Right person, right seat.
Thanks, Jim Collins of From Good to Great fame, for spelling out a concept that’s brilliant in theory, but most of us haven’t a clue how to implement.
Of course the ideal team would have the perfect balance of strengths, personality, passion and drive.
The leader would know exactly what motivates each team member and incentivise them to meet the goals that need to be met to keep the business scoring.
Employee engagement results would hit the high 80’s, all new recruits would come from reliable referrals only, and Forbes would award you with the Happiest Place to Work title (and you wouldn’t even need stock photos of delighted employees on your website to prove how awesome your office is).
Unfortunately, it isn’t quite the case for most teams, is it?
If they’re lucky, most teams have a leader that believes in the vision for the business, and other leaders in the business have the same idea of where the business is going.
Most teams also have:
- Some stars that want to be there and get the job done
- A few job-for-life folk who know the business inside-out and are part of the furniture
- A random couple of team members who do their job but you wouldn’t miss them if they weren’t there
All businesses get to the point where there are some people who simply don’t fit the long term strategy.
Maybe their role will become redundant soon, there’s no room for growth for them with where the business is going, or quite simply – their negative attitude is infecting the team by dragging down morale.
So when your business is at this crossroad and you, as a leader, have to decide who stays and who leaves … what do you do?
Is it a simple case of deciding who sits where and sharing the good news with those who stay, and having a tough conversation with those that need to leave?
Do you share your vision for the future and hope that the teams are all bought in and change their ways, so you don’t let anyone go?
Or do you sit back and let people eventually walk out themselves because they’re unhappy?
Rather than pondering this on your own, here’s an idea:
Listen to Jorg Lahmann.
Jorg is an English,, Spanish and German speaking EOS Implementor who walks companies through the process of becoming consistent, effective and profitable by having a solid culture of accountability and a structure that’s ready to scale.
His solution for right person, right seat works whether you’re an expert at having difficult conversations, or agonise over them for days and still feel terrible when they’re over.
It’s a solution that comes with zero guilt for the leader who has to decide which person sits in which seat (or which skillset fits which job description) and has to let some people go.
Make the decision to leave your employees idea.
- Clarify your business values – what do you stand for?
- Make the vision of the future inspiring so that people who want to be there are excited about the bigger picture
- Set out exactly what roles must exist in the business to achieve this vision and live these values
The alarming truth is that most businesses don’t have clarity on one or all three of these points.
Is it any wonder there are some employees that hang around longer than they need to?
(Psst: Jorg can take you through the process of achieving these three steps in person).
Once this level of certainty is achieved, it’s time to share it with your team.
Where do they seem themselves as individuals making an impact? Where can they add value? What more do they need to learn? Do they want to work for a company like this?
This isn’t a one-off conversation that starts with a definition of a role and ends with the wrong person in the wrong seat checking out.
In reality, it’s the start of a new culture of accountability where every employee knows how their role benefits the business, and what they must take responsibility for to keep everything moving to achieve the big-picture aim.
Perhaps you decide to have a quarterly review with each employee and assess where they’re at with their application of company values and achievements in their job.
Maybe weekly team meetings have a section where the team can voice their ideas and concerns with the state of projects and teams.
Or your annual performance review has room for each team member to give concrete examples of how they’ve lived the values of the company.
Putting the right person in the right seat begins with your recruitment procedures and ends with an ongoing review of roles, goals and personality fit.
This process adjusts over time and isn’t a fixed procedure that’s perfectly set in stone.
Of course, the members of your team who want to be there are the ones who’ll flourish.
Which is why clarity in values, vision and roles are a prerequisite to a growth and success.
Because you’re not a good fit for the business anymore are words that should never come as a surprise.
What to do now?
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