Clay Staires: This is Clay Staires at Tulsa Business Leadership with podcast number 22 promoting through the lens of your company culture or your core values in your company. My company is Clay Staires Tulsa Business Leadership. I get an opportunity to spend time consulting and advising, encouraging and training and educating entrepreneurs, business leaders, business owners, managers across the country. This is a question that I get very often from managers as I’m talking with managers, saying, “Clay, how do we promote? I’ve got people in my company and they’ve been at the same position for a long period of time. They are looking for promotion or they’ve just kind of plateaued about seven years ago. Jimmy, he plateaued and he never really has done any better than that. He did great. He grew and grew and grew but about seven years ago, he just plateaued and didn’t move forward.” The very first question I asked him is, “What is your promotion system? What is your path? What is your map of promotion in your company?” 100% of the time, these business speaker Tulsa owners and managers look at me and go, “What do you mean? What are you talking about the map? What do you want to talk about this map of promotion or this path of promotion?” They don’t understand what that means. business speaker Tulsa
I get the opportunity as Clay Staires Tulsa Business Leadership to enter into a conversation with him and talk about how to map out promotion for people. It’s just like if you’ve ever been to a national park or gone to a museum where there is going to be a tour. You know that the tour starts at Point A and you open up this map that they gave you, this paper trifold. You open it up. It all starts, “You are here.” It starts at one location and then it takes you from location number one, identified from the number one. It takes you from number one to number two. At number two you stop. Then usually on that map there is a legend or there is something where there is a number two and there is some writing about what’s going on at number two. What am I looking at? What is happening? What am I seeing? What is the meaning and the purpose behind number two. Then after that, the map goes on to take me to step number three. When I get to step number three, I stop and I read what’s on the map? What is on this path as I am learning, as I’m educating, as I’m moving from point one all the way through point 10 or how ever many stops there are.
Your culture or your company is the same way. There needs to be a tour with a tour guide to lead people from where they are today to where they can be in the future. This is what I call the map. It’s what I call the the tour guide for your company. The tour guide to promotion in your company. Again, through Clay Staires at Tulsa business leadership, this is a tool that we help business owners and business managers put together for their company. I’m going to say a word here and it’s going to be a term, it’s a concept, it’s a thing that almost every single company has. But unfortunately, what I have found out is so few companies utilize this tool to the full extent. business speaker Tulsa
Your map in your company, the big picture, the path of promotion in your company. Another word for that is your organizational chart, or your accountability chart. But again, unfortunately, if you only have three or four employees in your company, here it comes, if you only have three or four employees in your company, chances are very good that your work organizational chart has three or four boxes on it. One box has Billy’s name in it and it’s got all the activities that he does. Another box has Sherry’s name in it and everything that she does. business speaker Tulsa
But unfortunately, that’s not actually how the company is functioning. Because we only have three boxes, the only way for anybody to move around is, “Sherry needs to quit. Sherry needs to leave so I can take over Sherry’s job”, or “Maybe sherry gets tired of doing some of the things in her box and they get shifted over into my box. But if those things get shifted over into my box, now I’ve got too many things and I’m freaking out. I need to get rid of some of the things in my box, so I give them over here to Jimmy.” Before long we’re just shifting things around in these three boxes. business speaker Tulsa
The very first thing that when we’re talking about promoting, one of the first things that I do with managers when they are looking at their company, when I say, “Give me a picture of your company.” I want them to show me an organizational chart that is designed through the lens of responsibility, not just through the lens of people. Rather than having just three or four boxes, because I have three or four employees, what I want to have is multiple boxes due to the responsibilities. I talk often about the employees that I hire and I’ve just recently hired a new employee in one of my companies. He is the first employee in this company that I have hired. Before that, it was just me. Now I have hired employee number one, so there are two of us. business speaker Tulsa
I could tell from the interview process, because of the questions that he was asking, I could tell that in his mind the picture that he had of the company was, it was he and I, it was me and him. I am not sure which one’s best there. But it’s the two of us. We’re locking arms and we’re doing this thing together. When I told him that I’m only going to pay him $10 an hour because of the questions that he asked me, I could tell that he was frustrated that he was only going to be paid $10 an hour when in his mind he had such an important role in my company as being my right-hand man.
I could tell that he had the wrong picture. I immediately reached into the drawer and pulled out a piece of paper that had my organizational chart that was designed according to responsibility in my company. I put that down in front of us and I said, “Here is the structure of my company. There were 34 boxes on this chart. Because there are 34 responsibilities, that go on in this company.” Then the next thing I did was I said, “Let me show you which box you fit into.” I went all the way down to the bottom left of the organizational chart and I said, “Here’s your box. Here’s where you fit in the company and that’s why I am paying you $10 an hour because this box at this level pays $10 an hour. If you want more money, then you are going to have to get into more boxes or you’re going to have to move up the path.”
That box was in the bottom left and what do you know, if he were able to do certain things and achieve certain outcomes, he could move up to the next level. “Hey that next box, it was a different color. That was sweet. It’s a different color. It has different levels of responsibilities and it has more money attached to it and so on and so on, as you move up the levels of the organizational chart.” This is the same thing where I have some people say, “I don’t like having the hierarchy. I kind of like having circles.” That’s cool, that works as well. But the idea is, there is a path set up for movement. In his mind he only saw two boxes and therefore promotion was taking my job, and that ain’t going to happen in my company.
He is stuck in that one box from now on. Unless I am able to show him the organizational chart that is designed through the lens of responsibility. Now there are 34, there are actually six different levels. I have just in that organizational chart or accountability chart, depending upon that the type of language you want to use, I have created a natural path of promotion, a map of mobility for them to move up in the company. Now they can see, “Oh my gosh. I could be here for years in this company and continue to move up.” It’s a very healthy thing for you to have as a business leader or as a manager.
At Clay Staires Tulsa Business Leadership, these are the tools that we provide for our clients. Our next step, once we have set this path of promotion. Our next step in promoting is we want to make sure that we set this growth path with expectations and KPIs or key performance indicators. As they move, again going back to that tour guide map, as they move from point one to point two, when they stop at point two, the instructions there need to include clear expectations and clear performance in production expectations of, “When you’re in this position, this is what you produce. If you’re on a sales team, then maybe at the entry level, you’re making a hundred phone calls. But if you want to move up in the company, if you want to continue on the path, you need to move to step number two and step number two includes a hundred and fifty or 200 phone calls a day”. You just want to make sure you have clear expectations that you say, that you write, that you show that you model, going all the way back to earlier podcast talking about how leaders communicate. Then our next step, step number three in promoting through the lens of culture, is you want to make sure that you have a big picture or the map upon the wall. I’m a huge fan of having this map upon the wall, so people know where they are on any given day, on any given time they know were they are fitting. So many times we do have an organizational chart but it is buried in the pages and pages and pages of the employee manual that’s gathering dust over on somebody’s shelf. I like to get that thing up. I like to get it into the company and it doesn’t have to be just this hierarchy of boxes. Get creative, have some artistic graphic design person. Put it together like some kind of a treasure map that they are going through the jungle of adversity and they’re working through the sea of trouble and all that kind of stuff, as they are moving through your company.
It also gives you a great tool when you are encouraging and helping lead people in their growth in your company to use that map as a tool to point to. Here is a question to you all right now. Are you happy there? Do you want to stay there? Maybe they say, “Yes, I’m very happy right here were I am.” Okay, that’s cool. But if they want to move forward, the map right there in front of you that’s up on the wall it gives you a point of reference to tell them, “Well, here is what we need to see. Here is what you need to begin to do. You need to take this training, you need to get certification, you need to put in this many hours, you need to have this much production to be able to move to that level.”
Again, these are great steps to help you promote people through the lens of your core values or your company culture. In Clay Staires Tulsa Business Leadership, that is what we help our clients do, is design these paths of promotion or this map of mobility inside of your company. Then finally, step number four, what we are going to do to help promote through the lens of culture is when you promote, you want to make sure that you tell everybody why you are promoting. Again, you don’t want it to be a secret, you don’t want to be over hear behind closed doors, “Okay, I am going to promote you to this next thing, but don’t tell anybody about it.” No. You want everybody to know that a certain person has been promoted and why. You want to make sure that they why is connected to your core values in your company.
We’re not just promoting them because they had a big sale. We’re not just promoting them because they said they would do it and nobody else was available. We are promoting them because they are exhibiting these key levels of core values. Their behavior and their attitude and their performance in our company is meeting certain criteria at a certain level and so we are going to promote them to that level. I am going to add one more thing here. Number five, you always want to make sure that people are producing before you promote. That is huge as a business owner. You want to make sure they produce before you promote.
I’ve had this many many times and I’ve made the mistake myself, where I have promoted thinking that the promotion would inspire them to produce. That is a bad idea. You never want to promote to get somebody to produce. Don’t promote as a motivation. You want somebody to be motivated and producing before hand, before you promote them. It’s a very key point.
These are the five steps on how to promote through the lens of culture. Have a set path of promotion, set your growth path with expectations and KPI. Number three, make sure you have a big picture of the path up on the wall so people can see it. Number four, you want to make sure that when you promote, you tell everybody why you are promoting. Then finally number five, you want to make sure that you see the production before you promote. This is Clay Staires at Tulsa Business Leadership with podcast number 22 promoting through the lens of culture.
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Clay Staires