Customers’ expectations are changing, and the need for a better, more versatile salesperson is greater than ever. Traditional methods of developing and retaining our salespeople are no longer aligned with the needs of our new workforce. These following tips will help get you started on the right path towards growing and retaining your employees.
"Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm." - Winston Churchill
Having a "growth mindset" is to understand that potential is not "fixed" but can be developed. This leads to a hunger to learn and try new things, which creates growth and success. Instilling this believe to your employees can be hard but the first step is to believe the growth mindset yourself.
Career progression has been used as a carrot in the automotive industry for years. “If you perform, one day you’ll be a manager.” One problem is that it was never clear what steps an employee must take to grow within an organization, and it was mostly built on performance. Another problem is that employees would quickly realize that to become a manager they must outperform many salespeople that have been there for years and managers that occupied their positions for years must quit, be fired, or die.
Focusing on individual development and performance by level will provide the framework needed for career mapping. Promoting and rewarding your employees based on development and performance provides the upward mobility desired by today’s workforce.
Create a career path for your organization. You may want to build separate paths for each department. You must be specific about the minimum requirements of development and performance for each position.
Evaluating and documenting employee development and performance is vital. When properly executed, it can provide the necessary feedback and guidance to a struggling employee. It can also provide the platform for recognition of their accomplishments. If not properly executed, it will be perceived as a waste of time, and it will have an adverse effect.
As a manager and a leader, your responsibility is not only to manage processes. You may need to do a situational analysis and figure out the root causes for poor performance. In most situations, poor performance can be linked to a gap or underutilization of competencies in the four factors: process, skills, product knowledge, or temperament.
Through proper communication, you must identify the root of your employee’s pitfalls. You can do that by placing your employee in one of the following success matrix categories:
These individuals are your leaders. They have the skills, knowledge of the processes, products we sell, and products we use. They are the “go to” people in the organization. They have the temperament that allows them to utilize their knowledge and deliver results. As a manager of these individuals, you must recognize and reward the hard work they put into achieving results not only the results themselves.
These individuals are your learners. They have the right temperament, however, they lack competencies in these three factors: process, skills, and product knowledge. As a manager of these individuals, you must identify the gaps in their knowledge and guide their development. Their growth mindset will make it easy for you to have these discussions. These individuals are looking for collaboration, guidance, and support in their development.
These individuals are your leeches. They suck managerial and organizational energy. They have the skills needed to get results, however, their attitude toward change, leadership, development, and taking initiative prevents them from performing at their full potential. They have a fixed mindset. They don’t take responsibility for their pitfalls and try to find reasons other than themselves for their mishaps. They are cancer for any culture that promotes growth and development. They are not open to suggestions because in their eyes, their way is the best way. As a manager of these individuals, you will earn your pay. Getting someone from a fixed mindset into growth is extremely challenging. If you can figure it out, you’ll be better than 99% of managers out there.
These individual are leaving. They demand the majority of your managerial bandwidth. They have a fixed mindset, and they do not have the skills necessary for performance. Employees with a fixed mindset are difficult to train. They have a negative outlook on personal development. They believe their ability to learn or perform is hindered by their DNA, meaning, they were not born with it. This belief prevents them from trying to learn or develop themselves. As a manager of these individuals, you will dedicate a lot of your time to their growth. Their fixed mindset will prevent them from learning, and they should be managed out.
Once you have identified any development misses, a solution and a commitment must be created. With your guidance, your employee must play a big role in the identification of a problem and the solution. Solution commitment must have agreement from both of you, and a date must be set for its completion.
These three tips just scratched the surface on what it truly takes to grow and retain employees. The discussion continues at President's Club later this year. Don't miss it!
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