported?” These are issues that we must address as leaders aimed at creating lasting change for our people and for the future of the industry, which continues to face the challenges posed by the shortage of trained and qualified professionals.

While top-down macro-level systems are important in building a self-sustaining and fulfilling workforce, there are other tangible, non-tangled ways for companies to invest in their people.

Foster a continuous learning environment

In the 2000 book by Michael J. Gelb, How to think like Leonardo da Vinci: seven steps to genius every day, he noted that the root of da Vinci’s creative genius was his “relentless pursuit of lifelong learning.” I believe this is true for all innovators and forward thinking, and it shouldn’t stop at the end of a textbook chapter, residency program, or certification. Learning should be fluid, with each new day bringing new lessons and new teachers. Even when we reach the peak of our career, we should still absorb and continually improve. However, in order for employees to feel open to learning and improving skills, there must be a culture of openness and communication: a “free to fail” environment. Small ways to start fostering, which may include organizing a book-sharing or challenging coworkers to offer new facts on a break room “knowledge board”. Assign a sticker to an employee vote that says they ‘learned something new’, and at the end of the contest, the person who provided the most impactful information is rewarded.

Related: 6 Ways to Keep Your Employees Learning at Work

Provide the necessary tools to refine skills

As Abraham Lincoln once said, “Give me six hours to cut down a tree and I’ll spend the first four hours sharpening the ax. The task here (chopping down the tree) is the responsibility of the employees, and the employee is the ax. Ultimately, it’s up to the company to provide the tools to sharpen that ax: the skills required to get the job done. This support could take the form of hands-on mentoring programs, continuing education allowances, or multi-level skills compensation systems, such as those offered by CareerTrax.

Start with “Why? “

In Simon Sinek’s book in 2011, Start with why: how great leaders get everyone to take action, he argues that inspiration is one of the main ways to influence human behavior. The same reason why an employee feels obligated to do the job they do (their Why), despite personal sacrifice, is the same motivator that will fuel a desire to continuously improve. For example, most veterinary professionals pursue careers in the field because they care deeply about animal welfare. To provide the highest quality pet care (to achieve this goal), these professionals must be adequately educated and trained on the latest treatments, procedures and technologies. Leaders need to develop a storyline that will resonate and remind employees of their Why, while fostering a culture of learning and providing tools to advance them.

Related: Why Everything You Know About Employee Engagement Is Wrong

Investing in people not only enables every employee to flourish both personally and professionally, but it also propels companies towards innovation and operational growth. By taking these actions, leaders can create lasting and impactful change for their businesses, customers, and their most valuable stakeholders – employees.

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