Jul 1, 2010

Can Work Ethic Be Coached?

You can coach work ethic by demonstrating it and encouraging people to care in order to achieve progress. The best way to do this is to emulate it yourself, and COACH people who underperform by inspiring them by ROLE MODELS who succeed and have proven sales process in the organization.

Example: A manager I once coached ran a personnel recruiting office where a certain salesperson was underperforming. Recruiters conduct much of their business over the phone. The calls they make and the effort they put out matters. Well, the manager's salesman had a GREAT speaking voice: low, deep, and authoritative. Yet, he was on her "black list" to replace!

I asked the manager, "Why are you going to fire Tony?"

She answered, "Because he comes in late, he takes long lunches, leaves at 5PM regularly, and does not seem to understand our selling process."

I asked, "Who is the best rep at that branch?" She gave me her name.

I then said, "What does she do to set her apart?"

She said, "Rachel schedules the bulk of her new calls DURING the morning, lunch, and afternoon drive time when clients are most likely to pick up their phone directly. She schedules all her follow-up calls during the rest of the day. She takes lunch and breaks at outside times and usually schedules these breaks as meetings with clients. She works late at least twice a week and does her reporting Sunday night."

I asked her "Have you explained to Tony what makes Rachel exemplary?"

She said, "Not exactly."

I replied, "Then, if you fire him, why don't you fire yourself in the process. You hired him, yet you aren't coaching him on what you really want. So, if he fails, you failed him. Because you haven't made it clear to him what a "star performer" does to earn those honors. I would suggest a meeting with Tony, and in that meeting let him know you hired him because you think he has the potential to be a "star performer" on your team. ASK HIM how his numbers would look if he were a manager. Then agree that performance is below par, but have him explain why he thinks that might be. Then share your insights and especially share what Rachel said that makes her a consistent star performer. Suggest that you believe he could experience much higher success by emulating Rachel's tactics. End the meeting by encouraging him and sharing how much you look forward to him rockin' it!"

She did this, exactly. Within two weeks this "slacker" transitioned from the bottom numbers to challenging Rachel for top rep at that branch and never looked back.

Yes, you can teach BOTH work ethic and sales process to turnaround poor performers. As a manager, it is imperative to dig for the process that the best use to succeed, and then share that process with the team. With good coaching, a manager can turn many bottom performers into top performers.

Do you have an example of a turnaround on your team? Or perhaps a struggle you'd like to share? Feel free to comment. (Please, no "link spam" - thank you!)
Scott Andrews, Author, is CEO of ARRiiVE Business Solutions and Founder of AspireNow.com. He also is the creator of the innovative "Cold to Gold: How to Overcome Fear and Get In The Door Successfully" sales training program (http://www.coldtogold.com/). This article is published with all rights reserved. If you wish to publish, please contact info [at] ARRiiVE.com.
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1 comment:

  1. To me, having a good work ethic in a modern sense refers to being professional, diligent and caring about your work and the people you work with.
    -corporate team building