Winning in recruiting can be tough. It’s an activity-oriented phone and Internet-based business where statistics indicate that nine out of 10 new recruits don’t survive their first calendar year. It’s also one of the only businesses where the product can tell you “No.”
Add to these inherent challenges the fact that research shows the average U.S. worker wastes 26% of their day on socializing and personal Internet use. That number is probably closer to 40% now that social media has taken over with Facebook and Twitter. The ability for a manager to develop a strong culture of performance is extremely difficult, if not outright impossible.
Developing a strong culture of performance
Some organizations manage to do this despite the challenges. How do they do it? How do they grow aggressively and reach 50-100 employees while others struggle to hire and keep a few productive ones? The answer: successful owners and managers develop a strong culture of performance.
Winning professional sports teams are excellent examples of how to develop effective cultures of performance. If you followed the New England Patriots in the 2000s, then you saw a complete 180-degree change in the culture of performance. When Bill Belichick came to the Patriots, he inherited a culture of individual performance over team performance.
Belichick had to quickly make changes to the existing system to change the culture. He changed the focus to acknowledging individual performances only to the extent that they made an impact on and added to a winning team. But if the team lost, then everyone lost. Now there was a stronger reason for higher level of personal performances that added to the greater good.
In 2007, the New England Patriots went undefeated during the regular season. When you walked into Gillette Stadium, you could tell the difference; the atmosphere had changed. Everyone felt a much higher level of intensity and anticipation—the players, the coaches, and the fans. When a true culture of performance is established, winning isn’t just desired—it’s expected.
When it comes to developing a winning culture, sports teams often have the advantage over recruiting firms. They have a high supply of quality talent coming from the college programs that keep the benches full of qualified players waiting to come in and play. The starters know this, and they do everything in their power to perform to keep their positions.
Second, the players are paid to WIN. When professional sports players forget the latter, they, along with their managers, find themselves out of a job. Remember, it’s all about the “W.”
“Winning isn’t everything, but . . .”
“Winning isn’t everything, but the will to win is everything.” –Vince Lombardi, legendary NFL head coach
We live in a society where value is now being placed on just participating and not necessarily winning. We have graduation ceremonies for kids making it out of sixth grade and every kid today in sports gets a treat after each game and a trophy at the end of the year—no matter how the performance ranked. Look around you in your recruiting office. Are there individuals who are okay just participating, those who don’t put enough effort in to “win” on a consistent basis? To develop a culture of performance a high value must be placed on WINNING—and it has to be valued by both the coach and the players in order for it to exist.
In recruiting, this means everyone must be focused on hitting metric targets and revenue goals, not only from an individual perspective but also from a company and team perspective, as well. Many individuals focus on hitting monthly, quarterly, and yearly targets or quotas, but do not increase performance once these objectives are met.
In organizations where winning is not valued, winning often does not occur. A great example of this was the Cincinnati Bengals of the 1990s.
Since the owner Mike Brown focused on making money and not on winning, the culture of performance was not a priority. The organization made money. However, the team and the fans lost a lot. The Bengals lost the most games out of any other NFL franchise in the 1990s. You could feel it in the air as you watched the games. You had a feeling they would end up losing, even if they were winning at the beginning or end of the game.
In my next blog post, I’ll discuss individual and team goals and why it’s important to foster an environment where winning thrives.
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Jon Bartos, a guest writer for the Top Echelon Recruiter Training Blog, is a premier writer, speaker, and consultant on all aspects of personal performance, human capital, and the analytics behind them. In 2010, Bartos founded Revenue Performance Management, LLC. The RPM Dashboard System is a business intelligence tool used worldwide for metrics management for individual and team performance improvement. In 2012, Bartos achieved national certification in Hypnotherapy, furthering his interest in learning the dynamics behind what motivates others to achieve higher levels of success. Click here to visit Bartos’s website.