Quality Control – If it is not measurable it is not manageable.
“Good management consists in showing average people how to do the work of superior people.” – John D. Rockefeller (Oil Tycoon – World’s richest man during his time)
– U.S. Small Business Administration Entrepreneur of the Year – Management Speaker – Clay Clark
There have been countless books written entirely about quality control & management; however it all comes down to 6 simple concepts and 1 incredible man at the end of the day.
Rule #1: If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it
If you want your people to do something, you have to find a way to make their results quantifiable or their reasons for not producing the results you need will have to be justifiable. If you want them to market more, what is the specific number of prospects you want them to reach? If you want them to “try harder to improve quality,” as a percentage they must know how many errors they are currently making. If your team needs to “be on time more,” then you must be able to explain to them what percentage of the time they are currently late. When it gets right down to it, you have to measure everything that you want to ever manage. Find a way to quantify everything that you want done. Have your people track their results and their progress and hold them accountable.
Rule #2: Inspect what you want people respect
If you want your team to respect anything you say and any objectives that you intend on achieving you must be relentless with your follow-up. Sam Walton was known for his “relentless follow-up.” Your people must know that your leadership is going to follow-up on everything. Your people must know that you are going to survey your clients. Your people must know that the boss can come down at any time. If you actually expect your team to do anything you have to inspect everything.
Rule #3: Differentiation
Jack Welch, the greatest CEO of all time and the wizard of modern management came up with this system, and it works. Essentially his belief is that in every group of people there are A, B & C players.
Your A players go over and above and are always looking for constructive criticism. They bring a passion to work everyday and they are your top 10% of employees. These people work with energy. These people execute plans and get things done no matter what. These people have an edge to them; they don’t mind irritating C players to get something done. These people are your all-stars.
Your B players are needed to achieve your company’s goals. They are consistent and they are on-time. They rarely show up early and almost never stay late. They have passion on occasion, but more than anything, they are consistent. You need these people do get things done, because they make up 80% of your workforce, but these people do not have the passion, drive and ambition that A players don’t have. You can’t grow an organization compromised of only B players. Your goal should be to push your B players and to encourage your B players to become A players, but you must realize that they are currently not A players.
Your C players are chronically late, tired, frustrated, down, wore-out, demotivated, etc… These people have no passion for life and their job. These people complain and destroy morale. These people are sarcastic and they are negative. These people cannot be pushed to greatness. In fact these people get defensive when presented with constructive criticism. These people make up the bottom 10% of your workforce and they must be fired before clients fire you. As Sam Walton (the founder of Wal-Mart) put it, “There is only one boss. The customer. And he can fire everybody in the company from the chairman on down, simply by spending his money somewhere else.” You must fire these people as soon as possible.
Jack Welch believes that every employee should be graded on an A, B & C level, and that everyone should know where they rank in the company. He believes that every company needs to be honest with their employees at all times about where they stand in the company. He believes that all C players should be fired as soon as you can, as long as they know where they stood and as long as they were given the opportunity to improve. I agree with Jack Welch. This system works.
However, the key to making this system work is in the praising of your A players, the pushing of the B players (to improve), and the firing of the C players (who refuse to get things done).
**If you would like for our team to send you an example of what a good employee ranking system and evaluation sheet looks like, visit our website today at www.MakeYourLifeEpic.com and request this information. For more information about Jack Welch’s system, purchase his best-selling book, “Winning.”
Rule #4: Candor Is King
If you want to be an effective manager you are going to have to be candid. Jack Welch the former CEO of General Electric was famous for saying, “be candid with everyone.” This sounds simple enough, but I sincerely believe that less than 10% of all companies use candor on a daily basis with themselves and their employees. Candor is the art of stating the realities of job performance to your people without sugar-coating and diminishing the cold hard facts. When you are 100% candid your people can trust you all the time, because they know that you are telling them the good and the bad. When you only tell people good, over time it diminishes the meaning of a “good job.” In fact most managers that don’t use candor tell everyone that they are doing a “good job.” However, the harsh reality of business is that you either “did or did not do something.” You either “got the deal or you didn’t get the deal.” You either “made the client happy” or the client “is not pleased”. Learn to stop sugar coating things in meetings with your team. Learn to tell them how they did in a candid and truthful way. People trust candid people, and trust builds solid friendships. In fact political personality and super-reporter Bill O’reilly said it best when he said, “If you have good friends keep them. If you don’t have good friends, get them. True friendship, a rare gift, is never taken lightly. Your friends will tell you the truth about yourself, and not charge you $200 an hour. They will tell you the truth but they will stick by you when the rest of the world turns away.”
When your sales numbers come in, when the customer satisfaction surveys come in, or when you go to the bank to make your weekly deposits you will be forced to confront the harsh realities of how people actually did. Don’t sugar-coat everything you say with “false kindness,” because eventually you will have to be frank with your people. And nothing feels worse than having to fire someone because of their subpar job performance after you have been telling them they have been doing “good job” for the past 2 years.
Rule #5: Problems, Solutions, Action Steps, Accountability, Deadlines & Knowing Your Numbers
As the “entrepreneur / visionary / leader / founder” of your company, you are going to have to lead a lot of meetings. When you lead these meetings, you had better have a coherent format to get things done. You must be able to energize your team or your staff is going to fall asleep if they can’t find a way to text back and forth with their buddies about fantasy football without getting caught. The format for these meetings is simple, yet profound.
A. Problems – What is the “root” of the problems from last week? What are the issues?
B. Solutions – What are some viable ways to actually solve these problems?
C. Action Steps – What are the specific action steps we must take to solve these problems?
D. Accountability – Who is assigned to getting these tasks done? Whose responsibility is it? Teams are evil. Groups are bad. Who is the individual who is going to take credit or blame for getting this problem solved?
E. Deadlines – You must assign a deadline for everything, or nothing will get done. The smarter people are, the better they become about justifying things. Make sure you hold your people accountable to hitting their deadlines every time.
F. Knowing Your Numbers – You and your team must know your numbers. You must manage by the numbers only. How many did you sell? What was your closing percentage? What is your conversion percentage? What percentages of your clientele are happy? What percentages of your clientele are not happy? How many appointments did your sales team go on? How did we spend on food last month? How were our credit card fees this month? Don’t allow people to say things like, “the numbers were pretty good” or “we had around 50.” Remember, if you can’t quantify it, your weakest employees will justify it.
Rule #5: Merit-based pay will save the day
If you are going to systematically grow and systematically keep your best people, you are going to have to implement a system of merit-based pay. You have to reward the best job performances with the best pay. If Trevor, Kevin, Suzanne, Gus, Larry, Uncle Lewis, Clark, George, Kramer & Raymond all go out to work for you this week, 2 people are going to do an incredible job, 7 people will do what they are supposed to do only and 1 person will do an awful job. Let’s meet your team.
A. George & Kramer (Your “A Players”) – These people will actually show up early and stay late. They will do their job and then they will submit a report on how to make the company better and how to better wow your clients, all without additional compensation. These people show up to work dressing better than the dress-code minimum standards because of personal pride. These 2 people seem to have a glimmer in their eyes as if they know that this job is just a one more step on their road to greatness. These people speak positively and think positively. They are future and solution focused. You need these people and you need to give them a bonus and they need to make 20% more than everyone else so that others can know how much you value their decisions to consistently “go the extra mile.”
B. Trevor, Kevi, Suzanne, Gus, Larry, Clark & Raymond (Your “B Players”) – These 7 people just do their jobs as described in your operations manual. These people show up at 8:59 AM and they work right up until their lunch break. They would never work through lunch to get something done like George & Kramer, but they do get back to work faithfully when then assigned lunch break is over. These guys and gals don’t ever really cause problems. Occasionally Trevor gets motivated to achieve, but it usually only lasts for the 2 days immediately following his attendance of a motivational conference. Occasionally these guys show their frustration for Uncle Lewis not doing his job or management hinting about how they should try to work harder. They sometimes say, “that’s not my job” and “I’m not getting paid to do that.” These people are dependable honest, and they makeup the majority of your workforce. You need these people. You need to give these guys an annual bonus for their dependability and loyalty, however you must make sure that they make 20% less than George & Kramer. You must also make sure that they know why George & Kramer make more than they do. They must know what kinds of things they must do to make as much as George & Kramer.
C. Uncle Lewis (Your “C Players”) -This guy will not care and will do a terrible job. This person will blame “lack of training,” or “outside circumstances.” This person either “got caught in traffic” or “couldn’t do their job because someone else didn’t do theirs.” This person works with a scowl. This person is chronically tired. This person is “married to a terrible person” and “you just wouldn’t understand.” This person “wants to know if they can leave a few minutes early.” 7 some bodies will also “do their job.” This person seems to “know” that this job, like all jobs will lead them nowhere, so they walk slowly. You don’t need this person and you need to fire him. This person needs to be fired quickly and everyone needs to know why they were fired, so that the news of their firing spreads throughout the organization. Everyone in your company must know that this type of behavior is simply not acceptable.
Quick Rules for Implementing a Merit-Based Pay System:
1) Reward great work with great pay. Celebrate their success publically. Treat your “A-Players” like all-stars.
2) Reward your “B-Players” with awards for their loyalty and their dependability, but make sure they make 20% less than your “A-Players.”
3) Reward “C-Players” and terrible work with quick firings. Publically share what behavior is unacceptable and what work will not be tolerated. News of your high expectations will spread faster than you can possibly talk.
4) Use numbers to determine who does great work and who does not. Survey your clients, measure the closing percentages, look at your costs, find a way to quantify how well people are doing. If you can’t measure it, you can manage it fairly.
Once you create a culture where everyone knows where they clearly stand in the organization you will begin to experience huge boosts in morale, quality and ultimately profitability. Most people, with the exception of your “C-Players” want to do a great job and they want to wow their bosses. They want to get promoted and they want to be acknowledged. Ultimately a culture of candor will allow you throw an elbow when needed, while giving the pat on the back when your team wins. Without candor, false-kindness will prevail and organization’s quality, morale and revenues will fall.
**If you are serious about implementing the winning management systems you are going to need some good software or at the very least you are going to need to create a nice and orderly spread sheet for tracking the overall ranking of your staff. If the thought of building a spread sheet freaks you out, or if you needed to see a visual example contact us today through our website at www.MakeYourLifeEpic.com or give us a call at the office today at (918) 851-0102.
U.S. Small Business Administration Entrepreneur of the Year
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