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Tying Compensation to Contribution

September 26, 2019

ISSN# 1545-2646

Tying Compensation to Contribution

There is lots of conversation about compensations, wages, getting paid more, getting paid for a persons worth etc.  The conversation is healthy as long as it considers and incorporates all of the factors and the actual contribution value the role contributes to the overall result and outcomes of the organization.

Some roles appear to be more straight forward to evaluate direct contribution to an organizations results.  For example, a sales person whose sole role and reason for being in the organization is to close sales of the products and services to other businesses or consumers who are in need/want of the businesses product and services.  When a sale is transacted then the sales person should be rewarded for their part in the process.  This is where the challenge can start with this type of role.  Depending on the nature of the product or service, some sales organizations not only have sales people but they also have sales support staff. People who directly contribute to the sales such as systems engineers but they are not always directly working the dynamics of the sale.  They are more focused on translating the sales requirements into solutions to provide a given result to the customer. Without quality systems engineering, the sales person is not as likely to close sales for the company.  It gets more complicated from there.  Once the sale is closed and moved into implementation/delivery, the operations side of the house must live up to the design and commitments of the sales proposal.  When all of the upfront proposal and contract work is done to the highest of quality then the delivery should follow suit. If there are any vague aspects of the deliverables then problems begin to work their way into the end result.  These challenges erode the profit in the project and thus the company bears the burden of ultimately delivering to the customer a satisfactory result sometimes at the cost of the profit in the original proposal.

I worked us through this scenario so that when each member of the sales process is considered, it requires that each person take accountability for their portion of the sale so the end customer gets what they want and the business makes a profit doing the business transaction.  If at any point during this chain of events a communincation breakdown takes place, a missing piece of information is not discovered, a vendor product under performs etc. then the whole project gets shaken up and places profitability at risk.  Oddly enough, the risk on the job is all too often only owned by the business owner or stockholders, not the employees directly.  The employees still want their wages and at this time in our history, they want more for same contribution or in some cases less contribution.  The key here is that individual contribution is being accounted for in the expectations of the role.  The challenge today is the confusion of worth, contribution and compensation. This presents itself in the form of less contribution related to the actions taken or not taken by staff. The actuality is that some portion of the staff wants the role by definition. They want the responsibility and the title. They do not always want or hold themselves to the accountability which comes along with the role.

I will clarify here that compensation comes in more than one form.  In some cases total contribution is not always just dollars and cents.  Sometimes it comes in the form of other benefits such as paid time off (PTO), medical benefits etc. All of these other compensation pieces must still get paid out of the profit of the business. The profits of the business go up when each and every role in the organization delivers on the expectations of the role and are accountable to those expectations.

This week take a look at you role structures, your expectations and accountability framework for those roles and your overall compensation package to your staff for those roles.  Is the accountability structure such that it is rewarding correctly and appropriately for each role in the chain of success? Do you and your staff members understand the total value of compensation each receives for being accountable to thier contribution to the success of the business? What happens when accountability, responsibility and expectations are not met?

Need to have a third party look at your accountability structure and give you some true and authentic feedback?

Call JKL Associates at (313) 527-7945 in Michigan or (407) 984-7246 in Florida to get the conversation started.

Questions or comments – email us at partners@jklassociates.com or call our Offices – MI at (313) 527-7945 FL at (407) 984-7246

 

Our Purpose – To build Relationships rooted in “Purpose” so authentic contributions deliver “Promises”
A life where a “Promise” means something!

 

Become a Fan on Facebook ? www.facebook.com/jklassociates
Link up on LinkedIn ? www.linkedIn.com/in/jklassociates
Follow us on Twitter ? www.twitter.com/@jklassociates

 Copyright – JKL Associates 2019

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Action beats contemplation

September 19, 2019

ISSN# 1545-2646

Action beats contemplation

First I need to state that there is a time and a place for contemplation.  Unfortunately it is not always in the business setting.  Some of us, by our nature are go getters while still others are far more comfortable being lead or playing supporting roles. So let’s concede that action can sometimes put an inordinate amount of stress on some people in the business setting or even the home setting. All that being said, stuff just does not get done by thinking about it.

This time of year business leaders are in thought, contemplating future strategies for the business.  This is a great investment of time to step back away from the daily hustle and bustle of the business and look at what is working and what needs to be improved. From this time looking and listening to the business noise, leaders can begin to sort through the various aspects of the business and start to place order into the next phase of development and growth of the business.

The key here is to make a defined transition from thinking and re-thinking and thinking it over and over again and moving into action.  By example, we just celebrated the 50th anniversary of landing man on the moon and returning them safely back to earth. (Maybe you are one of the believers that it never happened, but one visit to Cape Kennedy or the Houston Space Center might give you a different perspective.  If it was make believe then wow, nice job on setting up the supporting cast of characters and environments.) Back to the anniversary, Then President Kennedy made a challenge – to achieve this feat by the end of the decade.  It had never been done.  We did not even know all the components to get it done. There were some unproven ideas and many more ideas which were proven not to work.  The key was that if it was to happen in less than 10 years it was not just about brain power to think and contemplate but to take action and discover what worked and what did not work.

This is even more true today in your business.  The market place is moving rapidly in one direction or another.  Building strategies and the associated plans need to be done but only for a more narrow window of time say 12 – 36 months tops.  Once the direction is defined then it is impetrative to begin executing steps – taking action in that direction.  As you take steps, you must measure the results and identify if it is in alignment with the expected outcomes.  If not, then re-plan to get back on track.  If the outcomes are tracking to your expectations then keep moving forward and make subtle adjustments if needed to improve upon what you learn as you go.

Last week we referenced the automotive industry and the impact the assembly line had on results and outcomes not just for the business but it reduced the cost of the vehicle to the point where the average person could participate in owning such a vehicle.  Much like that innovation, the automotive and aerospace industries capitalized on “Just in Time” materials delivery allowing for the distribution of manufacturing to be spread out across the nation while allowing centralized assembly and final control in a single location.  This process enable action to take place in a wider reaching area putting many more resources into action with a common focus on the end prize.

This week as you look at your business and contemplate what is going well and what might need tweaking in 2020, make sure you incorporate a defined timeframe of moving to action and the measurement points to determine if the action steps you are taking are delivering on the results you have in mind.

Call JKL Associates at (313) 527-7945 in Michigan or (407) 984-7246 in Florida to start the conversation about moving from contemplation to action.

Questions or comments – email us at partners@jklassociates.com or call our Offices – MI at (313) 527-7945 FL at (407) 984-7246

 

Our Purpose – To build Relationships rooted in “Purpose” so authentic contributions deliver “Promises”
A life where a “Promise” means something!

 

Become a Fan on Facebook ? www.facebook.com/jklassociates
Link up on LinkedIn ? www.linkedIn.com/in/jklassociates
Follow us on Twitter ? www.twitter.com/@jklassociates

 Copyright – JKL Associates 2019

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Innovate to Differentiate

September 12, 2019

ISSN# 1545-2646

Innovate to Differentiate

To be truly outstanding in an area of excellence you must dominate that area.  When you hear this you might think of large corporations like Walmart leading the price category or Mercedes leading the quality category. The same is also true for smaller businesses.  You can’t be the absolute best in multiple categories.  You must have great focus and intent in multiple categories but you can only have one paramount area of excellence which all other aspects of your business play in to and out of.

So which area of excellence does your company excel at – Price, Quality, Time? By identifying your key area of excellence you must now separate yourself from the others in the market space. Being a me too business gets you some business but by being the leader in the business segment not only do customers flock your way but so does a universe of other opportunities.

To be the leader you must offer something which differentiates you from other options in the same or similar market place. In today’s market place there are many options out there so you must be specific.  Let’s use an example of a service company who delivers some in location service.  Many service companies try to be great on taking care of the customer.  Many promise a time at which their technician will arrive at the location. most of them provide windows of time – i.e. between 9:00am and 5:00pm or some have narrower time slots like between 2:00pm and 5:00pm in the afternoon.  Yes, they allow you to pick which window but you are now tied to your location during that window.  Some enhance the service by calling you when the technician is in route so your pain of waiting now has a more specific tolerance level. All of these are done with the greatest level of intention to take care of the customer, but it still places the burden on the customer to wait at the location until the service person actually arrives.  The longer the window the greater the aggravation.

Time to innovate on this area of excellence.  Let’s say you have decided that time is the key area to separate your business from the next.  Being able to offer your target audience (your best paying customers) a service on demand level of service.  You might first need to narrow in on what services you can actually deliver in this new time demand.  Maybe it is only on select services but the marketplace has a bounty of need for that specialty. The volume you generate offsets the other business actions which you offered. Possibly they are not as needed or maybe not something you do as well.  As you can see, being selective, narrow and focused requires you to make deliberate intention based decisions.  You just cannot be a jack of all trades and be a master of all of them.

So innovation comes in different forms.  To often business leaders look at innovation strictly through the lens of some new product or new technique.  The reality is that there are numerous innovations to be crafted on the how it is to be accomplished rather than what is used to get it done.  If you desire to be an innovator in a segment then you must look at the same problem using the same set of restrictions from very different angles and perspectives.  You may need mobile offices in specific geographies in order to have the response level being targeted.  You might need a different type of technician who can be more agile and flexible to these new demands rather than having to do their role the same what all the prior companies have done it.

Differentiation through innovation is not for everyone.  Especially those who stick primarily with traditional approaches.  Yes they have been proven to work, but eventually they will be replaced with a better idea.  The introduction of the mass assembly line shook up the automotive industry 100 years ago and put all kind of support businesses out of business.  The question for you is not if, but when will the absence of innovation in your industry place your business asset at risk?

Wondering about focusing your business on something innovative? Call JKL Associates at (313) 527-7945 in Michigan or (407) 984-7246 in Florida.

Questions or comments – email us at partners@jklassociates.com or call our Offices – MI at (313) 527-7945 FL at (407) 984-7246

 

Our Purpose – To build Relationships rooted in “Purpose” so authentic contributions deliver “Promises”
A life where a “Promise” means something!

 

Become a Fan on Facebook ? www.facebook.com/jklassociates
Link up on LinkedIn ? www.linkedIn.com/in/jklassociates
Follow us on Twitter ? www.twitter.com/@jklassociates

 Copyright – JKL Associates 2019

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Back to School and Back to Work

September 5, 2019

ISSN# 1545-2646

Back to School and Back to Work

The traditional Labor Day Weekend marking the end of summer and the beginning of the new school year is now behind us.  Many celebrations took place across the country while still others were navigating the challenges of hurricane Dorian.  For those not so fortunate to have been in the wrath of the storms path, we pray for their quick recovery.

In business this transition point is an opportunity to refocus on the remaining months of 2019.  Sooner than you think, you will experience the end of the calendar year. It will be upon us quickly.  These remaining 4 months need to be the strength of your finishing this years race while also setting the strategies for 2020.

You should be engaging your leadership team to identify those business elements which can have a direct positive impact on the results for 2019.  At the same time, they need to learn from what went well this year and begin to capitalize on those new strengths as they forecast the direction for 2020.  We also learn a few things that did not go as planned.  These too must be taken into consideration.  You will need to better understand what took place to lessen the outcome desired from the steps taken to execute the tasks at hand.

For 2020, don’t start out with 10 major strategies to accomplish because you won’t get them done.  Each strategy evolves into many sub-projects which all of them end up trying to extract resources from the company which in many cases cannot support.  Identify just 3 or 4 major strategies for 2020.  Possibly reserve a couple more should the first ones get completed or will be well on track by mid calendar year 2020.  Understand this short list of critical strategies in exacting detail.  Dig into them like never before.  Be sure you recognize the resource demands and limits your business may have which in effect limits the outcome of the strategy.  Map out the details and delegate not just the responsibility but the accountability.  Make sure the measurement and check in points are well articulated so you can have early warning signs to take corrective action should that be needed.  Work from a position of strength rather than a position of reaction. Much like the plan for the hurricane, they knew it was coming and all the authorities gave directions to prepare, evacuate etc.  You may not have the same opportunity to know well in advance of the impending storm, but you can have a preparedness attitude about dealing with changes to your company, organization, resources and cleints.

If you have not already started to narrow in on the end results for 2019 then get to that first.  Second, start to get the 2020 plan in order.  The 2020 direction should be well defined no later than the end of November.  More ideally the end of October so you can place all of your focus and energy on closing out 2019 with great results.  A 3 month distraction between completing one year and planning the next only leads to more challenges next year.  Make a commitment to yourself this week and put some deadlines on the remaining focus for 2019 and the core strategies for 2020.

Need a “Promise Guide” to assist you in the navigation of the strategies?  Call JKL Associates at (313) 527-7945 in Michigan or (407) 984-7246 in Florida.

Questions or comments – email us at partners@jklassociates.com or call our Offices – MI at (313) 527-7945 FL at (407) 984-7246

 

Our Purpose – To build Relationships rooted in “Purpose” so authentic contributions deliver “Promises”
A life where a “Promise” means something!

 

Become a Fan on Facebook ? www.facebook.com/jklassociates
Link up on LinkedIn ? www.linkedIn.com/in/jklassociates
Follow us on Twitter ? www.twitter.com/@jklassociates

 Copyright – JKL Associates 2019

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