This post is the fourth in a series of eight blog posts on the creation of the Successful Business Mindset. You can see the introduction to these eight posts, by clicking here. You can click on each section of the Successful Business Mindset by clicking on the names below. Each one will become live as I complete the blog post.
Each discussion will be broken down into MECHANICS and MINDSET. Mechanics will discuss the practical tasks and areas that you need to be doing well; and Mindset will discuss different approaches to the Mechanics.
This blog post will discuss the EMPLOYEES area of The Successful Business Mindset.
I will contend that you are not a serious business owner until you have hired employees. Anyone can hire employees, but it takes a special person to motivate their employees to work hard for your company and create something that no one person could possibly do on their own.
As a business leader, there are eight “mechanical” areas of being an employer that need to be considered:
- Organization Structure –How easily can your organization structure scale up?
- Hiring – How well do you find qualified people for open positions?
- Orienting and training – What processes do you use to orient and train new hires?
- Energetic workplace – Do you and your employees look forward to coming to work?
- Leadership – Do managers know how to motivate and coach your staff?
- Team building – How well are you leveraging strengths of team members?
- Evaluation – How well are you rewarding good; and eliminating bad behavior?
- Retention – What is your plan to retain some of your most valuable employees?
A successful employer will be able to generate substantially more output than they could with individual people. Unfortunately, the opposite is true for many new employers. They struggle creating teams of people and end up either micromanaging employees or doing most of the work themselves because they are convinced their employees are not capable of being trained.
I do an exercise I call “climbing the ladder”. In this exercise, I will go through seven different approaches to employing people based on the seven different energy levels. These energy levels characterize how you are THINKING about employees. If you don’t know what I mean by Energy Levels, you can refer back to the introductory post on the Successful Business Mindset.
- Level 1: You feel that your employees are treated better than you and do less work. You often dream about being an employee instead of an owner, they have it so good.
- Level 2: You view your employees as being less knowledgeable and capable than you. You will either micro-manage them as a result; or do things for them because, “if you want something done right, you need to do it yourself.”
- Level 3: You believe that you have some great employees and some bad employees. You will feel that it is unavoidable to dodge the 80/20 rule where only 20% of your staff is performing while the other 80% are being carried by the performers. There’s nothing you can do about it. That’s just the way it is.
- Level 4: You are actively involved in the lives of your staff. It will be normal for you to excuse absences or tardiness as a result of a personal issue. You are highly aware of compensation, benefits, bonuses and employee perks.
- Level 5: You will most likely treat your employees like mini-business owners. You will create bonus and incentive plans to reward your employees if they perform well for you. You will always look for opportunities to carve out a unique position that suits your company and creates opportunities for your employees.
- Level 6: While there are designations of roles and responsibilities, your employees work seamlessly together as a well-constructed team. They often look out for one another and overlap in actions. You don’t have redundancy, but every facet of the job is completed well with little instruction.
- Level 7: As the business owner, you can leave the company and no one would know the difference.
I’m guessing that you can identify certain people in your organization who function at each different level of energy. Most of us will shift from one level to the next depending on circumstances.
I’ve listed eight areas of the mechanics of being an employer along with seven levels of energy.
- If you DO the right things in your business, but operate at lower energy levels, you will become burned out; and most likely less successful than you could have been.
- If you tend to FEEL good about your company, but fail to DO the right things, your company will flounder and fail.
As you can probably guess, one will lead to the other. What us humans fail to grasp is that energy precedes action. In other words, you will typically be thinking of opportunity (Level 5) before you discover opportunity in your company. Likewise, you will feel like a victim (Level 1) before you act in a way that will close the doors to your company.
I use both lists of mechanics and mindset to help my business owner clients set goals; and then work toward those goals. While it’s usually easy for my clients to see the mechanical goals, it is more difficult to see the mindset goals. Once they understand the energy levels, they are able to move to the level that best suits their company. Once they have both mindset and mechanics figured out, they quickly move forward.
If you’d like to see where you are with your business and create an ACTION PLAN, sign up for my Successful Business Mindset tool below.
As a long-time small business owner, I know how hard it is to create the business of your dreams while struggling with the financial realities of attracting prospects, converting those prospects into high-paying customers, and making money for you and your family. The biggest mistake in my past was not seeking the advice of wise counsel sooner than I did. I don’t want you to make the same mistake. I help my clients see exactly what they need to work on in their business by doing the Business Wheel exercise. If you’d like to try it out, sign up to the right. It’s completely FREE.