Building a team’s been an interesting process. Most people think you just put up a job ad, run a couple of interviews, and you’ve now got the capacity to bill another 40 – 50 hours a week.
It’s only been through trying to build my team that I’ve discovered how much more there is to building a successful and effective team. There’s:
- Streamline the position – hiring someone into an under-optimised funnel will just cost you money. Ensure your systems and processes are tight before you scale
- Document your processes – If you’re going to produce consistent results, you need clear and concise documentation on how to complete each task
- Understanding your job requirements – what skills do they need? What personality characteristics are favourable? What kind of attitude do they need? What time zone do they need to be on? How solid does their grasp of English need to be?
- Write the ad – construct the ad in a way that not only ensures you clearly communicate what you want, but also allows you to assess someone’s suitability before you get to the interview stage
- Conduct the interview – how do you cut through the well-rehearsed and polished script and discover the candidates true core?
- Onboard your hires – how do you bring the new employees up to speed on company systems, policies, and processes and get them setup in your system
- Train your staff – how do you educate them on how you want things done and ensure they’re able to do it effectively?
- Monitor your staff – how can you tell if they continue to perform their tasks at a high level?
- Building a company culture – what actions, policies, and systems do you need in place to ensure your company grows with an empowering, engaging, and exciting culture?
And that’s just the stuff I can think of off the top of my head right now! Well, there’s one more: how do you terminate an employment contract?
I knew I was going to have to do this at some point. You don’t want to, but you know it’s going to come. And it came yesterday.
A few weeks ago, we had an issue with our sales team: they ran out of leads. This is something we’d been working on for a few months and actively monitoring our numbers, but due to a lack of overseeing and management, we ran out of leads. This left our four sales staff sitting on their arses doing nothing.
We jumped into gear and got it sorted, but we still had four staff sitting around with nothing to do for FAR longer than I wanted.
To make sure this didn’t happen again, I jumped into the lead generation process and found that our sales manager, the person who’d been with me longer than any other team member, had been claiming far fewer leads that the rest of the team. In fact, she’d been claiming far fewer leads than she needed to claim to achieve the results she was reporting each week… This seemed strange, and I asked my administration manager to look into it.
Long story short, it appeared as though my sales manager had been lying about her numbers every week for at least the last three months (we didn’t dig back any further than the start of January because it was already depressing enough).
We confronted her with these numbers, and while denying they were correct, she also refused to provide some simple evidence (an alternative tracking method inside her email account) that would have cleared her name.
So, we had no choice but to fire her. It wasn’t something I wanted to do, or got any pleasure from doing, but it had to be done; for the sake of her team and the sake of the company.
While I didn’t want this to happen, there are several positives to come out of it.
- We plugged some holes in our systems and processes that mean we’ll be more on top of everything from now on
- Even with the lying, she was still our worst performing employee, so our ROI on our sales team is going to go up
- She was our highest paid employee so our overall wages bill will go down
- She was the least best personality fit with the rest of the team so we’ll now be more cohesive than we were previously
Yes, it sucks. But we’re going to grow stronger, and we’re going to be better for it.
Have you ever found an employee lying to you? If so, how did you deal with it?
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