Joyce White Nelson is the founder of JoyceVentures LLC, a Green Bay-based company offering innovation strategies for businesses. With a background in education, organizational leadership, mediation, conflict resolution and behavior analysis, she and her network of business partners help clients maximize the value of the people they work with. She sat down with Insight editor Margaret LeBrun to discuss what business people yearn to do better.
WHAT’S TOP OF MIND FOR ME, in the new year, is the thought: Do you serve time, or does time serve you?
First, you want to keep in mind your desired outcomes and what is needed to get there. There are always choices. There’s been a lot of tragedy this year, and people are yearning for balance in their lives.
By balancing, I mean mental, physical, spiritual — all forms of balance, in our personal and our professional lives. We strive for that. How do we get there?
I’m the face of JoyceVentures, but we are actually a collective of people, systems and tools with expert resources that are innovative strategists and creative thinkers who can bring a diverse and deep background to any business, entrepreneur, organization or nonprofit. We do a thorough discovery session, helping them decide what their needs are and how we might be able to help.
One of the trends I’m seeing with clients is they need help communicating internally and externally. They know a lot about their product, they have resources for improving their processes, but oftentimes they are yearning for the people factor in their business. We have so many systems and technologies and tools that we’ve removed the relationship part of business. In business, people are your greatest asset. If you over deliver to them, they are going to become your loyal fans.
When I started this business all the talk was about ROI — and that’s good, we all want a return on our investment. As Marcus Lemonis (businessman, investor and CNBC TV personality on “The Profit”) says, there are three factors in business: people, products and processes. He firmly believes in focusing on people. I totally agree with that.
There is a way to get a return on authentic relationships. Many people in business have been betrayed — there are a lot of pain points in business. How do we know when a relationship is authentic, and how do we build the relationship? In JoyceVentures we answer all those questions and put in tools and systems that can measure that.
For example, a business owner might want to get employees to be more independent so they don’t have to micromanage them. What do we give them so that they feel connected and part of the company?
The U.S. Department of Labor says the No. 1 factor that keeps people on a job and valued is the feeling of being appreciated. Yes, that’s very warm and fuzzy sounding, but we can measure that and work toward that. If we can have people feel valued and appreciated, we’re going to have lower costs, because we know how much it costs to retrain and rehire new employees. If we can keep them engaged, they’re going to perform beyond expectations.
Where businesses really want to focus is on creating their blueprint, which is like the foundation for their house. In business, that translates into their mission statement, their vision statement, their core values and then their action items. When they firmly know what those four things are, it brings clarity to them and it also reduces fear.
When we’re bombarded with so many decisions to make, and we’re solicited daily, if we’re very clear on our foundation, it increases our speed of decision making. It increases our accuracy at decision making and it results in a trickle-down effect to the whole company’s sense of security. They feel safe that their leadership is taking them in one direction and not just running after shiny objects. Having that foundation as the basis of everything comes back to you when you have to make a decision.