The business structure is typically in place for most companies. If a position becomes available, you publish a job posting to fill that position. Next you interview a bunch of candidates to see who would fit that role best. This is how it has always worked. And within most structures these days there is not a lot of room to climb the ladder like there was back in the day.
Does this model really make sense anymore though? I think we are square pegs being forced into round holes. Yes we have an educational background that highlights our expertise. You went to school for accounting? OK you are now an accountant. Is that all that person can be though? I doubt they live and breath accounting, they probably have a lot of other passions and interests that they can bring to the table. Due to these archaic structures it’s hard for those additional strengths to come to light.
Aside from the basic interview questions and background checks it is important to understand who this person is and how they can bring the most value to your company.
Strengths in communication
At OverGo we recently took Sally Hogshead How To Fascinate test. The test highlights what makes you different. It shows you how the world sees you and identifies your best communication style. Our entire team took this test. It was interesting to find out our communication styles- what our strengths were and our weaknesses. And of course from this we learned that we had the wrong styles of communication working with one another and from past experiences we knew Sally’s conclusions were correct because we had seen the troubles.
I have no problem sharing it with you all! It’s very interesting and I highly recommend your team take it so you can understand your teams communication strengths.
From these results you may want to reposition some team members a bit depending on their communication styles. At the end of the day this will remove some of roadblocks in communication they have been experiencing.
Identifying Their Passions
Again your accountant does not live and breath accounting. They may be passionate about feng shui/ interior design/ culture. But how would you know this.
Well you have to engage with your employees. You can do this by being a transparent company and opening the table up to discuss their opinions. From this you will find what people like and what they don’t like.
Did you like last years Christmas party?
What do you think about the office environment?
Any ideas on how we can define our culture better?
We all have ideas! And that accountant may have some great ones on how to spice up your dull fluorescent office look and make it more of a comfortable environment. News Flash: we thrive in environments that have life and pizzaz!
Identifying their business strengths
So you hired a sales guy and he isn’t doing so hot. This means he needs to get axed. No it does not. If you have a sounding board in your company, such as HR, they can learn a lot about what your employee likes and doesn’t like. Perhaps this sales guy is really good at doing sales but just does not like the way you have been going about delivering him leads. Maybe he is used to something different, and that difference is where he would excel! He just needs someone to listen to him.
You have to be flexible to cater to what their strengths are if you want your employees to succeed. Otherwise you end up with your employees wandering about aimlessly- wasting your dollars. I’ve seen it before in multiple companies I have worked for. Why are you wasting your business dollars on people who are capable of so much more than the mundane job they are doing. You are losing a valuable resource that is right under your nose just because you think you don’t have a need for it - because their is no position for that in your company.
What We Have Done
I’m going to be transparent with you because I think that is how things should be in todays business world. recently we changed our structure with the goal being- increase sales. It was clear after working together for years what our strengths and weaknesses were, as a company and as an individual. So we took this information and used it to our advantage.
She has a good communication style. Let's take her from content production and put her on client services
He has good analytical skills that have not been tapped into. lets move him from inbound marketer into a role dedicated to measuring client accounts.
She is fast and quick at completing quality deliverables. Lets use her as a benchmark for the rest of the company to meet.
By identifying these items we are able to create a leaner structure and eliminate those roadblocks we kept experiencing. And in turn- this now allows us to increase our sales process because without the roadblocks communication is now open with our sales team. We can now give them what they need to make more efficient use of their time. Which means, quality sales calls.
My Bottom Line
There's no wrong or right way to structure your company. You do what works best for you. I think it is worth listening and taking note of your employee’s strengths and weaknesses though. You have untapped talent sitting around right under your nose! If you could be flexible and structure portions of your company to give them what they need, everyone will be happier and more successful at the end of the day!