Too many companies look at their average employee and try to think about how to increase that average. They’ll look at providing training programmes and mentorships so that those average employees can improve themselves and ultimately become above average. And there’s a place for that.
The problem is that there are some things in this world that can’t be polished, and many companies also have a problem with their hiring process. This is particularly relevant to sales and marketing teams because too often, we see senior management interviewing potential employees without any input from the people who can actually gauge whether they’ll be good at the job.
If you want the best possible employees then you need to hire the best, and that begins by finding people who fit in well with your ethos and who have the dedication that’s needed to get the job done. You can train them on the job and provide all the resources they need to help to develop them, but only if they’re bringing a solid foundation to the company with them.
You’re only as good as your employees
Remember that your company is just a collection of people and processes, and the people are the most important for most companies. That’s why it’s vital to hire the best and to help to nurture them, promoting internally and providing all of the tools and infrastructure that people need to get the job done. If a marketer asks for a piece of software, for example, then why not pay for that software? Most companies try to keep costs down by rejecting requests from employees, but why? When compared to that employee’s salary, the costs pale into insignificance.
Company culture is important too, because that’s what gives employees a sense of belonging. Creating a company culture isn’t just about providing office gimmicks like slides, foosball tables and free food. In fact, in most cases, these gimmicks are nothing more than a quick shot of adrenaline that may work as a temporary fix but which won’t work miracles.
The best way to show employees that you care about them is to care about them. We all know someone super talented who’s left their job because they felt underappreciated, but the opposite is also true. If you want your above average employees to stay and to keep on pulling the average up, you need to show some appreciation. And that doesn’t mean by just running a half-hearted employee of the month campaign where you give someone from each of your teams an Amazon voucher. Be authentic.
Building world class sales and marketing teams isn’t easy, but it’s almost impossible if you go in without the right foundations. That’s why it’s so important to get your recruitment right and to create an atmosphere in which talent can be nurtured and encouraged to stay. This is a long term approach that requires a fundamental shift in the way that you do business. But we know from experience that it works – and that it’s worth it.
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