Monthly Archives: December 2012

Engagement Process: Communicate the Improvements

Continuning with the exploration of the Engagement Process, now let’s talk about more communication:

5. Communicate the Improvements that Will Be Implemented

You have heard me say several times, you cannot over communicate.  With all the information overload in our lives, it takes a lot of communication for us to break through to our employees.  Have you heard the communication adage:  “Tell them, tell them what you told them, then tell them again?” 


Remember, you cannot over communicate. Communication needs to be consistently implemented.


When it comes to communicating during any kind of change, those words ring true even more so. Keep a consistent flow of communication, and people feel they are “in the know.”  I have seen many times that the ongoing evidence of their company’s commitment to their satisfaction, career growth and personal development energizes employees.


It is critical to understand that communication is not something you complete by checking it off the list. 


I’ve seen companies implement monthly and quarterly communication meetings that become boring and non informative over time. You need to foster continuous new evaluation and feedback with positive new approaches. Incorporate skits, involve employees in the presentation, etc.


Speaking of involving employees, ask them what they want to hear, what’s important to them and structure the discussion to meet their needs.  Answer the question, “What’s in it for my employees and why is this important to them?”


The final installment of the Engagement Process is next, covering Step 6: Implement the Improvements, and Step 7: Measure Results.

Info Exchange – How the Mighty Fall and Why Some Companies Never Give In

Welcome to the Loyalty Factor Information Exchange, a bi-weekly service providing summaries of major publications and books on various management and customer relationship topics. 

 Loyalty Factor has been instrumental in helping companies:

  • Increase Customer Satisfaction by 20 – 33%
  • Increase Revenues by 50% in 18 months
  • Increase Manufacturing Production by 200% in 18 months
  • Simplifying mergers and acquisitions


Our information exchange this week highlights the book, “How the Mighty Fall and Why Some Companies Never Give In” by Jim Collins.


In How the Mighty Fall and Why Some Companies Never Give In, Jim Collins highlights five stages of why companies decline.


1. Hubris born of success – By this Collins means companies have become arrogant and feel entitled. In many cases these companies overestimate their own merit and their capabilities. A mantra they might have is “We are so great, we can do anything!”


2. Undisciplined pursuit of more – This can be a combination of more scale, more growth, more acclaim, or more of whatever those in power may want. This type of behavior may cause the organization to go into areas they are not good at, or continue to foster growth to the point where they cannot be good at doing what they do or cannot deliver on what they do. It can be viewed as the “overreaching effect.”


3. Denial of Risk or Peril – In this situation leaders discount negative warnings and data and put a positive spin on everything. In severe cases they may blame external factors for setbacks, rather than accept their own responsibility.


4. Grasping for Salvation – When a company has reached this stage, the leaders can either lurch for quick salvation or go back to the basic principles that brought about success initially. Common survival instincts might include:

  • Bringing in a charismatic visionary leader.
  • Implementing a bold and tested strategy.
  • Developing a new blockbuster product.
  • Do an acquisition.

Initially these dramatic silver bullets appear positive and many do not necessarily last.


5. Capitulation to irrelevance or death – According to Collins, the longer a company stays in stage 4, the more likely it will be to spiral downward. Accumulated setbacks come in and expensive false starts erode the financial strength and the individual spirit within an organization and the organization atrophies.


Collins does say companies can recover and highlights three companies that have been successful in doing so – IBM, Nucor and Nordstrom. The path to recovery lies first and foremost in returning to sound management practices and rigorous strategic thinking. In summary,

  • Great companies can fall and recover.
  • Great social institutions can fall and recover.
  • Great individuals can fall and recover.

For more information on how Loyalty Factor and Dianne Durkin can help you regain or maintain the success track as we head into the New Year, call 603.334.3401 or visit our website at

Engagement Process: Build Team Infrastructure to Develop Business Solutions

Continuning with the exploration of the Engagement Process, up next is:

4. Build Team Infrastructure to Develop Business Solutions

When you build your team infrastructure around the major business issues identified by the employees in step one, your employee engagement and empowerment become the stars of the show.  Consider setting up cross-functional teams of six-to-eight individuals to solve the major business issue.  By having a cross-functional group, you bring different skill sets to the table.  The result?  You have a better chance of addressing the issues more successfully. 


Here is an invaluable chart.  It provides the team with the full picture of what they need to consider in developing the total solution.  Remember, 60 percent of the population is visual – this shows them the entire process and illustrates everything they need to consider to solve the business issue.



Let us define the components from the chart.      


  • Current State:  This is where the organization is today on this issue.  At this stage, the team gathers both quantitative and qualitative information on the existing situation.


  • Ideal State:  This is where the group feels it would like to be – and answers the question: what is ideal for growth? 


  • Stages/Tasks:  In this phase, the teams document the step-by-step process to achieve the ideal state. 


  • Success Factors:  In order to achieve the ideal state, these are the factors critical to success. The team identifies what has to happen to reach the ideal state.


  • Resources:  This identifies the resources needed to reach the ideal stated goal.


  • Challenges: These are the barriers to success. The team suggests how to remove these.


  • Stakeholders:  Here are the people needed to engage in this process.  When the team completes this chart, senior management can clearly see the entire picture and process.  When people see it, then they can believe it!



Clearly define team roles and responsibilities


Putting a group of people together with cross skills and calling them a “team” is just the beginning.  If they have never worked together before, they need guidance and direction on everything from non-performing and disruptive team members to conflicting objectives.


This often takes an experienced facilitator who can address the various personalities and focus the group, handle hidden agendas and ask the tough questions.  We throw the word “team” around a lot, so I think it is good to remind people of its definition.


A T.E.A.M. brings out the best in everyone because:


Together Everyone  Achieves  More


Sounds corny, but it is true.  Ask anyone who has been on a high-performing team, and they will nod knowingly.


Contact the Loyalty Factor Team today to learn about how you can benefit from our Strategic Assessment and Alignment  process! We look forward to hearing from you.