Philie Group Blog

Your People, the True Leading Indicator
By Mike Philie

This blog originally published in Printing Impressions


How much are you investing in your people? I’m not talking about wages and benefits, but rather their training and development, their growth in what they do in your business? Let me ask the question in a different way – are your employees engaged and excited about what they do and where they work and do they feel part of your success? I know, it’s not supposed to be fun, that’s why they call it work. Yeah, yeah, yeah.


This isn’t about you being the biggest cheerleader around 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) and that you have assembled the right mix of talent that understands what the mission is, is capable of playing their position, and is energized by both the role they play and the team they are on. As Herb Brooks said in the Miracle movie about the team, “the name on the front of the jersey is a lot more important than the one on the back.”


Being the best at what you do, and doing it every day is hard work! No question. So what are some things that you can do to help bring out the best in your people?


• Hire smart. Make sure they fit within the team and use your onboarding process to increase their odds of success in their new role.


• One of your roles as the leader is to help people achieve things that they couldn’t have achieved anywhere else. If you believe in that, it’s important to know what their passion is and how you can steer that into an exciting opportunity for them, and that delivers the ultimate results you are looking for with the team?


• Make it as fun as you can. That’ll mean different things for different people and companies, but find out how you can still do “the work,” and have fun doing it. If your employees are not smiling once in a while, how will they ever make your customers smile?


• The industry continues to use technology to drive out unnecessary touches and costs that clients don’t see and seldom value. So, how can you re-deploy your talented problems solvers away from those repetitive tasks and on to things that will change the customer experience, and add value in such a way that your customers won’t ever want to leave?


• Provide insight. Find a way to let your folks see or hear about what’s going on with your customers, with your company, and within the industry. Set the stage for what’s happening outside of your four walls and share your vision and your plan for how you’ll use that as an advantage to make your business excel.


Would love to hear what’s working for you and the steps that you took to get there. Good luck and have fun.


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 assessments, 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


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