Break Out of the Bunker – Creating Higher Employee Engagement

Many businesses are in a “bunker” mindset — hunkered down and trying to survive — which saps employee morale and actually makes survival harder. How can a CEO break employees out of the bunker, get them re-engaged, and thus gain market share and profits?

I interviewed two experts who have done it: returning guest Mitch Pisik, CEO of Breckwell, and executive coach (and fellow radio host) Tom DeVane.

We think we are being smart by getting “hunkered and bunkered” — we say we’re controlling expenses, we say we are retrenching, and so on.

We pick it up from our customers, from our suppliers, and from each other.

Yet, it is during downturns that market share changes most dramatically. So the current tough economy represents a huge opportunity — by approaching our work and our market with upbeat energy, we can make big inroads against our competition.

So, how do you as a leader make that happen?

I asked Mitch Pisik this question because he’s done it. During the past very difficult two years he has shown is abilities by increasing revenue, cashflow, marketshare, ROI, and income. This was in the context of an industry that declined by over 50% last year.

Mitch did it by focusing his people on the basics, and also giving them a challenge — to design and build an award-winning new stove. Their firm had never done anything like that.

Within a year, they had. The effect on morale was electric.

Everybody, from the stock clerks and janitors to the designers and sales people were immensely proud that they worked for a firm able to face down the recession AND create a new stove design — and win an industry design award on their first try.

Tagged with: , ,