Are Your Employees Firing On All Cylinders?


If Bob Costello, VP & Chief Economist of the American Trucking Associations, is right, the recovery has started.

This is good news and potentially not such good news.

Recently a leader shared with us a challenge we might all be facing. He had cut his staff in reaction to reduced demand and when he received a large customer order, he was unable to provide the usual level of service. His customer was not happy. This is a likely scenario for many of us as business increases, especially if we have the starts and stops in business that are typical during a recovery.

Now is the time to clean house, get things in order and get the right systems, processes and people in place to capitalize on new opportunities. “Productivity and efficiencies are what will make us survive and succeed today,” says Shorty Whittington, President of Indiana-based Grammer Industries and immediate past chairman of American Trucking Associations.

Recently we presented a workshop to a trucking industry group on “Using the Bad Times to Get Ready for the Good Times.” Afterward, we followed up with participants to see how they were applying the ideas. Here is what other trucking industry companies are doing to increase efficiencies,

eliminate waste and get ready for increased business volumes.

Download the full LMI article here

Right Things, Right Time

Your ability to do the right things, at the right time, for right length of time in order to achieve your goals will ultimately be the key element in your success. Staying focused on your high pay off activities is the key to productivity and productivity is the well spring of success.

The introduction of mobile communication, text, voice mail, email etc simply means that we are all just a matter of seconds away from an interruption or distraction. How long does it take between a telephone ringing, and email pinging or some other such alert informing us that somebody somewhere wants our attention.

Technology was developed to aid productivity and to drive efficiency in the work place. Having spent years in automotive and engineering production facilities, during my previous life,

I can add testimony to the success of such developments however I worry that technology is now getting in the way of individuals personal productivity. A key to managing this situation is by managing expectations. If you always respond to an email by return it will become expected, it will become normal. If you always answer your mobile when it rings it will become expected and normal.

Let’s be honest what percentage of communications really demand our immediate attention? If on the other hand you schedule time during the day to read emails and prioritise them, you listen to your voice mail and prioritise them in order of importance you can take control of your own agenda. If you communicate this to your staff, colleagues and clients then their expectations are more informed.

If you say you will call someone back in 30 minutes and you call them back after 60 minutes they will be annoyed, if on the other hand you tell someone you will get back to them in 90 minutes and you call them in 60 minutes they think you are great. You have delivered exactly the same service the only difference being  that you have managed their expectation.

Schedule your day around your high pay of activities and manage the expectations of others, go on be brave, turn off you phone for an hour, turn off your email for an hour…..the world will still be there when you turn them back on!!

Taking Personal Responsibility

There is a great quote that goes something like this “whatever you achieve in this life is all your fault, what would you be happy to take the blame for?” I’m not sure who said it but it’s brilliant.

Let’s face it, footballers blame the referee, students blame their teachers, the old blame the young, employees blame their bosses, criminals blame society, the people blame the government and so on and so on. Every day, every week and every month we waste enormous amounts of time and energy blaming others leaving little or nothing left for personal growth and development.

Only when you accept personal responsibility for your attitudes, actions and subsequent outcomes can you really influence the way you want to live your life and design your future success. No one says it will be easy and most definitely events and circumstance outside of your control can have a negative impact on your emotions, but how you react in that situation is a matter of choice. Eleanor Roosevelt said “no one can make you feel inferior without your consent” No one can make you feel anything unless you choose to let them, personal responsibility, your ability to respond to circumstance is a choice you make, no one can steal or take it away from you.

So I’ll ask again ”whatever you achieve in this life is all your fault, what would you be happy to take the blame for?”

To find out more about taking personal responsibility talk to Mark Tonks at LMI-UK