Define success and failure

This is massive and really really really important.

Make sure you define for yourself and for your team members exactly what success and failure look like.

How? By giving success and failure a number.

So derive, this is my advice, take three to five KPIs, key performance indicators, and derive them for every single role in your business.

Now just because you have three people working in your business, doesn’t mean you only have three roles because each of those people could be undertaking many different roles in the business. The best way to do this is to map out your organizational chart with all the different roles in your business. So that would be accounts, that would be project management, perhaps sales, marketing, the board of directors, legal, HR, health and safety and all these different departments. That imagine you were a massive business and you were big enough to warrant having one person for every single role that you needed to fill for every different department and aspect of your business.

Build out your organizational chart in that way and then put the names of the people you have into the different roles.

Now we’re going to take the concept of an organizational chart one step further and we’re gonna build what’s called an accountability chart.

So now you have all of the different roles in your business listed out in a tree, you can put the people’s names in your business in the relevant roles, even if the same name appears in multiple boxes for different roles, and then you can look at;

What are three to five key performance areas that we want to measure for each of these different roles?

So they have to be numbers, you have to make sure that they’re not arbitrary, that they’re tangible and they can be measured. So that you know and more importantly your team know exactly what success and failure looks like.

A great example here is if you have a receptionist or anybody indeed who answers the phone, so you could have receptionist as a role but then everybody’s names in your business if you’re a small business. One of their KPIs would be three rings, so we’ve got a number and we know now that if that phone rings any more than three times then they failed in the role, because the number is three it should be answered in three rings or less.

Equally if it’s answered in three rings or less, both you and the person doing the role knows that they’ve been successful, it’s very very easy for all of you, for everybody to see what success and failure looks like.

This is so important because it stops people getting disillusioned and frustrated, moving goalposts all the time and I’ve seen this happen where one day there’s the expectation that this happens and the next day that expectation has completely shifted and it’s completely different.

So all the time you’ve got staff members who are chasing their tails, trying to do what’s right, trying to be successful, because look here’s the thing nobody wakes up in the morning and says you know what I’m just gonna fuck about today, I want to fail, I’m gonna make it my end, my energy, my effort, everything is gonna be tailored towards failure today. Nobody wakes up like that.

Even what you might consider to be your worst nightmare employee, I assure you does not wake up in the morning wanting to fail.

They want to succeed, they want to do well, we’re naturally wired that way, so help them to do that for you by giving them very clear-cut parameters, boundaries on exactly what success and failure look like.

For your sales team it could be you have to make 20 sales calls or 20 cold calls per day, that’s it. If you do any more than 20 then you’ve succeeded, if you do any less than 20 then you’ve clearly failed and that doesn’t matter if it’s one less or ten less.

But what this also does for you is the business owner is that when you have people who aren’t succeeding or who are failing in one way or another or not doing the things that they should be doing, because you’ve been very clear and concise on exactly what they should be doing and giving it a number, so that you know what success looks like and they know what success looks like, when they’re not performing, if you have that situation you have immediate recourse to do something about it. Because you can put your finger on the problem and you can say, ‘look your target your KPI is 20 calls a day and you’ve only done 15. What’s the problem? How can I help you? Do you need any more training? What needs to happen in order to get you up to target?’

It allows you to have a very meaningful, very constructive conversation with the person who’s under-performing to help them realise the greatest potential that they hold within themselves so that they can perform at the level they need to both succeed for themselves and succeed for you in your business.

So be clear on what failure and success looks like by using numbered KPI’s. Only 3 to 5 per role, but you must have at least three and ideally no more than 5 because any more than 5 and it just starts to get messy and confusing.



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