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My take: The power of 10

May 14/21, 2018: Volume 33, Issue 24

By Steven Feldman

A few months ago at the Alliance Flooring/CarpetsPlus Color Tile convention in Tucson, Ron Dunn, co-CEO, presented his views on the importance of hiring the right people for your business. But it’s not just about hiring; it’s about retaining and getting the most out of the people who work for you.

Everyone who walks through your door has the power to impact your business. The most important assets you have in your company are the people you hire. Every person you bring on board has the potential to be a 10. But what happens when they fall short? In illustration…

When you started your company, you were full of passion and ideas. You were excited to grow something. It was all you thought about.

Six months into it, the business is still all you think about. So you decide to hire a right-hand man, someone who can help in all aspects of the business. You anticipate he will be a 10. But six months later, you determine him to be a seven. So what happens to the other three? You take that on. Because he is only a seven, you put those shortages onto yourself.

Six months later, the business is doing well. So you decide you need a red-hot salesperson. You have more opportunity than people to fulfill that opportunity. Then you hire a salesperson. You rate him a seven. But because he is a seven and the manager is a seven, you are forced to carry some of the weight where that person falls short.

Soon, both come to you and say they are bogged down because of paperwork. They want you to do something that will make their lives easier. So an office person comes in to organize things. Let’s say he is a nine. Where that person falls short also falls on you.

Now they say they are spending too much time in the warehouse. “We need a full-time warehouse guy.” You hire him, and he is an eight. Who will do the training to get him to a 10? That falls on you.

Then you hire someone else who can do everything. He is a seven because he is spread too thin.

Then you wonder why your kids don’t want your business.

So you must ask yourself, what are you doing to build into your business and the people? Dunn offered some thoughts:

  1. Employees need appreciation, a pat on the back. Let them know they are special. Then they care about the company. You have a culture where everyone is pulling their weight and wants to make it better.
  2. Include people in plans. Have them buy in. Let them know where you are going. What are the goals? When they buy in, it takes the weight off your shoulders and puts it on them.
  3. Little things mean so much to the people who work for us. Treat them, honor them and invest in them, and they will give all that back to you exponentially. Give a tool to your installers. Open up your house to a party. Give a ham around Thanksgiving or Christmas. All this provides a family feel.

The idea is always to ask ourselves, “What can we do as leaders to allow people to reach their potential and be the best they can be?”

Five questions to ask:

  • What qualities do you look for when hiring to fit your team and your culture, so they add value immediately?
  • How do you draw the best out of those you work with?
  • How do you train them?
  • How do you create a family culture within your business?
  • Are your people embracing this family culture and passing that culture onto customers?

And that, my friends, is how you turn a seven into a 10.