Why is Your Competition Beating You?
WRITTEN BY Clay Sullivan, Senior Consultant
‘The competition.’ That nagging concern that keeps success-driven leaders awake at night:
“Their products and services aren’t any better than ours, but we lose opportunities to them.”
Why is only a small % of our sales team successful while the rest are struggling to identify, engage, and close new opportunities? They all went through the same sales training!
Why is our client service team struggling to support effectively our customers’ needs? (Same service training!)
“Why do our candidates choose them over us?”
Why are we turning high potentials away at the interview stage?
What’s our employee engagement reputation in the marketplace?
“Some of our high performers quit and go to work for them!”
Does my organization foster trust, strong communication, and collaboration?
Does our workplace culture provide opportunities for growth?
What’s our investment in leadership and management development?
“I give in…why IS their people strategy so successful?!?”
Hopefully, you own an industry-leading company, lead a well-oiled executive team, manage a consistently-growing division at your organization, and concerns like the above never enter your thoughts – congrats – you’ve made it to the promised land!!
Fortunately for the rest of you, don’t give up hope. Don’t let the unicorns scare you.
As leaders of organizations, you are charged with setting long term plans for growth and efficiencies. The easy part is setting the goals. Perhaps your organization has a vision of the year 2020. Double revenues, increase retention, increase EBITDA, drive up the bottom line, etc.
Whatever your strategic plan for the future may be, it is only a plan. Whether you are products-driven, services-driven, or a hybrid, the quality of your ‘talent’ is going to determine your ability to succeed and certainly, gain an edge against your competition.
Grab a napkin, a pen, and jot down the financial carrying cost of the human component of your organization (salaries, benefits, commission structure, training, etc), from the executive team, the sales team, operations team, right down to your entry level positions. It’s likely the largest expense, cost, investment you have on your financial statements.
Now, ‘10’ being the best, rate your satisfaction with the performance of your people. Perhaps break it down by department or individual.
Did you write down 10’s across the board?
If your answer is yes, then please go straight to GO and collect $200. Take the night off.
If you have anything less than 10’s, why? Why is your workplace not performing at an optimal level?
How effective is your current hiring process? How capable is your management team in identifying and developing high potential talent? How well are the positions across your org chart aligned with the mission of your company? Why does your competition seem to be better at the ‘people’ thing?
WHAT GETS MEASURED GETS IMPROVED
From the advent of Six Sigma methodologies decades ago for driving efficiencies in manufacturing (mainstreamed by General Electric), the Fortune 100s, 500s, 1000s, Start Ups, Private Equity leaders, and a growing majority of Forbes ‘Top Companies to Work For’ have tapped into performance analytics beyond manufacturing efficiencies into services and, surprise, their people.
With the life-cycle windows of business success continuously shrinking, those organizations that are measuring and adapting their lateral efficiencies are ‘winning’ and those that are slow to adapt are ‘struggling’ and sadly, ‘losing.’ Few winners publicly celebrate it while most keep their advantage private in an attempt to gain an edge.
YOUR PEOPLE WILL DETERMINE WHETHER YOU ‘WIN’ OR ‘LOSE’
When your leadership team hopefully comes to agreement that optimizing your workplace performance is critical for excellence and perhaps simply, survival, you will task individuals to go explore the human capital analytics options that competitive organizations are already using, and they’ll be overwhelmed with the 1000’s of companies offering ‘personality tests,’ ‘assessments,’ ‘consulting,’ etc.
Some of these ‘people’ specialists are science-driven, some data-weighted, consultative heavy, and technology-focused. All well and good.
What if you could combine all of these (science, data, technology, expertise) to your commitment to hiring the best, developing your talent, fostering workplace engagement, building highly effective leadership teams?
Do your research to explore what system will get you the greatest ROI on insuring your human capital investment, identifying those partners with proven methodologies and be wary of the ever-emerging non-validated clones.
Get there before your competition does.
And, why not start your research here: The Predictive Index System.