Treat Your People Well

Treat Your People Well

“Clients do not come first. Employees come first. If you take care of your employees, they will take care of the clients.” -Richard Branson

“Treat your people well….feed them on your dreams…” -Crosby, Stills and Welch (Jack)

How you treat your employees has a profound impact on the success of your company. Historically, pensions and benefits kept employees at a company for years (in spite of poor leadership), but the economies of today’s small business do not allow for these long-term carrots to balance the sticks of poor leadership. As such, employee turnover can be a harsh reality for businesses that do not have an open and developmental culture.

In the dynamics of logistics, daily deal flow and load movements are essential to cover expenses, but, too often, the urgency of each load (or each load more) overshadows the cultural toxicity of an overly competitive work environment. There needs to be a balance of alignment between the company goals and the individual employee goals.

Be clear, from day one of employment, in the company vision, in the business objectives, in the behaviors that you expect from your company and its employees. Communicate this information and focus regularly. Stay consistent to the message and the belief of what you are doing and what they should be doing. Employees need to feel a part of the vision and a part of reach the goals. Provide them the tools and the environment to be successful and to grow.

Learn and understand what drives your employees and provide them a platform to express these motivations within the context of your business. The energy of these pursuits builds goodwill within the organization and builds brand equity with your clients, suppliers, community and with prospective employees.

A company that meets the needs of its employees (personal and professional, financial and developmental) reduces attrition and creates a consistent approach for customers and carriers that deepens relationships and strengthens the sustainability of the organization.

At TranStrategy Partners, we are a resource to help transportation organizations transform into the companies they envision through experiential and consultative strategy and coaching services.

Your Business is a Blessing and a Burden

Your Business is a Blessing and a Burden

As a business leader who is responsible for your company’s success and the livelihood of all the people you employ, do you have the right resources to help you make the right decisions and choices for your people and for yourself?

Your business is a family that needs wisdom as well as action. It needs to offer compassion and discipline together to reach the goals set out before it. It is a both a blessing and a burden that can keep you awake at night as you navigate the changes across the industry and your local community. Regulatory obstacles, customer and employee attrition, acquisition challenges and budgetary constraints all threaten your ability to lead your company through the coming years.

Whether cultural (vision, people and communication), organizational (structure and leadership) or financial (growth, compensation and expense management), every decision impacts the overall performance of your business. Fortunately, you are not alone in this journey. You just need the right people and partnerships to drive forward.

An executive coach and mentor can provide an objective viewpoint about your business to help mitigate unnecessary risk and to provide the necessary accountability. Coaches can take on the role of confidant, cheerleader, sounding board, priest and task master to bring about the best outcome for you and your business.

TranStrategy Partners provides the pathway to successful achievement of your goals. Over the last 14 years, we have helped companies achieve their plans for growth with measurable and significant ROI:

Over 15% average revenue growth with over 50% average profitability growth in the first year of engagement. Leaders and employees become more engaged and collaborative in the work that they do with a clearer focus on the goals and expectations – the vision.
Find the right partnership to make your business thrive – for you, for your people and for the future.

Saving Culture

Saving Culture

“Seventy percent of American employees report being disengaged at work, and three out of four are currently looking for a new job or are open to new opportunities.” Matthew Baker, Entrepreneur, 6/13/17, Here’s the Secret to Improving Employee Engagement That Every Company Can Afford

Disengaged employees are a detriment to your business – they adversely affect morale and commitment to the defined goals for success.

Why are your employees disengaged? Often, there is a disparity between their goals and the goals of the company; there is misalignment between the values of the organization and the employee.

How can you, as a leader within the organization, combat this disengagement and disenfranchisement? Build a strong and clear Culture for your company.

Culture is the subconscious of your organization. It is the set of values that contextually drive decisions and it is the compass that points True North for your company. Culture exists whether you are actively building it or not- it is the collections of stories about success (and failures). And it is the pathway of your most successful employees and the methods for dealing with your worst employees.

Culture is realized through the relationships that your people have with each other, vendors, customers and the community. It can be a source of pride (in alignment) or a source of derision and bitterness (when not in alignment). The choices and decisions of the business and its employees are reflections of the adherence to the culture framework.

Your business Culture guides your business success, so you need to be very intentional about how your Culture develops. It is imperative to understand how your culture is defined today – from a leadership, employee, customer and vendor perspective – to see what needs to be adjusted to drive the proper expectations.

The stronger and more directed the Culture, the more your people know what defines success and how they can be a part of that success. Your well-developed Culture can reduce attrition and create a compelling message for your recruiting process – allowing you to keep great employees and build your staff with people aligned to the positive Culture that you design.

Working Together for Success: Sales and Operations

Working Together for Success: Sales and Operations

Have you overheard conversations like these in your brokerage?
Salesperson: “I met with ABC Shipper this morning and was blindsided when they asked me about how I plan to resolve ‘this issue’. I had to tell them that we were reviewing the potential options and would be back with them later today. I called into the office and I am still waiting for useful information about what happened and how we plan to remedy the situation. I feel like I am a second-class citizen within my organization.”
Operations: “I’m not really sure what ‘salesperson’ does each day. We keep having to find cheaper trucks for his customers and we haven’t had a decent new customer in quite some time. How are we supposed to grow without new business? I feel like, without the new business, the lower rates are going to keep us from providing the service to our customers, which will cause us to lose more business, and on and on.”
Too often there is a disconnect between the sales department and the operations department. The sales goals of margin maximization, combined with customer acquisition and expansion are not aligned with the operational needs to cover the load and find incremental load volume increase. Daily service issues are not always communicated throughout the organization which leave salespeople scrambling to provide the assurance to customers to allay their concerns. New rates and customers arrive to the operations team without a defined strategy for service and growth.
This disconnect between goals and activity causes an ‘us versus them’ dynamic to form within an organization that can permeate the culture and stifle growth. At the heart of these issues is leadership and corporate vision in defining expectations, behaviors and belief.
Clarity and communication of the company goals across the organization is essential to building the belief in the strategic direction. Leaders need to provide the context (the Why) and the process (the How) to support the overall strategy. Clarity is achieved through simple crafting of the vision and goals. The clearer the message, the easier it is to retain, repeat and remember. Regular communication of the message helps all people begin to internalize and promote the message.
When people know their responsibilities (and the reasons for them), along with the responsibilities of others, in achieving the goals of the organization, the team begins to gain cohesion and will rally around the goals together. Within the team itself, collaboration builds credibility and trust. Regular communication and review to recognize success and identify obstacles improves the responsiveness to pivot as needed to move forward.
Relation Shipping

Relation Shipping

“People don’t care how much you know until they know that you care.” – Theodore Roosevelt
Be interested in the person (people) with whom you speak. Each person or company that you touch has a depth of knowledge and experience that is valuable and valued. They have hopes and fears that need attention. They have gaps in understanding that need to be filled. They have much to share with you as well.
Be sincere in your approach and find the commonality that links you. Spend time to learn what you can about the person or company to find the links and important information that you can talk about. People inherently want to find a connection with others and talking about themselves, their successes and/or their company makes it easier for them to open up to conversation.
Do not shy from vulnerability. Humility and humanity exist hand in hand and show a genuine truth to your personality.
Be impactful. Create solutions to the needs that are expressed (explicitly and implicitly). Provide information that is a benefit. Focus on allaying fears and providing a sense of togetherness in building security and value in the relationship.
If you are looking for a short term or transactional relationship, then you can kick, bite and scratch your way to get the business. But be prepared to continue to fight each time, because only the strongest survive in such a battle strategy.
It is more worthwhile to spend the time to build the long term relationships that will be protected against the variances of market conditions and the immediate pressures of competition. However, you must continue to learn, build and share to keep the relationship strong and resilient.