Philie Group Blog

Focus, Engage, and Invest In Your People
By Mike Philie

Printing companies throughout the country are re-emerging. And as they do, they place a tremendous value in having their teams work well together.

They respect the passion and the pride that each employee brings to their job every day.

The majority of the people go to work each day, expecting to do their best. Whether or not they are able to do so may depend on the environment they are in, the folks they work with, having a clear understanding of their expectations, and having the right tools and technology to do the job.

Invest In Your People

It’s important to invest in your people. Not only in wages and benefits, but in their training, development, and their individual growth within your business. There’s that old saying – well, if I train them they’ll only leave and go to work for a competitor. Well, what if you don’t train them and they stay?

After all, in a manufacturing world that revolves around KPI’s, your team is a true leading indicator. Work to keep your employees engaged and excited about what they do, where they work, and how to feel part of the success of your organization. It’s a worthy effort and the added benefit of doing it right is that it leads to improving the experience your customers have with you.

In 2015 Jack Welch, like him or hate him, said “There are three measurements you need to understand within a business to know if you’re on the right track: the second was customer satisfaction, and the third was cash flow. “First and foremost is employee engagement. How do your employees feel about their jobs, where they’re going and do they like the work? Are they proud of what they do?”

Why Focus

So, why should you focus on your people? Without them, you don’t have a business. Customer interaction and engagement is at a premium today. Your people are the largest single line item on your financial statement. In a recent poll, Gallop reported that only 39% of employees and managers are engaged in what they are doing. What does that cost you every day? Engaging your employees AND your managers can make a significant impact on your business – and on your customers!

In many of the companies I speak with, as they review corrective action reports the same two culprits continue to appear – didn’t read the ticket or didn’t follow SOP’s. Now, was that because the people were not trained properly or because they were asleep at the wheel, or they were zoned out – not actively engaged? This could also lead to accidents and injuries as well.

Make This An Action Item

I know, it’s not supposed to be fun, that’s why they call it work. How can you take this concept and turn it into a key action item? First, this isn’t about you being the biggest cheerleader and going around serving cookies and latte’s to everyone.

It is though, making sure that your vision has been clearly articulated (whatever it is). You need to have assembled the right mix of talent that understand what the mission is, and that they are capable of playing their positions. Finally, they should be energized by both the role they play and the team they are on.

Here’s one idea. How many companies have branded apparel for their employees to wear at work? Now by a show of hands, how many have employees who also wear those shirts on the weekends or outside of work? 

Herb Brooks said in the Miracle movie, “the name on the front of the jersey is a lot more important than the one on the back.”

Work to get your employees to feel connected, part of the team, and part of the success.

If you have any comments or thoughts as to how you’ve approached these times, please send me a note or include them below.

Mike Philie can help validate what’s working and what may need to change in your business. Changing the trajectory of a business is difficult to do while simultaneously operating the core competencies. Mike provides strategy and insight to owners and CEOs in the Graphic Communications Industry by providing direct and realistic advice, not being afraid to voice the unpopular opinion and helping leaders navigate change through a common sense and practical approach. Learn more at, LinkedIn or email at


Originally published in Printing Impressions


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