In every organization that we, at Change Strategists, have worked with, there are one or more employees who are the ones willing to go the extra mile and do more than is absolutely required of their job positions with the company.
In a traditional corporate environment, these extra-milers typically shoot past their competition and are offered even better jobs, with more lucrative benefits. I talk about the extra-miler phenomenon extensively in VALUE PLUS: EMPLOYEES AS VALUERS. The concept that I propose in the book is for employers to try and make every one of their employees the sort who will go the extra mile – companies need these kind of employees far more than they need “average” employees. What is it that average employees do, anyway, but simply manage to keep the doors open during business hours (and typically spend a lot of time during the “work” day on FaceBook and other social media sites). Robots can keep the doors open, and they’re not addicted to social media. The extra-milers are those who know a wealth of information about the business (because they’ve made a point to go out of their way to acquire it); they buy in fully to the business model of the company and help to shape and refine it; and they are able to convince customers that the business they’re dealing with is absolutely the best business that exists in this particular market niche. In other words they are the doers. Every company needs a whole host of doers – and far less of the human robot version, the “average” employee. Trembling with the “insecurity of the moment,” the WSJ has crafted an article about employees who “carry the most weight” – their term for the extra-milers. The Journal article whines (as is frequent with this group of journalists) about the vagaries of being the extra miler. Their whine includes the concern that extra-milers might get burned out. Well, gosh, that could happen but it’s far less usual than the Journal would have one think. For one thing, extra-milers love what they’re doing; they delight in being able to demonstrate that they can do more and be more than their colleagues. For another thing, if companies take my company’s advice and try to make every employee an extra-miler, then these extra-miler employees have a lot of company among other employees like themselves as well as good support from these colleagues. There’s no burn-out at companies that have a high-percentage of extra-milers as their employees. At these hard-charging companies, however, there is a terrific amount of enterprise, innovation, and good will extended from the customers that they serve. This is how organizational change management in companies is accomplished.
Which would you choose if you were running a company – a ho-hum company that managed to do very little by using “average” employees or a go-getter company that was in the business of setting the marketplace on fire? And, before I hear protests that “there simply aren’t enough extra-milers out there” – let me assure you that you are wrong. The boss – that is the CEO of a company and his leadership team – are the folks responsible for constructing and supporting a group of employees as they become the extra-milers. Read the book, VALUE PLUS: EMPLOYEES AS VALUERS – and, then, go for it! You’ll be amazed what one can accomplish with these simple guidelines.
And. let me hear how it goes.