Are Your Employees Doing What They Should, Or What They Want?
Back when I was in the karate consulting business, I hired a guy to sell. He had been one of my customers and he told me he was great at sales. For a couple of months he did OK. Then he found out he liked creating the content we were selling far better than actually selling it! Slowly but surely he made less and less calls until he was spending almost all his time creating content. Sad to say, I let a couple of months go by before I asked him why we had no sales. He made a passionate plea as to why he needed to be creating content and that he was just TOO BUSY to make sales calls. Great, but we already had someone on staff who produced the content rather well — ME!
I have a number of clients who have someone on their staff who insists on writing their monthly e-newsletter because “they are the only ones who can do it right.” Now, there is certainly nothing wrong with this if that person’s job is MARKETING. But if a person’s job is — say — sales, then it’s not a task they should be doing. They should outsource it to my professional copywriters, guiding them if needed.
Why is someone in sales spending two days writing an e-newsletter rather than selling? Simple, that’s what they would rather be doing, creating rather than cold calling! You see this a great deal with “salespeople.” They offer to do the newsletter, the e-blast, stuff envelopes, and pretty soon they are too busy doing just about anything else to actually sell!
Selling is hard, selling is measurable; most of this other stuff is not!
This phenomenon is by no means limited to sales. Just this week one of my new employees spent the entire day correcting typos on one of our information sites. When asked why she said because a customer had taken the time to write in and point out the mistakes. Great, but I couldn’t care less if there are a few typos on a site with 10,000 pages of content. I am selling ideas and solutions, not English lessons!
Some golf pros love teaching and are never in the shop, others hate being out in the sun and are excellent in the shop. This might be a problem either way or might not, depending on the club. The fact is, people gravitate to what they like to do (or feel most comfortable doing). And they do it very quickly, without telling you or anyone else. Heck, sometimes they don’t even notice it themselves!
Unfortunately what this also means is the job they were hired for — their core function — is running at half speed, and that’s at best! This means something critical is NOT getting done in your business.
This gives you two choices if you want to get the most from your employees:
A) Assuming that position is open, allow them to do the job they gravitate towards, although it’s rarely the one they have been hired for. In some organizations, usually larger ones, this can work out and at least they will be doing something they are passionate about. In smaller organizations, it will usually leave a gaping hole.
B) Manage your expectations with a brutally detailed position agreement that leaves no wiggle room for wandering off in another direction. If they want to volunteer to do something else, add it to their position agreement! See sample position agreements samples on the site.
People Quickly Gravitate to Doing The Work They Like. You Must Continually Make Sure That’s The Work You Want Them To Be Doing.
All The Best,