In a recent client meeting we were reviewing the business numbers and talking about the next steps for the growth of the operation when the subject of incentives came up. During our talk, the owner asked if the incentive package could be repeatable in another company. My answer: it depends. This led to an in depth talk about why some companies can be highly successful and others not.
My client, the owner of a very successful business as well as a grand inquisitor asked me to define what made his current revenue sharing so successful. I threw the question back at him. I said, “First, why don’t you tell me what has to happen in order for your plan to work?” Through this, an extensive list was built:
- The current business has no debt
- They have highly productive people working
- There is a culture of empowerment to get things done
- They are Mission/Vision centered
- They developed a pattern of growth
- The leadership character of the owner
- No assumptions are made. Evidence supports the program.
- Problems are dealt with immediately
- Everyone in the organization is treated as important
- Loyalty matters (to customers and also vendors)
- Team will go above and beyond because they are respected
- Communication is high
- There is trust in the environment
- Outside support through mentoring and coaching
- Owner is willing to be coached
- Owner knows his weakness
- Owner knows his Vision for the business
We addressed that because there are a lot of things working right, his compensation is successful where in other places it might never pay out. This brought up a greater observation; there are a lot of things that make organizations successful and if it weren’t for several factors impacting all these outcomes, the business wouldn’t be where it is today.
Many business leaders focus on the laundry list that needs to be accomplished. Yet even with a large list such as this, it can all be running right with just a few simple practices.
- A Vision-centric culture. Everyone knows what the organization stands for, what they will accomplish and how their role plays into accomplishing that goal.
- Goal focused and communication driven. Each person knows what they need to achieve and there is ongoing communication to help them succeed.
- The right people. people matter. Period. When leadership has the right behavior and people work from a position of strength and empowerment, amazing things can be accomplished. The wrong people or even the right people doing the wrong things can be costly.
- Working process that is always a work in progress. In an environment of change where people are continually taught and updating best practices makes for a winning combination. By honoring systems for their consistency, but being willing to question everything for improvement, people are able to maintain a high level of productivity.
- Measures that mean something. Data is abundant. The right data is far more important. Knowing what to measure, how to measure it and empowering people to be accountable and track their data, team members are able to help reach their targets as well as the growth goals of the company.
By following these steps, business leaders are able to develop great performance along with happy, engaged employees. What is your laundry list and how will you be tackling it?