Posts Tagged ‘business’

The Super Employee Evolution – Part 3

October 18, 2012 1 comment

the tired employee

Without proper management, the employee has more chance to feel alone and under-appreciated.

(continued from The Super Employee Evolution – Part 2)

Bob had had enough.  Overworked, over-stressed and feeling under-appreciated, he asked his boss for a raise.  He was denied.  Citing a poor economy and everyone having to tighten their belts for a while, he was told that perhaps in the future there would be more funding for pay raises but not right now.  He was told how valuable he was to the team and that his efforts had not gone unnoticed.  He was appreciated.

Management began to see glimpses of the danger they were in and began to search for a replacement for Bob….just in case.  There were many applicants and eager personnel eager to take on the job at hand.  Unfortunately, for Management, however, no one was able to take over the existing system as Bob had personalized it.  All his macros and short cuts to make the system efficient and workable for him were indecipherable for anyone else and no one would be able to come in and take over smoothly.  In fact, Management was shocked to discover they would have to hire 2, 3 or maybe even 4 people just to maintain the status quo.

Meanwhile, after working hard to make up for being short-staffed for three years, Bob was no longer satisfied with Management’s response.  Management was in denial and falsely believed Bob didn’t have any place to go.  However, while the job market was not the lush and fertile field of 2005, it also wasn’t the bleak and barren landscape of 2009 any more.  Companies had begun to hire again, albeit very selectively, and Bob was the ideal candidate for the new market; he could multitask, had middle management experience and was never laid off.

Bob received a very generous offer and tendered his two-week notice at work.  To say Management was surprised is a massive understatement.  Suddenly, they realized their mistake.  They had put all their eggs in a basket named “Bob” and for the first time became fully aware of their folly.  If they didn’t keep Bob on staff, there wouldn’t be anyone left to run the IT department and the firm would come to a grinding halt.  They had an emergency meeting and put a counter offer on the table and presented it to Bob.  Finally in a position of power, Bob agreed to stay but with a much higher salary increase.  Bob had basically asked for more than twice his original salary and an extra week of vacation.

Management had no option but to acquiesce.  They were appalled at the position they found themselves in but saw no alternative.  Bob, on the other hand, was finally happy…still over-worked but for double the money, he no longer dreaded getting up in the morning.

Management began to take a look around the company to see just how vulnerable they were in other departments.  Initially, keeping the teams under-staffed was a good thing because it was more cost-effective and added to the bottom line.  However, they now saw the danger in keeping this as a permanent solution.  Fewer employees were actually expendable than Management had believed and the false power Management had over them was now transparent.  The only solution, much to Management’s chagrin, was to hire and add staffing to key areas within the company to prevent another “Bob” situation from surfacing.

Properly challenging and compensating the employee makes for a happy employee.

Is this the only reason why employment is slowly and steadily rising?  No.  Obviously, there are other factors in place.  There is more faith in the banking system again just as banks have more faith in borrowers now than they did four years ago.  Notoriously foolish practices such as approving mortgages for people who did not have the resources to pay them back have been curtailed just as people are no longer borrowing above their means.  Plus, there are other factors affecting the economy and how companies hired/fired over the past five years that I will not get into here.  Suffice to say, The Super Employee Evolution is one of the unique results of the process.  It didn’t happen for every company, but it did manifest itself enough that the topic came up often in my conversations with recruiters, HR departments and the candidates, themselves.  Additionally, it wasn’t just in IT.  The S.E.E. also grew in Sales, Marketing, HR and any other group that required one person to maintain the day-to-day operations of the department over an extended period.

What’s the lesson learned?  For companies, a short-term reduction in force may be fiscally responsible but the long-term effect of keeping a skeletal staff is not worth the risk.  As for employees, the take away is to continue learning and self-education to ensure survival within the company and in the chosen field.

(continued from The Super Employee Evolution – Part 2)


Summer Sales Slump? It Depends Upon The Salesperson

Summer sales slumps are a myth.  Companies don’t take a quarter off and not accomplish anything.  There isn’t a business in the world that willingly takes ninety consecutive days and is perfectly at ease letting productivity fall off a cliff.  Projects are not put on hold until kids go back to school once more.  If you are a sales person and you use the summer sales slump myth as your excuse as to why your numbers are lower than they are the rest of the year, then you simply haven’t prepared for the summer enough.  Proper preparation will provide you with more opportunities.

Summer sales are a reflection of your relationships with your clients.  It is the payoff for having gone the extra mile throughout the year, and having proven to your clients you are an expert and an advocate for their business.    What companies will do, that you must keep in mind, is address particular types of projects during certain types of the year.  You have to know everything your customer will need for the full year.

Schools, for instance, will buy end-user equipment during the first half of the school year and supplies during the second half of the year.  School networks will undergo major modifications during the summer months when the faculty and administration are not in the buildings.  If you are busy selling printers, cameras and projectors during the year and don’t know anything about their networking needs, you will experience a very slow summer.  You should have begun to ask about the summer in March.

You have to constantly adapt to an ever-changing sales environment.  You can accomplish this by adopting some or all of the following points;

1. Take a sales course.  You current method, whether it is successful or not, will inevitably grow stale over time and a refresher is always recommended.

2. Come up with new prospecting questions.  If your summer months are slow then you haven’t asked the right questions.  Let your client tell you about their business…don’t guess.

3. Remind your clients what you offer…don’t assume they already know.  Sometimes a simple flyer highlighting a product or service they have not purchased is enough to let them know you can provide them with more than what they have used you for.

4. Keep current on the industry as a whole.  What are the issues that will be dealt with in manufacturing?  Is there an alternative product on the horizon that will help your clients?  Are there new and more efficient methodologies available?  The more your clients see you as a resource, the better your relationships will be.

5. Keep a yearly calendar.  Mark off the seasonal dates and when to begin to prospect for them.  Usually, a three-month lead time is adequate and minimizes the chance of a deal getting away from you without your knowledge.  For instance, you should begin to prospect in Feb/March for June sales.

These are just a few suggestions for eliminating the mythical summer slump.  Ultimately, your activity level, properly applied, will minimize or even eliminate a slow season for you.

What do you do to counter slow seasons?  Please feel free to drop a comment below as I would love to know what solutions everyone else is using.