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Real Life Business Advice
October 16, 2009 12:00 PM

By Bob Vormittag
Bob Vormittag
Vormittag Associates

Whether you’re running a large corporation or a small business, every ‘chief executive’ can benefit from some simple tactics to improve organizational management, employee performance and customer satisfaction. Regardless of what kind of company you have, there are universal best practices that you can apply.

Be Productive: What can your company do to maximize productivity? Since most of us rely on a team to get the work done, it is essential that they are empowered to creatively express themselves and are given the authority to make independent decisions. A staff that understands the company’s mission and feels a sense of ownership in their work, naturally performs at a higher level. As CEO, it is your responsibility to instill this pride through your company’s internal recognition programs. Recognizing a job well done—-even with a simple thank you—-will reap immeasurable rewards.

Be Employee Centric:  Don’t assume that your staff knows you appreciate their work—tell them! Many business owners and executives place little value in employee recognition and training initiatives. This is a big mistake. It is imperative to continually motivate and provide training programs and to utilize a reward structure for those employees who exceed expectations. In addition, managers must be empowered with the ability to draw on these reward vehicles at their discretion, in an effort to motivate others to get the job done, and done well.

Businesses that fail to adequately reward staff are not realizing their full potential—either from employees or for the company. Simply, a well-respected staff works harder than one that is unmotivated and treated poorly, and this can substantially impact the bottom line.

Be Customer Focused: You can’t run a successful business without satisfied customers—it’s simply impossible. The #1 goal in any company should be customer satisfaction. Reference able clients are the primary means of building revenue. To achieve this, you must start with your existing client base.

Learn about your customers. Make it your goal to truly understand their businesses from the inside out, so that whatever solution you’re offering fits into the company culture.

Listen to your customers, evaluate their needs and help them to implement solutions that will truly influence the performance of their business for the better. If you want to gain the trust of your clients, you have to dig in and become instrumental to their success. Act like an employee, not a contractor, and the perceived benefit of your company’s services will be far greater.

Smart executives understand that to make a lasting impact on a company’s revenue, it is essential to develop solutions based on a company’s needs. A good company addresses their clients’ needs and works to improve the means by which this happens.

Minimize Bureaucracy:  We’ve all worked for a company where it took three forms and two memos to get even the simplest task accomplished. Shuffling paperwork is counterproductive, so it pays to minimize this activity. While it is necessary to have established procedures for accomplishing tasks, it’s also important to create an environment in which control is balanced by freedom. This goes back to empowering, and trusting, employees to get the job done. Foster a creative working environment and eliminate unneeded paperwork, meetings, etc... Streamline your workflow and you’ll be amazed at how much more gets accomplished if you don’t have to hold a meeting to discuss the next meeting!

Capitalize on the Strengths and Minimize the Weaknesses:  Another smart tactic for the CEO is to capitalize on the strengths of your staff, while at the same time minimizing their weaknesses. Easier said than done, but if you’re watching closely you’ll notice the natural talents present in your employees

There are many opportunities to utilize employees’ strengths to their fullest. Often, sales people have natural speaking abilities, but may not be as organized as they should be. Hold a training session to teach them how to maximize their productivity through organizational methods. Simple solutions and reallocating duties and responsibilities, coupled with basic training, often provide the best environment for utilizing people to their fullest potential.

Product Development is Key: Whether you own a restaurant or a software development firm, product development is essential for winning new customers and keeping existing clients happy. A healthy research and development budget will ensure that your company stays ahead of the pack by offering your customers the best product for the money. If you aren’t constantly working to enhance your offerings, it won’t be long before a bigger, or perhaps just a better, fish comes along to take the bait and steal your spot in the industry—whatever that industry may be. So invest in product development, it is essential to the survival of your company.

Ask yourself how innovative, employee centric and customer focused your company really is. In today’s tough economic environment, it is imperative that organizations work at a very high level to out-do the competition. Implement a workable employee incentive program, empower your staff, invest in research and development, and listen to your customers.

Bob Vormittag
Vormittag Associates

As President & CEO of VAI, Bob Vormittag is responsible for setting the company’s strategic goals, building a world-class executive team, and providing an environment that encourages customer-focused technical and business innovation. Vormittag works closely with VAI’s executive team to drive product development and marketing and sales initiatives, which facilitate the company’s achievement of ongoing, productive growth.

Vormittag began his career as an IT Director, primarily developing applications using IBM products and technology, and then founded VAI in 1978. The company has grown from a regional software development firm to its current stature as an industry leader with a global market. VAI continues its significant expansion into new vertical industry markets and embraces a strong product development roadmap for future customer successes.  

Vormittag is a graduate of Dowling College with a Bachelor of Science (BS) degree in Business and has also participated in Dowling’s MBA Program.

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