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Interviews Archives | Spillly

Culling And Stacking Staff – Your Vitality Curves.

By Business Coaching Consulting Hiring No Comments

Every single business needs a great level of attention paid to retaining the right staff and culling those that don’t fit the ideal avatar of a suitable employee.

It can certainly be a difficult or tough process to undergo, but in order for your business to be as successful and as progressive as possible, there needs to be a level of measurement applied that will determine which staff contribute the most and those that are the most destructive to your company.

And in coming to terms with those that don’t bring any value, that are a weak culture-fit and that simply can’t grow – you need to get that rifle locked and loaded and begin hunting.

Rifles Ready; It’s Time To Go Hunting 

As a business coach that comes into contact with so many different businesses and entrepreneurs, there’s always an apparent vitality curve that needs evaluation and consideration.

Within the vitality curve you always find a small percentage of employees, around 10%, that sit on the edge with no value to bring to the company; these employees tend to be a bad fit in both productivity and culture. While they work at a slow pace, with low-output and a distinct inability to get certain responsibilities done, these members of staff are to be considered problematic for the healthy operation of your business and need to be pushed out.

The greater portion of the curve, which is generally around 70-80%, will be the staff that perform at an average rate and do the job well-enough to have the business operate effectively. These employees generally make up the majority of your business and keep it functioning at a healthy level without hassles and the requirement to possibly terminate them. I recommend training, motivating and incentivising those that fit in this category.

And finally, you’ll find on the other end of the curve your company’s top performers, also around 10%, which drive your business in the right direction and bring better profits, efficiency and promise. These employees should be treated with a higher level of respect and should be compensated, accordingly. Give these staff members great incentives, prizes and/or motivation to keep doing an amazing job.

When it comes to dealing with the bottom 10%, your poor performers, then it’s recommended that you find ways to get rid of them, either by firing or working them out of the system.

As criticised and difficult as this method might be, you need to cull this group of non-performers, as they act as leeches to the company – constantly feeding off of your business and never bringing anything to the table.

The former CEO of General Electric, Jack Welch, is famous for doing exactly that; firing and getting rid of the bottom 10% of performers on a yearly basis, keeping his top 20% of performers incentivised and motivated, while coaching and training the other 70% in order for them to keep developing and progressing in the business.

Even with a strong defense and great interview approach, there will always be a few rotten eggs that end up in any business, so it’s helpful to divide, categorise and select those that need better incentives, more training or to be culled.

This method is quite popular in some of the biggest companies out there and is often referred to as “rank and yank”, where employees are ranked and yanked out according to how well or poorly they are performing. It ultimately makes way for a better performance culture and the overall efficiency of the business.

It’s Not Always Fun, But It Needs To Be Done

 Obviously it takes up loads of time and energy to proactively get rid of staff and ensure that you’re constantly evaluating which of them make a good fit every year, but you’ll come to see that it becomes a necessary evil.

While it can be highly criticised and seem like a harsh route to take, your business will reap the many benefits that come with a strong, determined and high-functioning environment of performers that have what it takes to keep you on a trajectory of growth.

Keep in mind that you’re not being vindictive or malicious, but rather keeping your company’s best interests at heart.

In the belief that everybody deserves a second chance, you are more than welcome to act on that and give every employee a chance to improve and deliver on expectations. Offer training, coaching and advice to help bring about a change in attitude and if it doesn’t work, then you know that your rifle is in arm’s reach and ready to fire.

Remember that you also might run into dishonest and malevolent employees that might not necessarily deserve second and third chances, but that should be fired and replaced by someone with more promise and that will appreciate the opportunity to work for you.

Also, be open to creating an environment that takes care of average employees by training them and giving them the opportunity to grow in the company. This keeps them hungry and motivated to reach the status of a top performer and will most certainly bring positive results.

Finding difficulty in taking aim of the staff that need culling is a common occurrence and you don’t need to worry, because I’m here to help you with that (and a whole lot more). My coaching services include rifles and ammunition, along with the tracking techniques to sniff out and determine those who are detrimental to your business. Let me in and I’ll show you how it’s done.

We can meet via Zoom call, face-to-face, at the shooting range, or even a traditional phone call will work wonders. Let me know how I can help you:

+2783 253 3339

brent@spillly.com

Seeking Out Talent And Culture In Hiring New Staff

By Business Coaching Interviews Motivation No Comments

In most businesses you’ll find a lot of emphasis put on skills and experience during the hiring process and in selecting the most ideal candidate to employ.

As a coach that works closely with business owners and entrepreneurs, I always recommend that my clients widen their scope a little bit more and pay attention to a few important aspects to consider when employing new people into their businesses.

We know that skills and experience are tried and tested – it gets the job done and gets the position filled – but, it isn’t enough to find employees that can really make a true impact.

 

Talent, Culture And A Paradigm Shift 

If you’re building a business that requires people, which most businesses do, one of the most important processes will be your ability to find and hire quality people and retain them for a long time.

It’s certainly a crucial part of running a business, but what tends to happen is that most businesses will only interview for both skills and experience – which, we can all agree, is a bit outdated.

Skills refer to what the person studied, learned and whether or not they can do what it takes to produce results in their field; while experience refers to what jobs they’ve had, how long they’ve been in the workforce, which businesses they’ve worked for and what they’ve been exposed to in those environments.

It’s easy to measure these two attributes, as you can check who they’ve worked for and the duration; you can take a look at their body of work to get a sense of what they’re able to produce; and you can check their character through references.

But what often tends to happen is that when these people join the business, there comes a realisation that they’re not a good fit, culturally speaking and that they don’t have the right talent often required by the business. Talents can be considered one’s ability to do things naturally, their ability to learn and ability to take and adapt to criticism.

These attributes need to be paid far more attention when choosing the right staff and during the hiring process to get the best out of the people that help operate the business.

 

Incorporating Value Into Your Business Through It’s People 

The first step that needs to be taken is to identify what your business culture is and what your company values are and being aware of this will allow you to have a stronger sense of the people you require to complement your business.

In the second step and during the interview process, you need to figure out how to test the culture and value that the person can bring to your business – figuring out whether they’re a great fit and that the candidate and company will comfortably dovetail; you need to ensure that you’re inclusive of both talent and culture.

I’m not saying that you should discard the current factors that are looked for in potential employees, but to pay more attention to attributes that might bring extra added value to your business. Make use of all four (culture, talent, skills and experience), rather than the traditional two.

If you had to do a proper test for these pieces, you could make the final decision as to how you would implement them: my suggestion being 25% for talent, 25% for culture and 50% for skills and experience – you decide what becomes more important in the right fit for your company.

By taking the traditional route, you could run into the risk that you employ someone who can do the work, but can’t communicate; or that can do the work, but doesn’t want to learn more; or who can communicate really well, but doesn’t want to do as much work.

You’re trying to find people with a natural ability to learn and adapt to new processes, that take on challenges and learn from them; what you’ll find is that talent and culture can’t really be taught, where skills and experience absolutely can.

More often than not, you can teach people the skills of the job that need to be done, but the ability to be a self-starter, to be autonomous, high-performing and to have a strong work ethic – are all things that can’t be taught; they either have it, or they don’t.

 

Honesty, Hunger, Humility, Happiness

 The email delivery powerhouse, SendGrid, applies a healthy combination of what they call the “4 H’s” when hiring new staff and it’s worked wonders for them.

There are 4 cards and each one is rated from 1-5 to measure where they fit in with those attributes in the company. It makes the hiring process a lot easier and you’ll find more emphasis put on talent and culture, rather than just skills and experience.

In the workplace, you should look at employees that bring, or have a sense of:

Happiness;

Hunger (enthusiasm);

Humility;

Honesty.

These are obviously not the be all and end all in measuring who should or should not be an employee, but it is a pretty good start.

 

The Rotting Banana In The Car 

A story that is etched into my brain, which gave me a nice chunk of insight into how skills and experience don’t necessarily correlate with values, talent or culture is the rotting banana story.

A few years back, I had a national key accounts manager that sat in on an interview with a potential employee that he considered hiring. The interview went well, I thought she had all of the necessary skills and experience for the job, so naturally thought that she’d be a great fit.

This is when it got interesting. Instead of simply thanking her, finishing the interview and letting her be on her way, he insisted that he walk her to her car.

I was expecting him to come back up to the office saying how brilliant she is and that we should pull the trigger and hire her. To my surprise, he said without hesitation, “we’re not hiring her.” I thought why not? She has the right talent, skills, a great network and ticked all of the proverbial boxes.

He said that I had to see the state of her car; that a black, rotting banana peel sat on the front seat and was just baking in the sun, probably emitting all sorts of foul odours. He was horrified at the state of her car and said that it meant she was disorganised, messy, can’t keep her head clear, that she doesn’t represent herself well in front of clients and that she’s put on a really good sales front for the interview and that deep down the car is a reflection of who she is.

I thought to myself, “that’s madness”, then he asked me if I saw her nails, which he pointed out were half-painted and half-worked. He firmly said, “she doesn’t take care of herself.” He pointed out that you want someone in sales that takes care of themselves, as they also represent you, or the company and judging by the state of her grooming and car, she’s not a good culture fit for the company.

This taught me the valuable lesson of always paying attention to how well potential employees take care of their car and of themselves. Sure, some people might have an off-day, but those small things can tell you a lot about a person and how they would fit in with your company.

Just in case you were wondering:

I keep myself well-groomed, healthy and fit and know how to best represent you and your business.

So if you’re in need of a great business coach, that also rocks up fresh and energetic – get in touch.

 

+2783 253 3339

brent@spillly.com

 

Shit! This just reminded me that I need to go get that damn banana out of my car.

The joke is on you, because I have a kickass motorbike, just so I can avoid bananas.

The Gig Economy with Kojo Baffoe on Kaya FM

By Freelance Interviews Radio What The Freelance

Last night, I had the opportunity to speak to the Kaya FM audience on the #LifewithKojoBaffoe show. The topic was centred around the current economic climate and how this is growing the small entrepreneurs and the freelance economy. 

With Kojo being a freelancer most of his life, the conversation was frank and honest pointing at the clear need that business skills are lacking in the independent professional space, something our What The Freelance book and course at Vega School is certainly helping with.

If you tuned it, great, if not – what our Facebook page for the next interview coming soon…

8 Ways to Make Your New Staff Onboarding Process better.

By Coaching Entrepreneur Interviews Motivation Skills

Hiring is good–it means you’re growing. But when a company doubles or triples in size in a short timeframe, onboarding new hires can quickly derail the schedules of your managers and existing employees. How can you make sure you’re training hires to make the right decisions without slowing down the entire team?

 

1. Record your foundational materials and assign each employee a mentor.

The biggest thing is to record the foundational training that repeats for each new employee. There’s no reason to have your company’s trainer do live trainings one-on-one or even in small groups when a video can do just as well. Transcribe these video and audio recordings. Reading is still the fastest way to take in information, so organize your training library so that employees and contractors can go back through multiple times at their convenience. Repetition is the mother of all learning, but repetition has to be done right–otherwise, it’s a waste of your company’s resources.

Once the employee has gone through the foundational training material, assign them a mentor. They’ll address unique questions and give insights into the trainee’s specific role and how best to fill it.

2. Create a web-based one-stop shop for new hires.

A membership site is a great way to get new hires acclimated quickly. This should be a destination for new employees to find everything they need to know about working at your company, including standard operating procedures, what technology the company uses (e.g. performance tracking apps and communication tools), company values and even the most popular post-work hangouts among coworkers. You can also include quizzes for tracking progress.

The idea is to make the onboarding process as smooth as possible and set new employees up for success by giving them vital information before their start date. By the time they do get started, they should be able to hit the ground running.

3. Slow down and test before you hire.

Hiring is difficult. The best answer is to slow down. If you try to take on too many people too quickly, you will inevitably hire people who are not in sync with your organization’s mission and values. People are the life force of any organization, and if you make a mistake it can cost you far more than if you slow down the process to find the right people.

At my company, we rely on a best-in-class intern program that is operated in association with institutions such as the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. The interns have access to the executive team, the board and our partners. The program allows us to field test potential employees by offering each intern a real-world problem to solve.

4. Clearly articulate your vision on day one.

Be very explicit about your company’s vision, values and culture. By doing this you’ll know that new team members align with your vision, and they’ll be able to contribute more quickly. You need to give new employees a good foundation based on your vision and then empower them to make decisions about how to achieve that vision.

5. Train your employees to train others.

Time is the most important asset we have in our lives, and especially in the business world. Highly skilled employees can transfer their knowledge to new hires, expediting the process that it would normally take a new employee to get up to speed if they are only trained by management. Allowing new hires to “pick the brain” of senior employees is beneficial to both the employees and the company as a whole.

6. Hire multiple people at a time.

As an entrepreneur, there is nothing more important than your time. So whenever my company hires, we hire in multiples of at least two. By training multiples of the same position, you maximize your time and provide an environment that promotes sharing and learning together. We have found that these employees make a much quicker impact than hiring/training one at a time.

7. Don’t skimp on having a leader do some training too.

Your other team members can help a new hire get up to speed, especially with company culture and day-to-day basics. However, you or a manager should spend some time in the first week or two orientating the employee and drafting up the first order of business for the new hire.

While you don’t need to hand hold, it’s imperative that you invest a little time upfront to help them fit in. You’ll waste much more time and money with a high turnover rate, so it’s worth a little extra time at the beginning. In fact, many HR and retention research validates this point. After they’ve got some orientation, make sure to draft up some work they can get started on so they’re busy and feel like their work is meaningful.

8. Develop a comprehensive training program now.

Give every new employee a ramp-up period to get up to speed with your product, the market and the nuts and bolts of their specific role. You should also have comprehensive training materials ready for every employee you bring on. These materials should include information about the competition, functional learning and Q&A sessions with other relevant members of the team. Having a great training program also helps attract the best employees, as these are the ones who want to learn and grow along with your company.

 

This article originally appeared on http://www.inc.com/

The Law of Three: You should know this!

By Business Coaching Interviews Skills

When you start the process of interviewing for new staff members, you should always refer back to the Law of 3:

  • Interview at least three candidates for a job, comparing and contrasting their qualities and characteristics. Check their suitability against your stated requirements. You would be amazed at how often people forget to do this.

  • Interview the candidate you like three different times: the true person is revealed once you get beyond the initial interview.

  • Interview the person you like in three different places. Brian Tracy of the American Management Association says that people have a “chameleon complex.” They appear a certain way in your office in the first interview and then seem to act and react differently when you move them to different environments.

  • Have any candidate that impresses you interviewed by at least three other people on your team.

  • Check at least three references from the candidate. Ask specific questions around their strengths and weaknesses and whether the referee can tell you anything to help you make a better hiring decision. Ask them whether they would hire the person back. If the answer is not an unequivocal “yes,” be cautious.

  • Check references three deep. Ask the given reference for the names of other people the candidate has worked with and talk to those people, too. You may be surprised at what you learn.

Interviews are the start of the most important function in almost every business and should be taken seriously and never rushed.

Should you want more info on building a successful interview process, please contact me here

Get Shit Done.

By Coaching Entrepreneur Interviews

I have heard it several times from numerous successful business owners and MD’s that they would unquestionably always hire Grit over skills and experience.

It was Justin Spratt who once told me that in his interview process he tries to establish a high GSD factor. Being a business coach I should know what a GSD factor is but decided to eventually ask. Justin laughed and said its a “Get Shit Done” factor.

To establish a “GSD factor” you need to ask questions that are several questions deep. Personality index tests can also assist in this process but often it’s in the interview where you can best tell the personality and culture you are looking for and if the candidate has the GSD you need.

It often starts with questions that are about their person lives and hobbies.

  1. Are they obsessed with something?
  2. What lengths were taken to complete a “pet project” or to acquire something they desperately wanted?
  3. Do they start and stick to good habits?
  4. Do they push themselves at places like gym?
  5. What do they do that is consistent over a long period of time?
  6. What experiences have they overcome that shows mental toughness?
  7. Do they call one friend every day to catch up?
  8. Is there Consistency of Interests?
  9. Do they often set a goal but later choose to pursue a different one?
  10. Do New ideas and new projects sometimes distract them from previous ones?
  11. Do they become interested in new pursuits every few months?
  12. Do their interests change from year to year?
  13. Have they been obsessed with a certain idea or project for a short time but later lost interest?
  14. Do they have difficulty maintaining focus on projects that take more than a few months to complete?
  15. Have they achieved a goal that took years of work?
  16. Have they overcome setbacks to conquer an important challenge?
  17. Do they finish whatever they begin? Example?
  18. Look for sayings like “Setbacks don’t discourage me, I am a hard worker, and I am diligent.”
  19. Do they cultivate growth and keep learning?
  20. Do they improve their skills on a micro level?
  21. Do they ask for support? Examples?
  22. Do they have a clear meaning and purpose of life?

You want to see what character traits a person has and if they are the type of person who has the grit and drive to complete tasks almost at any cost.

Skills and experience are always essential to a good hire but throwing in a high GSD factor makes the candidate the right person for the job.