Becoming a “Best Place to Work”: Dimensions #9 and #10

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Continuing our discussion of “best place to work” environments, let’s explore the next two dimensions of successful workplaces, as identified by the Gallup Organization.

#9: My associates (fellow employees) are committed to doing quality work.

This is a rich dimension for advisers in a small business to learn from. Advisers have a tendency to drag their heels when it comes to terminating a poor performer. They fail to consider the impact a poor performer has on the rest of the organization. When one employee doesn’t pull his or her weight, and especially when other employees are asked to pick up the slack, it sends a significant message. The message can be interpreted that if you, the business owner, are not committed to doing quality work, why should anyone else be?

Often, advisers think they are doing poorly performing employees a favor by keeping them unaware of the impact their performance is having on the organization overall. This doesn’t mean that an adviser should jump to the termination conclusion inappropriately. Every employee who is not cutting the mustard needs to be absolutely clear on what the expectations of the position are—and where he or she is falling short. The employee needs opportunities to develop the requisite skills or learning. Furthermore, the above needs to be documented. When the employee still isn’t performing to standard and agreement, it is time for the adviser to cut the cord. The action can demonstrate the importance of having an organization where everyone is committed to doing quality work.

#10: I have a best friend at work.

I have to admit that this dimension baffles me, perhaps because I personally have never had a “best” friend at work. If you study what Gallup says about this dimension, the firm agrees that the word best, although controversial, is a valid predictor of an employee’s perception of a best place to work. That said, the Gallup Organization says that developing trusting relationships with one’s coworkers is the characteristic sought, partially because humans are simply social animals.

In an organization of one adviser and one employee, this may be an area that puts small business at a disadvantage. Still, there are plenty of firms where adviser and employee have worked together for decades. Although neither may define the other as a best friend, in enduring relationships, mutual trust is overt. “Mutual trust and respect” may be the substitute wording for this dimension in a small business.

Joni Youngwirth
Managing Principal of Practice Management
Commonwealth Financial Network
Waltham, Mass.

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  1. Pingback: Becoming a “Best Place to Work”: Dimensions #11 and #12 « FPA Practice Management Center Blog

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