Business / Leadership Corner

The Ladder Effect, How to get everybody going in the same direction…UP!

The Ladder Effect

A Ladder is made up of 3 components. A left rail, right rail and the steps that you walk on to go up the ladder. If you have any of these components missing it’s no longer called a ladder. I’m sure you could still find some uses for it but you aren’t going to reach any higher without each of the 3 components performing the action required of them.

We’re going to break down how each step can help you and your company climb the ladder of success. The company’s investment, Employee outcomes, and mutual growth are the keys to a well round company and the Ladder Effect integrates all three into an easy system. If you are investing time into your employees but do not see the return for any reason, you are missing one or more of these elements or in extreme cases you are missing all three components.

Company’s Investment (Left Rail)

Your company’s investment is what you are willing to give to your employees to see professional and personal growth in your employees. This can look like a lot of different things such as…

-Time each week to spend on personal growth.

– Creating focus groups to identify ways the company can enhance procedural issues within the company

-How to help your community relations expand to new territories and new projects.

-Leadership Trainings and coaching

-Mentor programs for the more tenured employees to coach and develop new employees.

It is simply what you are going to do to show your employee that they are important to the company. It is the tangible way for your company to see you actively connecting with them. As I stated previously (Change by Connecting), this will not bear any fruit for your company by itself, you need still need the right rail and the steps going up the ladder.

Employee Outcomes (Right Rail)

Checks and balances are always necessary even when the outcome isn’t always going to be directly related to your business. If your employees are using the time and resources allotted for personal growth they will be happy to report their findings, each and every employee needs to have some type of positive accountability for every second they are being paid for. You know who the employees are that will waste the time they are given, right? Here is your chance to coach your employee on the advantages of this time and what they will be able to gain from it.


What do you as a business owner or manager need to know about your employees outcomes? This isn’t your opportunity to scrutinize each and every thing reported by the employee but a time to take note of what is most important to that employee. Trends are easy to find in these reports. You can cater the opportunities you offer them based on the answers you get from their reports.

If they went to a focus group on SOP’s:

-What would you need to know about it?

-What innovative ideas did they come up with?

-What was their role in the focus group?

-What can they relate back to their current position?

-How will they use what they learned in their life outside of work?

-How would they make the focus group better next time?

All quality questions that show the report they are filling out each month and turned in will be used for specific and productive reasons. Most importantly it gives a platform for individuals to make their voice heard but on your terms.

Mutual Growth (Steps going up the ladder)

Here’s the most difficult of the three steps, this isn’t just a one time step of writing down the mutual growth. It is an ongoing process of helping each employee see that they are a vital component of the companies growth. It is going take a little time for your employees and management staff to understand how to see the mutual growth. It will be new for your employees and management team. It is going to get easier over time because you will understand how to plan for the mutual growth step. How will you, your employee, your boss, or your company be positively affected as a result of the first two steps? The mutual growth step is vital in the company’s growth. It is your opportunity to show how each of your employees that their personal growth time positively affected the company in a positive way.

Some things to think about when rolling out the ladder effect in your company.

-Who gets trained first?

-How long until all employees have this opportunity?

-How will you teach everyone to think within the Ladder model?

-It takes a diligence to ensure that each level of management understands the importance of           this exercise.

Each organization is different in so many ways and you may know best how to get buy in from your employees for a plan like this. So make it a calculated roll out. You will fail if you just implement this plan to all employees at the same time. If the boss and the employees are learning how to utilize this at the same time, the manager will have no power to create a buzz around the ideas. Management needs to have a good handle on the process before teaching others.

The Ladder Effect is a simple, positive and flexible system that can be implemented in all companies because it covers the 3 main components every business that is growing needs.

-Strong leadership and management teams.

-Employees who are committed to growth personally and professionally.

-Mutual growth between both parties.

-Ryan C
thewazo COO

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