Getting More From Fewer People – Part II

So, from Part I, we discussed how company executives must understand the core traits and motivations of their people so that the management team performs at a high level and the people you have working for your company can maximize their performance, while enjoying their work!  Let’s take a look at the next three ways you can get more from fewer people.

NUMBER THREE: Don’t have any “square pegs in round holes”.

Interestingly, back in the aftermath of the September 11th terrorist attacks and the economy nose-diving at that time, companies who had bench-marked the shared characteristics of their top-performers in the positions within their company saw a phenomenon. The people that most closely fit the job they were doing were the first to return to work and were the quickest to get back up to full productivity. With a huge amount of human capital available in the market today, companies have the opportunity to not only be an “Employer of Choice”, but to be a choosy employer. Make sure that the people you have are in the right job. Re-engineer the job to better fit their competencies or reallocate them to where they can be better performers. For those that don’t fit your company culture, it’s time to ask them to find a company that they do fit and bring someone else in to fill their place.  You can still get some valuable information from these people, though. By conducting exit interviews and using assessments to match them against the benchmark of your top-performers, you can identify traits they lacked. This will improve your future hiring process and prepare your company for growth.

NUMBER FOUR: Hire people that will make you a profit every day.

Be opportunistic with your ability to be choosy.  If you need to hire someone, interview as many candidates as possible in order to select the best available. Your company not only deserves the best, you must require it.  The economy is cycling back up again and this gives you the opportunity to be more selective. Hire people that will be honest, hardworking, reliable, and drug-free. Hire people that are like your top-performers. If you do, as the economy turns around, you will need to hire less people to do the same jobs, which means having an enormous edge on your competition.  Harland Checks, the second largest check manufacturer in the U.S., was able to reduce their workforce by 30% while keeping at or above their previous production rates using this method. This contributed substantially to their bottom-line.

NUMBER FIVE: Rev-up the engine of your business – your Sales Department.

Never before has it been so important that the sales people you have be able to sell well. Not just sell well, but, sell your product well! Ever heard of the 80-20 Rule? Statistics show that 55% of all sales people shouldn’t be in sales, 25% shouldn’t be selling your product. That leaves 20% that should be selling your product, that’s why they are your top-performers! Studies show that salespeople share 5 key qualities, Competitiveness, Self-reliance, Persistence, Energy, and Sales Drive and 7 critical sales behaviors,  Prospecting, Closing Sales, Call Reluctance, Self-starting, Teamwork, Building and Maintaining Relationships, and Compensation Preference.

How do your salespeople compare? Do they have these qualities and behaviors? And, how different are your top salespeople versus your bottom performers? These are but a few steps that can be taken to assure, not just the survival of your organization, but to position it to be a top competitor!