Crack The Behavior Code

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Love 'Em or Lose 'Em

Season 4, Ep. 20

What happens when a person leaves? Do you know it in advance? In a prior blog I wrote about the often unknown reasons that blindside employers when a rock star quits. Today, let’s look at taking a more proactive approach: checking in on what it’ll take to keep your stars at your organization.


Great people are hard to find. And can be harder to keep. I recently came across a terrific book, Love ‘Em or Lose ‘Em: Getting Good People to Stay, by Beverly Kaye and Sharon Jordan-Evans. I highly recommend it.


As a leadership and culture coach I very often work through personnel matters. So when I witnessed the clear and concise thinking from Kaye and Jordan-Evans, I knew I had to share it.


Why Employees Stay

Kaye and Jordan-Evans surveyed over 17,000 employees to learn what conditions will keep an employee with an organization. They call these conditions “stay factors”. Note that these are neither industry-specific nor role-specific, they are universal.


1. Exciting work and challenge

2. Career growth, learning, and development

3. Working with great people

4. Fair pay

6. Being recognized, valued, and respected

7. Benefits

8. Meaningful work and making a difference

9. Pride in the organization, its mission, and its product

10. Great work environment and culture


Interesting tidbit: 91 percent of survey respondents listed at least one of the first two items among the top reasons they stay. I love that challenge and learning is at the top. This is one reason I harp on Individual Development Plans to our clients!


How To Do A Stay Interview

How to do a Stay Interview? You simply ask the employee. Some leaders fear that discussing this topic will open a proverbial can of worms and get the employee thinking about leaving. I disagree heartily. The employee is already thinking of leaving at times, possibly on hard days, when they feel overwhelmed or discouraged, if they’re experiencing tremendous stress in their personal lives. It’s likely only a fantasy about leaving, but why not simply communicate directly about it? It’s refreshing, builds trust, and shows you care.


There’s no ideal time to do a stay interview. The goal is to do it before an employee has one foot out the door. You can do it during a development conversation, when checking in on their development plan, you can do it at year end or at the new year, any time is fine. If you don’t know what their answers might be to the below questions, then it’s time to do now!


Recommended “Stay Interview” Questions From Kaye and Jordan-Evans:

·     What about your job makes you jump out of bed in the morning?

·     What makes you hit the snooze button?

·     If you were to win the lottery and resign, what would you miss the most?

·     What one thing that if changed in your current role, would make you consider moving on?

·     If you had a magic wand, what would be the one thing you would change about this department?

·     If you had to go back to a position in your past and stay for an extended period of time, which one would it be and why?

·     What makes for a great day?

·     What can we do to make your job more satisfying?

·     What can we do to support your career goals?

·     Do you get enough recognition?

·     What will keep you here? What might entice you away?

·     What do you want to learn this year? How might you learn it?


Be sure to ask “anything else I might have missed?” and use effective listening (ask “what specifically?” and the other questions in the linked blog). And be careful with your responses: don’t dismiss their ideas/input/answers, be curious as to what it’s like to be them. You don’t know, so be an anthropologist studying a fascinating creature. If done this way the interview will deepen connection, loyalty, trust, and ultimately, boost retention.


What You Can Do Now

1.    Implement Individual Development Plans – people need to know they are growing and learning. This helps us feel achievement and empowerment at work—which is key. Keep it simple: have the employee and their leader develop it together. If you make it too complex no one will do it!

2.    Do regular Employee Engagement surveys so you know how people are feeling.

3.    Create a Cultural GAME (Growth, Appreciation, Measurement, Engagement) Plan based on the results from your survey in #2 above. Here’s an infographic.

4.    Give Frequent Bi-Directional Feedback so everyone is connected and clear on what’s working and what they’d like to see more of. Here’s an infographic.


The Net-Net

·     Stay interviews help you understand how your team members are feeling about their work—it’s essential to stop guessing and start knowing what will keep your stars happy

·     Do stay interviews across your organization as needed, during development conversations is a good time

Put the recommended programs place to maintain and grow the good feelings in your organization. Happy = will stay!


Follow me on Twitter or LinkedIn. Check out my website or some of my other work here

More Episodes

11/18/2021

3 Common Mistakes That May Be Killing Your Sales

Season 4, Ep. 15
We all want better sales results—so what’s the secret?It lies in the brain, and knowing how to guide our sales people out of theirCritter State, where they are overwhelmed, stressed, in fight/flight/freeze, and into theirSmart Statewhere they have fresh insights, are ready to tackle the day, are motivated and psyched to succeed.Here are the top 3 reasons you aren’t getting the sales results you want:CLICK TO TWEET1-You Aren’t Asking the Right QuestionsSome of these are harder than others. But you need to ask them. Often, like quarterly at a minimum.What percentage of your sales people are performing at quota?How many stages are in the sales process? What happens at each stage? In which stage(s) do sales get stuck/slow down?What’s your current sales cycle? How long would you like it to be and by when?What percentage of your pipeline do you close? What percentage would you like to and by when?What percentage of sales do you lose to competitors? What are the most common reasons? What percentage would you be willing to tolerate and by when?What are your clients’ and prospective clients’ 5 greatest pain points?What’s your current client retention rate? What would we like it to be and by when?What are your current margins? What would you like them to be and by when?How many qualified leads are generated each month? Through what channels? How many would you like and when?What marketing channels are you currently using (trade shows, direct mail, social, webinars, blogs, infographics, Slide Shares, ads, etc)? Which are most effective?What is the profile of your clients (SBMTrigger, MP Profile,Customer Journey, VAK preference)? How many profiles do we have?2-You Don’t Have Visibility On Progress and PerformanceMany clients ask me for help in streamlining their weekly sales meetings. Here are some effective methods.Weekly Salesperson Status Report– Set a specific date/time that weekly status is due so the Flash Report below is complete. Make it super easy for the salesperson to submit their weekly status, like by editing a Google Doc or some such, and also ensure it is clear that to be on the sales team this is what you require weekly:# new client orders and details ($ amount, product/services, etc.)# new existing client orders and details ($ amount, product/services, etc.)# new prospects and details (expected $ amount, sales stage, next steps)[whatever else you require to track performance and uncover potential problems]Weekly Sales Flash Report– Here’s what to cover each week with the sales team during a group huddle. Be sure to recap on email post-meeting so everyone remembers what was covered.Summary sales activity per salesperson: how many orders at what stage of sales process, total $ per salesperson per stage, total velocity (movement from one stage to the next each week)Winners for the weekly contest (whatever behavior you are currently incenting: new orders, upsells/down sells/cross-sells, specific product/service sales, fastest to report sales status in the CRM, etc.)Weekly CRM Update– Make sure all salespeople know what data needs to be entered in the CRM after each sales call. For example: sales stage movement for the week, notes per call/communication with prospect, proposal info and all sales activity info above. Some clients have their customer service reps do CRM data entry for salespeople as a reward once a certain sales performance level is achieved.Some of our clients like to set up a Google doc or other repository to help celebrate sales people (as well as all other team members). On the doc each employee fills in their section listing what treats (under $200) they’d like to receive for terrific performance. Make this public so all can see and use, and you’ll find leaders have a much easier time providingfun and meaningful incentive gifts.3-Your Compensation System Isn’t WorkingThe below plan is a super simple way to compensate sales people to incent them to:Sell more new businessHand off recurring business to account managementTeam-sell where appropriate and know they’ll be compensatedEdit this, make it your own, and see how well it works for you.Base CommissionNew sales from new clients at x% (see “Levels of sales people” below)Repeat sales from existing clients at y% (shared between sales person and CSR/account manager)Year 2 commission at½of y%Year 3 commission at1/3of y%Year 4 commission at¼of y% (sales person should be out of commission sharing here or sooner) Gross margin expectation at z% — see “Accelerators” section below Levels of sales people:Entry level person and entry level quota of $ __________. Base: $ _____ Model salesperson: [name here]Mid-level person (reaches quota 75%+ of time), has quota of $_________. Base: $ _____ Model salesperson: [name here]Senior level person (reaches quota all the time), has quota of $_________. Base: $ _____ Model salesperson: [name here] Levels of CSRs/Account Managers:Entry level and entry level quota of $__________. Model: [name here]Mid-level (reaches quota 75%+ of time), has quota of $_________. Model: [name here]Senior level (reaches quota all the time), has quota of $_________. Model: [name here]Accelerators2 accelerators on increases in gross sales above quota – at ­­__% over quota gets __% commission, __% over quota gets __% commission2 accelerators on increases in gross margin – at ­­__% over quota gets __% commission, __% over quota gets __% commissionTeam Selling – per saleEffort Allocation must be defined clearly in CRM and entered formally:Partner (shares ½ of all selling work) = 50-50% commission split?Consultant (advisor, stops by client if in town, answers occasional client questions and encourages future communication to be with sales person– gets far less commission but still helpful) = 10-30%???of total commission (varies based on specific consultant levels)Doing the above will help get and keep your sales team in their Smart State—which means greater performance, happier people, less stress for you!”