Recently our company, Timberhorn, was named by the Dallas Business Journal as one of the best places to work in DFW. We were honored and very proud of this designation for many reasons. Two of the primary reasons we were so proud of this accomplishment…….. one, there were only 56 companies given this designation in 2012 and two, our employees were the primary reason why we were chosen.
I’m not an expert on hiring or personal development, but I have been involved in the building of winning teams and understand what ingredients are needed to become the best in the IT Staffing industry. Here are a few ingredients that have helped our company become one of the Best Companies in DFW.
This is that special something that can make your company like no other. It is the ingredient that helps you recruit top talent and is the “It Factor” that gets people talking about your organization. Our culture is always evolving. We are known as a fun company but we are also innovating new processes and ideas all the time. We have the music, fun room, training facility, company trips, Happy Hours and team outings but we also have technology, great compensation/benefit programs, referral incentives, engagement programs and individuals that are solely responsible for the happiness of all of our team members. The bad news…..if you don’t already have “It”, you can’t manufacture it.
Leadership Involvement / Engagement
As a leader you can’t be truly engaged and involved with the organization if you sit in an office. Too often, this is the norm. Typically, owners/management/ leadership…..whatever you want to call them…..sit in offices (big or corner) and make decisions that affect the organization. There is usually some type of bullshit reasoning behind having the office – Needed for private conversation, Need the office for conference calls, etc. Blah, blah, frickin blah. To be in tune with your Sales Teams, Recruiting Teams, Clients, Consultants and Back Office, you need to be in the middle of everything. Get yourself a cube or desk and plop down in the middle of everyone. Keep in mind that you can’t be there in just the physical sense. You must “Work it”. Make sales calls, go on client visits, recruit candidates…..LEAD BY EXAMPLE. Trust me, it is not difficult to keep track of your P&L/Balance Sheet/ROI AND do the things that really impact your Revenue and GP. We have big corner offices at our company, and we use them to huddle up, cater in food, make conference calls or just shoot the breeze and those offices are open to everyone. One more thing, if you are in the middle of the pack and engaged, ALL of your teams will have more respect for you!
Recognition / Awards
You gotta have em…..period. Whether it’s a plaque for the best office singer or a trophy for the top producer, people love to be recognized for their accomplishments. Here are some of the Awards that we provide to the Timberhorn team:
- Quarterly Team outings for top producing Recruiters and Account Managers.
- Monthly and weekly contests with ever changing goals and criteria to spice things up.
- Annual Company Trips to incredible locations (Maui, Hawaii last year)
- Cash and Trophies to Annual Top Producers
- Cash and Awards to Consultants
- Promotion to Engagement Manager for Top Consultants with shared client compensation
These are just some of the awards that we provide but I’m sure there are many other options available to enterprising companies. Pick as many or as few as you like, but PICK SOMETHING!!
Clear Team and Individual Goals
Make it public and put your neck out there for everyone to see. That’s right!
Choose company revenue and/or head count goals and make sure everyone in the company internalizes it. Make it a part of your quarterly company meetings and talk about it ALL THE TIME. Don’t forget to match your company goals with individual quotas. Work with your team members to determine their annual quota numbers and make sure their activity benchmarks will lead them to their quota numbers. Sit down individually and work out the annual quota with each team member. Ask them about personal wants and desires. You need to meet with each team member at the end or first of the month to make sure that each person is on pace to achieve their numbers. This is one of the most important jobs as a Leader or Coach…..communicating and setting expectations. We do all of the above at Timberhorn. We meet with team members on the first Thursday of every month to review quota and performance. We also meet quarterly to discuss company objectives.
Sounds boring but you must have consistent processes in place. Every professional athlete has a routine. Golfers have a pre-shot routine and their swings are repetitive. Most Football and Baseball players have a pre-game routine and will not vary from it. The same should hold true for your teams. Make sure that you have regularly scheduled meetings and don’t vary. Have a meeting in the mornings to get focused….something short and to the point. Have consistent reports letting everyone know where they stand in regards to activity and performance. Be consistent with your message which should be easy if you have set clear team and individual goals (You like how I tied that shit back to the previous subject?….BOO-YAH!).
Don’t be afraid to f### up!
Failure IS an option and, sometimes, a necessity. Your team cannot learn without it. When we hire new team members, we tell them to mess up early and often. We let them know that they can’t break anything and that we are here to pick them up. More importantly, as a leader, I need my team to know that I am not incapable of error and that I am here as a support mechanism. If you are responsible for a group of people, do yourself a favor and get rid of “Old School” jargon like Manager, Boss, Supervisor… or other bullshit like that. Those are titles and attitudes that instill fear and only keep people from trying to eff up. Let your team know that you are there for them when they make a mistake and let them be fearless.
These ingredients will hopefully help your team be the best. Keep in mind that these aren’t all of the ingredients. I’ve been called Crazy by a bunch of people (primarily by competitors whose asses I kick on a regular basis), BUT I’M NOT CRAZY ENOUGH TO GIVE AWAY ALL OF MY INGREDIENTS………WU-TANG!!!