Miller’s Monday Morning Message

Andrew MillerMiller’s Monday Morning Message
presented by ACM Consulting Inc.Andrew Miller on operational excellence, strategy, life balance and everything in between

Toronto – May 18, 2015
Last week, Hydro One fired an employee because of news video footage of him making vulgar remarks to a female reporter at a TFC soccer match. The specific remarks made are irrelevant, but the fact that they were made, and then repeated, on camera is a disturbing trend. Obviously, this gentleman was having a good time at the game and probably got carried away. But his comments have now been seen by millions of people. It likely never occurred to him at the time that he was doing something wrong, let alone that he might lose his job.
Should he lose his job? Should organizations have the right to fire employees for conduct outside of the workplace? In my mind they should. Employees are a reflection of the organization and if that reflection is tainted then the organization will suffer.
Here’s your chance to weigh in. Send me your thoughts on whether Hydro One is making the right move.
As the leader of an organization, you need to be conscious of the perception that your employees create both at and away from the office. They are representing you even when they are not at work. What impression are your people creating when they are away from the office?
Looking for more insights?
Each Wednesday I will be posting a short video tip to help organizations improve operational excellence. Click here to watch them.
Follow me on Twitter @AndrewMillerACM

To request an interview or more information, please contact:

 
Andrew Miller
416-480-1336
© Andrew Miller. All rights reserved. 2015.

Miller’s Monday Morning Message

Andrew MillerMiller’s Monday Morning Message
presented by ACM Consulting Inc.

Andrew Miller on operational excellence, strategy, life balance and everything in between

Toronto – March 17, 2014
March Madness, the annual college basketball tournament in the United States, begins this week. For the next three weeks, the best college basketball teams will play for the national championship. What is equally exciting is watching the fans from the different colleges cheer on their teams. These fans are proud and passionate about the colleges they attend and are not afraid to show it.
 
Are you creating fans for your organization?
 
Your employees should be just as proud and passionate about your organization as they are for their alma mater. There are a few things you can do to ensure you are creating an organization full of fans, and here are three of them:
  • Hire people who are passionate about your organization and what you offer. I have developed the ACM model which are principles to be used when hiring.
  • Perform random acts of recognition. Make sure your employees know that they are respected and appreciated.
  • Offer them new and challenging work. There are always big upsets in March Madness when a team has a huge challenge to beat a better team and they take advantage of that opportunity. You’ll never know how good employees can be unless they are given the opportunity to do great things.
So while you are sitting back and enjoying March Madness over the next three weeks, think about how you can help your employees become fanatics for your organization.

To request an interview or more information, please contact:
 
Andrew Miller
416-480-1336
 
Follow me on Twitter @AndrewMillerACM
© Andrew Miller. All rights reserved. 2014.

Miller’s Monday Morning Message

Andrew MillerMiller’s Monday Morning Message
presented by ACM Consulting Inc.

Andrew Miller on operational excellence, strategy, life balance and everything in between

Toronto – February 24, 2014
Now that the Olympics are over and we have had two weeks of national pride, it’s a good time to reflect. During the gold medal hockey game yesterday morning, I’m sure almost every Canadian family was watching from wherever they were. Why is hockey so important to us? Because we are good at it, we are passionate about it, and we are proud of our abilities in it.
 
How can you ensure that your employees have that same level of pride and passion for your organization? There are three key components:
  • Strengths – Employees want to be a part of a successful organization, so focus on your strengths and leverage them to improve.
  • Passion – People throughout the organization need to be passionate about what the organization is trying to accomplish.
  • Pride – Employees need to have something to be proud of. Do you give them proud moments they can tell friends and family about?
It seems easy to have national pride, but it’s important to recognize why we have that national pride and apply it to your organization to foster a similar feeling amongst your employees.

To request an interview or more information, please contact:
 
Andrew Miller
416-480-1336
 
Follow me on Twitter @AndrewMillerACM
© Andrew Miller. All rights reserved. 2014.

The right hiring process goes a long way

Many issues that organizations have can be resolved or mitigated by implementing a hiring process that brings in the right people in the first place.

Have an issue with theft? Make sure you hire the right people.

Have an issue with absenteeism? Make sure you hire the right people.

Don’t have the skill level you want? Make sure you hire the right people.

Have staff who are indifferent to customers? Make sure you hire the right people.

I think you get the idea. Combine accountability, competency (skills), and mindset (passion) in your hiring practices and you will make more good hiring decisions than bad ones. That is the simplicity of the ACM model for hiring. Try it, you just might like it.

Managing Experienced Workers

We always seem to be discussing how to manage the new generation of workers. The ones who enter the work force with no supposed loyalty to their companies and an entitlement to live a balanced life. But what about the most experienced workers? Why is no one talking about them?

These are the employees who have a great deal of knowledge about the organization, its customers, and the industry as a whole. But we don’t often talk about these employees except when discussing the huge demographic shift that is happening. These employees will be leaving their organizations within the next 5-10 years, so we tend to focus on what’s next. How do we effectively develop the next generation of workers?

So why do we overlook these employees, even though they still work for us? Because we think of these experienced workers as dinosaurs who are out of date with the current realities of the business world and stuck in their old ways. It is so difficult to get them to change their ways, so why bother? In some cases, that will be true, that the more experienced workers will not want to change. But in many cases, it’s simply not true. Here are some ideas on how to maximize the value of these more experienced workers, even those that don’t want to change:

  • Ask if there are any initiatives they would like to lead – Many experienced workers still have the desire to learn new skills and lead new initiatives. Identify those with the best potential and give them an opportunity to lead.
  • Offer them mentoring opportunities – As many workers get more experienced, they shift their mindset from ‘doer’ to ‘teacher.’ Give them opportunities to mentor new employees or high potential leaders. This will allow them to contribute to the organization in new and creative ways.
  • Train them in new roles – Some experienced workers are actually ready and willing to make a change. Find a new role where they can be more valuable. 5-10 years is still a long way away, so investing in their development will not be a wasted effort.
  • Offer them early retirement – For those that really don’t want to change, offer them an easy out. Give the next person in line the opportunity to make their mark on the organization. Everyone will benefit.
  • Have them train apprentices – Even if your experienced workers don’t want to take on formal mentoring opportunities, always have them train other people on what they know, so that knowledge is not lost. Knowledge management will become more important so you need to capture all of that relevant knowledge.
  • Help them find other jobs – If your experienced workers are no longer a good fit for your organization, then help them find new roles elsewhere. They have been loyal to your organization for a long time, so it is time for you to show loyalty to them and support them on their new endeavours.

As you can see, there are many different options to ensure experienced workers continue to add value to your organization. Don’t just focus on the demographic shift, also focus on the people you still have. How will you maximize the value of these experienced workers?

Miller’s Monday Morning Message

Andrew MillerMiller’s Monday Morning Message
presented by ACM Consulting Inc.Andrew Miller on operational excellence, strategy, life balance and everything in between

Toronto – May 20, 2013
It seems so obvious that we need to take care of ourselves before we can take care of others, but we don’t often practice it. Personally, this means being in a place where we are able to think about others and help them. But this only happens when we take care of ourselves first. It’s very difficult to help others when we are preoccupied with financial or health concerns, or other stresses that occur in our daily lives. We will do something, but we‘re not as effective as we could be. My colleague, Dr Alan Weiss, calls this “the oxygen-mask principle.” On airplanes, during the safety demonstration, they instruct you to put your oxygen mask on first before helping others. Because you can’t help them if you can’t breathe.
 
The same goes for our organizations. How can you put our best foot forward to your customers, the market, your shareholders, your business partners or your suppliers if you don’t take care of your own organization properly? This means constantly pursuing ways to improve the way we operate. But it also means getting your own organization in order so you can provide the best products and services to customers and to the market.
Organizations who are disorganized internally wonder why customers are frustrated in dealing with them,” says Andrew Miller, president of ACM Consulting. “It’s because they will often be disorganized externally as well. Look at the way an organization treats its employees and it is probably a strong indicator on how it treats its customers.” 
To request an interview or more information, please contact:
 
Andrew Miller
416-480-1336
 
Follow me on Twitter @AndrewMillerACM
© Andrew Miller. All rights reserved. 2013.

Aligning technology with how employees use it away from work

In an earlier post, I talked about how technology is used in the workplace is not aligned with the way employees use technology away from the workplace.

What I mean doesn’t relate to updating hardware and software or getting the latest version of something, but more about how people communicate and making sure organizations align how they use technology to achieve specific outcomes.

Outside of work people use mobile phones and tablets and other technology to stay in constant contact with one another, share information, gather information, search for resources, etc. They expect immediate results. Yet in many organizations, technology is not used for collaborating or communicating quickly and effectively. In fact, it’s the opposite and can act as a hindrance to performance because the objectives for using the technology were not considered appropriately before it was implemented . Hence the reason you see many people with two mobile devices, one for work and one for personal use, which makes little sense to me.

If technology is not supporting employees to do their job as quickly and effectively as possible, then there will be lost opportunities, hence the impact on profit.

I’m not suggesting that organizations always determine technology decisions based on how employees are using it away from the office. I do think however, that technology adoption would be higher inside organizations if it was used in a way that was better aligned with the way people are using it outside of the office.