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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

What we can learn from the "Biggest Loser"


In an earlier blog we talked about the high cost of losing valuable employees.  The ability that a company has in promoting company allegiance is extremely valuable since employees are the “lifeblood” of the company.  A survey performed at Columbia University stated that replacing an employee costs 150% of that person’s annual salary.  In sales, that cost is often calculated at over 250% of wages.  Loyalty is a two-way street but as we have seen it starts with the manager.  The manner in which you treat employees and are able to demonstrate humility, competence and integrity will offer a strong basis for gaining employee dependability.
There are essentially three primary “drivers” that employees look for from a company and its management.  As we can deliver on these, trust, respect and loyalty will be strengthened:
Create an environment of personal contribution ~ Does your employee have a passion for their job?  Are their inputs and responsibilities “important” for the success of the company? Does your employee feel like they are making a difference? 
Help your employee be Confident & Secure ~ Does your employee have both personal poise and your confidence to do the job required?  Have you inspired an environment that is safe and secure?  Have you established progressive career development steps? 
At all times… Show Respect ~ As often cited, “employees do not leave companies….they leave their manager”.  Does your employee receive fair and consistent coaching from you?  Have you set goals in a realistic fashion?  Is your communication open and honest?  Are you meeting with your employees and giving regular employee reviews and progress updates?  In order to gain respect...you need to show respect!
As managers, we desire employees to be loyal but that does not mean that we yield to low expectations.  A good example of this is the TV show “Biggest Loser”.  If you have ever watched this show you know that Bob or Dolvett, the personal trainers, are far from easy.   They are demanding and relentless.  The are persistent, sometimes harsh and steadfast. They are downright toughHowever, the contestants want to be on their teams.  Why is this?  Quite simply, the contestants believe in them.  They respect them for what they are trying to do.  They see value from their guidance and direction. 
There are several things that we can learn from Bob, Dolvett and the previous trainers from the “Biggest Loser”.
Get to know your staff – Bob and Dolvett are able to separate work from personal but they also take time to learn about what makes the contestant tick.  They acknowledge a sense of humanity and humility. They are approachable and as the show progresses, you sense that the contestants can come to them at any time to discuss issues.
Give Credit and acknowledge performance – The goals have stretch, but when reached are recognized and praised.  The trainers do not focus on their own skill sets but rather focus on recognizing the contestants who are making the necessary changes to succeed.
Diverse people need specific direction – Each contestant has different needs both physical and mental.  The trainers are able to recognize this and set up a training program based on the individual person.
Trust – As the show builds over several weeks, trust and confidence from the trainers is exhibited and the contestants begin to realize that they need to perform without supervision. They begin to learn new habits and thrive!
To err is human – From time to time, a relapse occurs.  Both trainers are skillful in recognizing this and moving forward.  The contestants learn from mistakes rather than repeating them.
Communications are open and honest – The contestants are kept in the loop and have a better understanding of why it is important to make the changes necessary.  As “informed performers” they “buy into” the plan of action to transform their lives.
Lead by example – Both trainers, Bob & Dolvett, are walking their talk.  They physically embody what they are teaching and work diligently to set an pattern for success.  

Beyond the incredible loss of weight and the workouts and exercises that the trainers inspire, there are also a number of management ideas to inspire loyalty, trust, confidence and respect!  I hope that you feel the same way.

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