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  • Ryan Giles

Clients Aren't Your Top Priority

Clients Aren't Your Top Priority

Who is most important to your business, your clients or your employees?  While both are critically important, employees are the most important.  As a leader, your most important job is to hire and take care of great employees (this means getting rid of bad employees while helping good employees develop). 

“Clients do not come first.  Employees come first.  If you take care of your employees, they will take care of the clients.” Richard Branson 

As a Certifed EOS® implementer, I have the privilege of helping companies crystalize their vision and find great employees to help them achieve this vision.  I’m often surprised how many companies don’t correlate their lack of progress towards their vision with a lack of the “right employees”.  You’ll never achieve your vision without having the right people in the right seats (shout out to Jim Collins). 

Having right people means that your employees share your core values.  What matters to the company matters to the right people because they share the same DNA as the company.  You can rely on them to make good decisions because their values are aligned with the company’s values.

Being in the right seat means that your employees “Get It, Want It, and Have the Capacity To Do It” (GWC™).  For an employee to “Get It,” they need to understand their role and how it fits into the big picture of the company.  “Want It” means that the employee actually wants to be in their job (you’d be surprised at how often this isn’t the case).  “Capacity To Do It” means that the employee has the aptitude or proficiency to perform their job well. 

As I help clients review each employee, one of four outcomes occur. 

1.       The employee is the right person in the right seat.  This is great.  Keep this person happy.

2.       The employee is the right person in the wrong seat.  This means that the employee shares the company’s core values, but doesn’t “GWC” their job.  If this happens, ask yourself if the company has another position that can better fit this person.  If not, and assuming you’re in business to make a profit, you have to let this person go.

3.       The employee is the wrong person in the right seat.  This means that the person doesn’t share the company’s values but GWC’s their job.  This is tough because the person is usually productive and profitable, so the leader doesn’t want to get rid of them.  However, this person is a cancer to your company’s culture.  If coaching doesn’t work, you must terminate this person.  Remember that because a person is a “wrong person” for your organization doesn’t mean they’re not a great fit for another business.  They’ll be much happier in an organization that shares their own core values.

4.       The employee is the wrong person in the wrong seat.  Don’t hesitate – get rid of this person..

 Once you have the right people in the right seats, you want to keep them happy.  Be engaged and simply ask your people how they’re doing.  Care about them.  If you’re a leader in your organization, I challenge you to take one employee to lunch each week.  You’ll be surprised how much happier you and your staff will become. 

For bonus points, survey your employees to find out if they’re happy in their jobs (email me for a sample employee feedback survey).


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