Proven Strategies Measurable Results

Your People Are NOT Your Most Valuable Resource

July 05, 2017
Your People Are NOT Your Most Valuable Resource - blog post image

What? That’s not what we’ve been told since we became managers. How can this be?

It’s true, your people are not your most valuable resource….the RIGHT people are!

Ok….Ok….Ok…now we get it. But how do we know if we have the right people?

First, how did you hire them?

Did you have an intentional process to attempt to fit the person with the position? Did you explain the position, the detailed job description, and the scorecard (how their performance will be judged) to the candidate? Did you have them explain to you why they are the right person for that particular job? Did you allow them to shadow someone currently performing these tasks in your firm? Did you allow other members of your team with whom he/she will be working to assess the “fit” in the operation? Is the compensation offered/expected commensurate with the position?

Answering these questions in the affirmative will put you and your team in the place of most potential to succeed in hiring the right person. No….there will never be 100% assurance we will hit a home run in this process. But going through the above steps will certainly raise your batting average!

Second, what if a current team member is underperforming?

Before any more formal evaluation, a performance/attitude assessment should be thought out. In other words, is it truly a performance issue or an attitude issue? If it is an attitude issue, a serious crucial conversation must be had with the team member explaining your perception. Then, observation of behavior changes (or not) should occur. If positive, great! If not, it may be time to provide the employee with an opportunity to find the right fit in another organization.

If attitude is not the issue, management MUST evaluate if it has provided the team member TTE (Tools, Training, and an explanation of Expectations). By assuming that the employee should just “get it,” we are doing them a disservice. Without the proper tools, training, and understanding of what is expected, how can the team member truly excel? Yes, some do just “get it,” but most will not…and this is not a people problem most of the time, but a failure of management.

If management explained to me that my job, and their expectation, was that I dunk a basketball, obviously I would know what is expected of me. But if they simply told me that, without giving me the proper tools (a trampoline) and training (how to use the tramp), I would still be unable to perform up to par. Telling me I am failing without TTE does nothing but further frustrate my actual performance and may then lead to an attitude issue.

For your team to perform at potential, maybe it is time for an assessment of management’s performance. Have we done our job in providing TTE to every member in our organization? If not, don’t point at the employee’s lack of performance… assess management’s!

As Pogo once said, “We have met the enemy, and he is us.”

Paul B. Harding
"As our firm grew, it became difficult to track the progress of cases through the various units, along with the customer service provided to our clients. VISTA developed dashboards for all this and more! When viewing our dashboard, I now have all the important data at my fingertips: client contact, file review, the number of demands filed, files placed in suit, and so much more! Our unit managers also use these tools to ensure that attorneys and staff are staying on-track. As Managing Partner, I am pulled in many directions at once and am often out of the office — the dashboard allows me to zero in on issues as they develop, regardless of my location or the time of day. Great solution for us!"
- Paul B. Harding / Managing Partner
Jim Reed
"I have to confess, I was initially skeptical that Vista could significantly improve my firm. Heck, we are a small firm (4 lawyers) in a small city and have been in business for 60+ years. Frankly, we were already doing well and had managed to carve out a successful business handling personal injury and malpractice cases. But I met (and liked) Tim McKey and we were having a good year, so I thought, let’s give them a try to see if they can offer any meaningful improvement. I am happily surprised to say that hiring Vista is one of the best business decisions I ever made. Vista analyzed and made recommendations in a few key areas and helped us implement changes in those areas. In less that one year, we are already reaping substantial dividends from those simple changes. As lawyers, we think we are pretty smart and know our business pretty well, but I can tell you that inviting an outside set of experienced eyes to take a close look at the way your firm operates WILL reveal many things you never saw and many areas for improvement. If you want to REALLY learn about your firm and how to improve it, I HIGHLY recommend a consultation with Vista."
- Jim Reed / Owner
Bill Berg
“… They have also worked with us in ways to improve how many new cases we sign-up – they constantly are coaching us in ways we can do things better in that regard. In our weekly meetings we go over our new case sign-ups, our demand times and various other statistics and topics. They hold us accountable to ourselves… I could go on & on – our accounting department was also restructured based much on their recommendations. And, Vista also researched and found a new CPA firm for me which actually keeps up on telling me what needs to be done instead of just keeping things as the status quo.”
- Bill Berg