• The Business Owner

Are your team in the right jobs?

When you started the company or made the decision to expand, contract or stay relatively static, how did you build your team around you. This could be your company, your department or even you as a sole trader with your outsourced assistance, but where and how did you obtain these people and are they doing the right roles in your organisation.

As I’m sure you’re aware, people are THE most important part of your company. The way your business develops, grows and achieves the business plan is dependent on humans. You need to work as a team, with a common goal, in mutual respect to achieve the outcome desired.

So, how do you get you and your team to gel properly together and produce great results.

Firstly, you need to get your company’s values nailed down and communicate these to your team. This gives the whole team the opportunity to realise what the company is attempting to achieve, why it is doing it and what the results will be. These will be stated in your business plan. Once you have your values down you need to start assessing what jobs are needed in your organisation to make it fly. This can take quite some time to achieve but it is really good practice to get this documented and mapped for the current and future periods matching your business plan and budgets.

In the book the E-Myth by Michael Gerber he urges business owners to treat the company as a franchise model that could be replicated and repeated. With this mindset you would build all the jobs that are needed to run the company (Franchise) efficiently and successfully and at what point in the company’s gestation they are required. This view is that you are working ON the business and not IN the business, when making these plans.

Initially, particularly if you are starting out or a sole trader, all of the job roles maybe carried out by the business owner but as you grow you then start to fill the roles with the right people for the task.

Once you have an organisational chart of the roles and jobs that are needed in your business, you’ll need to work out what the qualities of person you’ll need to successfully fill that role. As an example, if you need an in-house designer for your t-shirt business then finding someone with a sense of humour, coupled with a great design portfolio and extensive knowledge of relevant software could be your key requirements. When you couple those with your company’s values (Let’s say these are: Fun, Agile, Ambitious, Cheeky & Creative) you start to get a much better definition of the role and person required.

If you already have a team, how did each person get the role they are in? My guess is that like 95% of the businesses out there you got too busy or too snowed under in a certain area, quickly banged an advert together, interviewed a couple of people then gave them the job. Over time they’ve either sank or swam, if the latter then the role has probably evolved around them. Does this work for you? Are they happy, productive and pulling for the team?

The next step is to evaluate your team regularly and consistently. Revisit your core values and the job requirements and score the person against the job. If they are not performing, why is this? Is it because they have no desire to help the company achieve its goals or are they unhappy in their current role? Having reviews with them and going through their scores are vital. If the problem is with the person don’t let the situation fester and make sure you document that the performance expected is not being met. Leaving people in the role who are only looking out for themselves can do immeasurable damage to the team, your business and bottom-line profit.

Just taking the time to think this area through and start to plan and communicate with your team with start on the path to a better business.