Inward and Outward

Business owners constantly look for ways to accelerate business growth. It is in their DNA. It consumes them, if not hourly, at least daily.

The search for growth, for improvement in performance, is directed inward, to what he or she needs to do differently. And, it is directed outward, to the management team and other employees. Even in times of outstanding levels of financial achievement, an owner’s targeted performance horizon is never quite accomplished. It must be a DNA thing.

Let’s look at how to accelerate business growth in more detail and focus on the employee. That employee might have an executive title or have responsibilities elsewhere in the business. They might be a seasoned veteran in the business and industry, or they might be a new employee with limited experience.

All possess certain qualities and competencies. However, if business goals and objectives are not being met, how can individual performance levels throughout the company be improved?

What are the competencies that drive performance? Let’s consider a new hire scenario.

Human Resources and hiring managers look at a resume for insights when hiring a new employee. They look for prior work experience, educational qualifications, relevant testimonials, and other clues. Sometimes it is clear that someone is qualified … or not. Eventually, decisions are made to hire. You have a new employee.

In most instances, there is some form of onboarding or active training of the new employee. They take on their new responsibilities and begin to contribute to the mission of the company. It might be in management, sales, marketing, on the factory floor, in administration … in a wide variety of roles.

Months or even years go by and you have a star employee … or maybe recognize that someone is falling short of desired performance standards. You ask why. Here is a possible way to frame what to do next.

Oftentimes, it is about restarting communication in a firm but evidence-based discussion of past successes and shortcomings. The dialogue, to be successful, needs to be two-way, with guardrails on how both parties must engage in the review process. There must be a resetting of expectations, with timelines and incremental goals that must be adhered to.

Although GAPWORX has a concept called the Sales Equation (see image below), it is also applicable in situations like a performance review, regardless of the role and responsibilities of that individual. The Sales Equation (substitute other functional descriptions, such as customer service), in its simplest form, breaks out 4 pillars of competencies to reset where there are strengths and where there are weaknesses. The four basic competencies are:

  1. SALES PERSONA (personality, style, behaviors, ambition, etc.)
  2. SALES (or insert other) CAPABILITIES
  3. COMPANY KNOWLEDGE
  4. TECHNICAL KNOWLEDGE

Whether it is a self-assessment of one’s own competencies, or a supervisor framing a performance review of a direct report, this “equation” can help structure that assessment. We can help.