What’s your voltage meter reading?
By Leanne Hoagland-Smith February 23, 2013 3:20PM
Leanne Hoagland-Smith. | Provided photo~Sun-Times Media
Voltage is a term to measure the electrical current (energy) running through a system as well as the energy potential for that system. The origin of this word comes from Alessandro Volta a physicist in the early 1800s.
Imagine for a moment if your organization was a system and you began to measure the emotional energy given off by your employees as well as the potential energy? What would that meter read?
With so many employees (approximately 75 percent) in a state of not giving 8 for 8 (8 hours of work for 8 hours of pay) along with the increasing distrust as noted in the February11 column of bad bosses, probably the voltage of many firms is on the low side.
Additionally the discussion around emotions is not one viewed positively. However if we understand that human beings are emotional creatures and emotions are part of their mental psyche, then to ignore emotions is quite illogical.
To turn up or increase the voltage resides in the creation of a culture where each employee feels part of the bigger picture. Their participation has not originated from a top down dictate, but rather from a bottom up collaboration where their input is viewed as a necessary component to overall business growth. This approach naturally builds What’s In It for Me (WIIFM) leading to What’s In It for Us (WIIFU).
As voltage also measures the potential energy, this suggests a return to the hiring and onboarding processes. If the hiring is not based upon a consistent process along with assessment tools to ensure the 7 Rs, the potential is also diminished. Additionally if there is no onboarding process, the emotions of that new hire are channeled away from the current system and may actually become negative.[Note: The 7 Rs are the Right Person (R-1) in the Right Seat (R-2) using the Right Talents (R-3) to make the (R-4) Right Decisions to generate the Right Results (R-5) in the Right Timeframe (R-6) and within the Right Environment (R-7).]
Finally a third strategy to increase voltage resides in your personal philosophy as the small business owner to C suite executive. Do you view yourself in the role of the watchmaker where everything must be orderly, precise, risk adverse and your employees each have a specific functionality directed to predetermined results to ensure quality and consistency? Or are you a beekeeper where you live in chaos, risk, constant change, never 100% sure of the results and your employees are viewed as independent contractors?
To grow your business does require energy from your workforce. When you can begin to measure that emotional energy and then learn how to increase it, is an important step to ensuring a sustainable, results driven culture and enterprise.
In March, this column will explore problems and profits.
P.S. Shout Out – Start spring cleaning early with California Closets of Merrillville or Merry Maids in Valparaiso.