Who is on the bus and does it have a seating chart?

Picking up on our October article by Kevin O’Connor, The Real Cost of Employee Turnover, Kevin alludes to making sure the right people are on the bus and fostering the desired culture, but some organizations aren’t even sure if they have a bus, an RV or a taxi, much less if the right people are on it.

How can we start with the basics of evaluating what we’ve got and then designing a seating chart for where on the bus they may fit?  Then it can get moving in the right direction!

As businesses grow and evolve, skills needed at various times in that path can change.  It’s best to take a snapshot, not only now, but also potentially every 2-3 years, to evaluate what’s working and how we can ensure those right people are seated on and driving that bus to success.

Sales teams are something we help clients assess often, so that’s the example I will give here, although this exercise is great for hiring CEOs, HR directors, etc., especially when a board of directors is involved and there could be variations in what each member really thinks that person should be.

There is no perfect sales personality.  There is a traditional profile that typically lends itself to be a natural salesman, but there’s a lot of variables on what is truly needed in a specific territory within that team.

Questions to ask yourself:

  1. Is this a brand-new territory and we need a hunter to go out there and find business for us?
  2. Is this a well-established territory with devoted customers and we need someone who can provide excellent customer service and follow-up with less focus on new customer growth?
  3. Has this territory been left in a lurch and is just a mess so we need someone who can build trust again, regain former customers, as well as build new and repair our reputation?

I’m sure there’s other situations, but that’s some of the more typical situations we hear.

Do you think the same personality style is going to be the best in all three situations?  From prior experiences, not often will the same traits fit all the above situations. At least not for the long term, before they just no longer enjoy their job. An example of a project we did showing this can be found HERE.

The behavioral assessments we utilize can be viewed as a seating chart for your bus. Get the right people in those seats and you get moving in the right direction and greatly improve the odds of success.

These assessments work best coupled with organizations who can honestly assess each territory and know that they don’t just “need a guy”. They need someone who can achieve X, Y and Z. We can use these behavioral assessments to evaluate if someone has the traits to be that hunter who can blaze into a new territory or if they are far better at fostering and growing the relationships of current customers.

Really objectively look at an open position and determine not only the basic set of experience required, but what you need this person to achieve.  From there you can best evaluate WHO you need, not just someone who meets a checklist of basic requirements.  This is something we enjoy helping clients do every day.  To learn more, reach out to your Ag 1 Source contact today or call us at 800-388-1214.