Positioning Systems - Small Business Coaching



Articles > The Right People on the Bus #93 5-26-09

Up until this year it seemed like it was harder than ever to find qualified employees. With the economy leaving more people without work is this a good time to find better people? Why or why isn’t this good strategy?

Answer: Topgrading [means using the Topgrading Interview with other Topgrading techniques to achieve 90% high performers throughout your organization.] your staff now is one of the biggest impacts you can have on your business. With the right employees contributing to your business you may just find someone who can make a significant impact to keep you in business or enable to you to far surpass your struggling competitors.
At Gazelles [Rockefeller Habits] we believe that there are four decisions you absolutely must get right to be successful: People, Strategy, Execution and Cash. While it’s hard to argue that the last of these, Cash, is critical right now, Jim Collins, author of Good to Great noted that the first step in running any business is to get the right people. As he stated it, “First who then what!”   That implies that getting the right people is even more important than choosing what business to be in.
Gazelle’s coaches are big believers in Topgrading. Topgrading means finding the best people, those performers who are A players. The best companies find the best people, and interestingly enough when you have better players you attract better players. So beyond the fact that A players perform better and hit the targets and standards you set, they also help you attract more of the same. Can you see why having A players sets you apart and gets you growing?
Most small to midsized business owners complain about having to do all the work themselves. Finding capable A players means you have someone you can rely on and delegate work to. More importantly A players take initiative. They are prone to making the right decisions and helping you make the leap to the next level. 
Let’s not diminish the value of systems. My White Paper “Was Michael Gerber Wrong?”  points to the value of systems, however in many small businesses without A players the owner is the only one who is creating systems, which means precious time that could be spent working strategically is lost while the business owner is busy creating and documenting systems.  
How much time is wasted, how much opportunity is lost in your business by not having capable players in a position to get things done?
Have you ever calculated the cost of a mishire? Have you ever calculated the cost of having a poor performer in your business?   Topgrading expert Bradford Smart estimated the cost of mishire from 14 -28 times the salary compensation for that individual. Even low estimates from the government estimate the cost of a mishire at three times their compensation level. How can a mishire impact your business? There’s a plethora of costs that many of us simply fail to recognize, including, long-term "opportunity costs" from sub-standard service, production defects or mistakes, inadequate research, missed deadlines, failed marketing campaigns, missed sales targets, lack of or poor follow up,  flawed accounting or investment strategies, and so much more. 
When I asked one of my clients to do a calculation on what his mishire’s cost would be, he said, “I don’t even want to know!” That’s the way it is with most business. Yet in most cases they don’t even think about it, so the parade of mistakes, and worse yet the present people in their business continue to hold the business back.
One fear employers have is that if they release a present employee, a B or C player, they’ll just end up with someone who is similar only they’ll have the time and expense of hiring, recruiting and training someone new.
The reality is that almost anyone can improve their hiring and recruiting process to get A players. In fact many times the problem is internal. Someone on your current staff is simply misplaced. They could be an A player if they were in another position.
In addition Topgrading your hiring system can help you reach the level of 90% success rate in acquiring A players. 
There’s no time like the present to assess the employees you currently have. Are some team members not in their right spots to perform as well as they can? Are some members capable but need training and education to perform better? Are some members that are unmotivated and not the right fit for your culture? Can you improve your hiring process, and would you like to achieve a 90% success rate with your hiring process?
If you’re like most businesses you’ll answer yes to one if not all of these questions. Getting the right people on the bus is one of the most challenging and rewarding aspects of running a business. Make sure you are aware of the costs of a mishire and that you are striving to improve your ability to get the best and brightest people to support you in your quest for success.

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Positioning Systems helps business owners and entrepreneurs transform their business.  We provide the tools and coaching to help you take control of your business -- rather then having your business control you.