Pre-Habilitate Your Business

Downtown Chicago

Pre-habilitation is a form of strength training designed to prevent injuries BEFORE they occur. However, this term can be effectively used in your personal life, family, employment, business, and church. As it relates to this topic, pre-habilitation is the management style of incorporating proactive and preventative measures or actions designed to prevent mistakes, delays, deficiencies, and the development of unwanted business culture BEFORE they occur.

It is a common goal or dream of many to progress professionally into a management position or individually to business ownership. To that end, let’s examine the elements of pre-habilitation as it applies to your business by asking a few thought-invoking questions:

  1. If you could prevent having a ‘communication gap’ between management and your first-line supervisors, would that appeal to you?
  2. If you could avoid fairly constant employee turnover and build great loyalty, would you do it?
  3. If you could reduce employee sick time and lower worker’s compensation claims, would that interest you?

Hopefully, the answer to each of these questions is a resounding YES!

The solution to preventing, avoiding, and escaping the aforementioned conditions, lies foundationally in the concept of pre-habilitation. Let’s pre-habilitate your business! We may not be able to avoid the ‘current’, but we can pre-habilitate our future to a great extent. Let’s ‘pre-habilitate’ questions 1-3 in order:

  1. Pre-habilitating a potential ‘communication gap’ is fairly easy. It starts with communication. Communication should take place not only through inter-department memos and emails, but through person to person communication. Hold bi-weekly team meetings at a pre-determined time. Have a clear-cut agenda and do not ‘chase rabbit trails.’ The meetings should focus on information, job-well-done reports, and complaints. Every person should be given the opportunity to speak. Any questions about management decisions should be answered by the team leader. If an answer is not available, the team leader should have the answer for the next meeting. Open and regularly scheduled person to person communication is the key to pre-habilitating the ‘communication gap.’
  2. Pre-habilitating employee turnover and disloyalty is found in the process of value and consistency. People want to be valued and appreciated. At the same time, people want to know what to expect.  The best way to drive people away from an organization and foster an environment of distrust is to never acknowledge people as people. Employers should make it a habit to frequently visit the workplace. Talk with your employees and ask about their families. If someone in your business does an excellent job, quickly and publicly praise them. Praise the behavior that you want repeated. On the other side of the coin, if someone really messes something up, act quickly, decisively and consistently. Don’t give your employees reason to claim unfairness or unequal treatment.
  3. Pre-habilitating use of sick time and worker’s compensation claims can be accomplishment with a company-wide wellness culture. This is a culture practiced and established by leadership. A wellness plan will be far less effective if not top-down AND bottom-up driven.  The plan should be voluntary and participatory-based. Families and dependants should be included. The workplace should be ‘illness-proofed.’ Avoid bringing donuts and cakes to meetings. Make walking and activity normal business practices. Let the employees see you, the boss, being publicly active. Remember, if you lead your business in wellness, your employees will follow.  Over time, it is agreed that increased activity and better nutrition improves wellness.

There you have it. We have utilized pre-habilitation as a management style in your business to prevent some of the most dreaded consequences.

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