What would happen if a significant number of the people in your organization were not performing and executing well in their roles? Can you imagine the employee frustration? The operational inefficiency? The customer complaints? The profit loss?
You may not have to imagine it. You might be experiencing it.
To function at the highest level in your organization, you need to have the right people in the right seats. As a leader, you know that – but you may be stymied on how to make it happen.
Right People, Right Seats
As EOS Implementers®, we emphasize that evaluating whether someone is the right person for your organization is very different from assessing whether or not a person is in the right seat within your organization.
To determine if someone is the right person for your organization, you need to ask and answer just one question. Here it is: Does this person consistently exhibit our core values? If the answer is “Yes,” you can move on to the next step. If the answer is “No,” then 99.9% of the time the person should be let go from your company. Someone who does not uphold your core values has no place in your organization in any capacity. (We’ll address the remaining 0.1% in a moment.)
To assess whether someone is in the right seat within an organization, we recommend using the GWC™ tool from the Entrepreneurial Operating System® (EOS®). GWC stands for Get It, Want It, and Capacity.
Here’s how it works. Consider the seat and identify the top five accountabilities for the role. Then ask:
- Does the person Get It? A person who “gets it” understands the nature of the role, how it fits into the larger organization, and what is required in the seat. If someone doesn’t “get it,” you probably aren’t going to be able to bridge that gap.
- Does the person Want It? Does the person enjoy their job? Are they excited about what they do? If not, don’t think you can convince or cajole them into wanting or liking the position. If they don’t, they don’t and that is that.
- Does the person have the Capacity to do it? Capacity refers to the demonstrated ability to do the job at a high level of execution every day. This does not necessarily mean they have perfect performance from Day One. You might need to provide training or coaching or mentoring, but the potential Capacity needs to be there from the outset.
Two Types of People Issues – and What to Do About Them
After reviewing whether your people exhibit your core values and Get It, Want It, and have the Capacity for their seat (they “GWC” it), you will find that people issues fall into two general types.
Type 1: Wrong person, right seat
These are the people who do not align with core values but who do GWC their seat. As noted above, if someone does not align with your core values, 99.9% of the time, they need to go. This can be an extremely difficult decision if the person totally GWC’s their seat: that is, when they are incredibly good at what they do. These are your “toxic superstars.” They are the rainmakers you don’t want to let go because of the potential impact to your business, yet they act like a cancer in your culture because they don’t display your company’s core values.
Confronting the toxic superstar with redirecting feedback is a must. If he or she is willing and able to shed toxic behaviors, you get the best deal in the world: a superstar who is willing to live your values. In our experience, that happens about 0.1% of the time. We hope it happens for you, but bear in mind that most toxic superstars are unwilling to change.
That leaves only one path forward: getting rid of the toxic superstar. It’s tough, but the fact is that, in the long run, their toxicity will always hurt your business more than their “superstar” results will help you. If you have to get rid of the toxic superstar because he or she refuses to change, you open the door to a healthier environment and culture where every team member can thrive and work together to drive positive business outcomes.
Type 2: Right person, wrong seat
These are the people who align with your core values but who do not GWC their seat. They fit your culture like a glove and you love having them around – but they just aren’t delivering for the business. You have a few options depending on the circumstances:
- If they Get It and have the Capacity to do it but don’t Want It, you can move them to a seat in the company where they would hit the trifecta of Get It, Want It, and have the Capacity to do it. Remember, you can’t make someone want something. If there is no alternative seat you have or could create, then let them go.
- If they Get It and Want It but don’t have the Capacity to do it, you can provide training, mentoring, or coaching as needed if you think they potentially have the Capacity to do the job well. Bear in mind, though, that this takes time and success is not guaranteed. You may want to move them to another position within the company where they do GWC it, or let them go.
Letting people go when they do align with your core values is unpleasant. However, you are running a for-profit business. You can’t maximize your business outcomes when you are hampered by people who are not executing well in their seat.
You Can Do This!
Here’s the great news: wherever you are at today, you can get to the goal of 100% right people in the right seats. It just takes intentionality, time, and effort.
One company we worked with had 80 employees and 20 right people/right seat issues. That was 25% of their staff! To their credit, they started chipping away at these issues and over the course of two years they completely eliminated their people issues. Today, they have 100% right people in the right seats. Needless to say, the company is totally knocking it out of the park: growth, profit, innovation, employee motivation, and customer satisfaction are sky high.
They did it. You can, too!