People – The Heart of Your Organization

It’s that time of year when we turn our thoughts to what means the most to us. For me, and likely for you, it’s the people in my life. People make our lives full and our businesses last and flourish. They are the heart of your business and when you put your people first, you can’t go wrong.

The philosophy around which my business operating model is built is the Five Ps of Profitability. Profitability is necessary for the success of any business but is affected by a variety of factors, not all of which are strictly financial, and includes the components of People, Product, Process, Planning, and Price. These components are integral to both your strategic plan and day-to-day operations.

As you dive into a new year, all components of the Five Ps come into play, but WHO dives in with you is central to your success. None of us can operate our business alone and highly effective business leaders often credit their success to the people with whom they’ve surrounded themselves.

The “right people” will first and foremost share the core values of your company and will likely be a natural fit with your business culture. You’ll enjoy being around each other and they’ll make your organization better. Articulating your core values, starting with why you are in business, will help shape the qualities you’re looking for in the people who will support your company’s success.

Having the right people on board is a foundation for success, but they must also be in the “right seat.” In other words, each employee’s roles and responsibilities should closely match his or her unique talents and abilities. When your people have the chance to bring their unique gifts and passions to their work, they feel energized rather than drained, they feel valued, and their work creates value for their associates and the business. Having the right people in the right roles is a formula for a successful and thriving work environment.

As a leader you must articulate and delegate roles and responsibilities. But to maintain forward momentum your “right people” need to be able to run with the ball that’s been handed off to them. If they are in the right seat, that will happen. To evaluate whether that is the case, I’ll borrow from Gino Wickman, author of Traction: Get a Grip on Your Business.

Wickman identifies three assets – which he refers to as GWC – that are present when people are in the right seat. These people get it, want it, and have the capacity to do it.

  • G = Get It. The people who “get it” truly understand the company’s culture, its systems and pace, their role, and how their job fits into the big picture.
  • W = Want It. The people who “want it” understand their roles, genuinely like their jobs, have a motivating spark for the work, and want to do it based on fair compensation and responsibility.
  • C = Capacity to Do It. “Capacity” includes having the level of intellect, skill, knowledge, emotional intelligence, physical ability, and time to do the job.

Wickman asserts that, even though you have the right person, they may not be in the right seat if any of these assets – GWC – are missing as they apply to the particulars of the job. When that’s the case, you may have to shift who’s in which seats. Or you may choose to invest time and money in the person to elevate their assets to the level needed to fill that seat.

Start by building or refining your leadership team and work your way down. In addition to the considerations mentioned above, ask yourself these questions as you’re evaluating the “People” component of your business.

  • What skills and behaviors are required?
  • What are the primary job responsibilities for the position?
  • Does the staff member engage the customer? If so, at what point?
  • What is your hiring process?
  • What is fair pay for the position?
  • What is your on-boarding and training process?
  • What growth opportunities exist?
  • What incentives do you offer to keep employees engaged and committed?

The workplace has seen some changes over the past couple of years, along with global changes in the way we live and do business. So, start the new year out with a renewed appreciation of your people, the roles they fill, and their importance to the success of your company. When the right people are in the right seats there is a productive rhythm to your business and burnout is uncommon. Helping them helps you.

As the former owner of a multi-million-dollar company, I’m a CFO with a CEO perspective, which provides me with a unique understanding of the Five Ps of Business Success and how each contributes to a company’s overall financial picture. I’d welcome the opportunity to help you get the “right people” in the “right seats” and work with you to put together the five pieces of the business success puzzle so that is works optimally for your company. Contact me for a complimentary consultation.

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Rick Arthur is a CFO whose expertise is built on Financial Intelligence and 35 years in senior financial roles. Coupled with a CEO’s perspective and the experience of building his own $20 million company, he brings a unique depth of insight into business from the top down. Wired to get to know people, Rick works hand-in-hand with business owners of intentional, growth-oriented companies, solidifying relationships as a trusted advisor and confidant to his clients. He leverages his experience to help business owners gain traction and stay laser-focused on the company’s vision, cash flow, and profitability – all while creating big picture solutions for strategic planning, growth and sustainable success.