How Having The Right People In The Right Seats Can Boost Productivity

How Having The Right People In The Right Seats Can Boost Productivity

Written by: Greg Weiss

As an entrepreneur, you’re pretty good at getting people to buy into your vision – after all, that’s how you grew your business from an idea to where it is now.

Given the passion and commitment you bring to the office every day, the last thing you want to be doing is taking the time to rally the troops, or pick up the mood after the holiday season.

In reality, you shouldn’t have to. Motivating your staff should not require constant input from you. If it does, something isn’t right.

The Right People…

Bestselling author Jim Collins spent five years researching what it takes to turn a good company into a great one. In his book Good to Great, he explains that when he and his team of researchers started out, they expected to find that the first step in boosting a company would be to start with the vision, to set a new direction and strategy for the company, and then to energise people with renewed commitment to align behind that vision.

“We found something quite the opposite,” he recounts.

“The executives who ignited the transformations from good to great did not first figure out where to drive the bus and then get people to take it there. No, … They said, in essence, “Look, I don’t really know where we should take this bus. But I know this much: If we get the right people on the bus, the right people in the right seats, and the wrong people off the bus, then we’ll figure out how to take it someplace great.””

Of course, when you stop and think about it, this makes perfect sense. People who are a great cultural fit for your organization will be naturally fired up and excited to be a part of your team. 

They won’t need to be constantly cajoled to be motivated. Instead, their motivation will come from their own innate desire to see results.

Conversely, someone who isn’t a great cultural fit, who’s values and beliefs don’t align with your organizational values and beliefs, will never be particularly motivated to do a great job no matter how much cheerleading goes on.

…In The Right Seats

The next part of the puzzle, once you’ve found your ‘right people,’ is to get them into the right role.

Everyone has a natural talent for something. Some are great with numbers while others are superstars at communicating with clients. If you’re sure that you have the right people on your team but are still finding motivation a problem, the next step is to look at the role they’re in.

All companies evolve over time, and this is particularly true for SMEs and start-ups which go through huge structural changes as they grow and develop. 

A worker who was once fired up but is now flagging may have outgrown the role they were hired to do, or perhaps the role evolved and now no longer suits their particular skills set.

If this is the case motivation becomes a moot point; a pep talk isn’t going to do the trick. You might get a few more hours or days of effort, but their motivation will soon wane again.

A better idea is to have an honest and frank discussion, telling them that you value them as a worker but aren’t sure their role is still suited to them. 

Not only does this show your employee that you value them, you’d be amazed at what a relief this can be for the worker, who may have been fretting about their job but felt unable to raise the issue.

The Power Of Delegation

Although this feels like purely an HR issue, it’s actually a little more complex than that. Not only do you need to keep reviewing your staff and roles to ensure that people are where they need to be, there’s also the matter – once you’re sure everyone is in their correct places – of conveying your vision for the company and ensuring everyone is facing in the same direction.

Chances are, as your business takes flight, you’re going to have less and less time to keep on top of the continual need to assess performance and convey that vision.

That’s where delegation to an operational manager comes in.

While you get on with the important work of setting the vision and direction, and of growing your client base and expanding the business, your operations manager should be taking care of making sure that the right people are in the right seats at the right time, and that everyone has a clear understanding of what direction the bus is headed in.

The Yin To Your Yang

That person is more than just another manager. They should be the operational yin to your trailblazing yang.

When you find that person, they will change the dynamic of your whole business, giving you the fuel you need to take the business to new heights.

Are you ready to grow and scale your business?

Need help attracting and retaining top talent?

Greg Weiss

Book a Free Initial Consultation on Sourcing Operational Leaders from One of Australia's Most Respected HR and Recruitment Consultants

At Soulidify, we are a highly regarded retained recruitment firm, that specialises in Operations Manager recruitment and General Manager recruitment. It’s our mission to find a visionary’s perfect Operational half-match, so any business can experience disciplined scaling and growth. It can truly be magic.

We are also a member of NPAworldwide which means we can help you with your recruitment needs anywhere on any continent.

Call us today for a free consultation.


Greg authored 3 practical Career Books, and 1 Book helping Visionary leaders scale their businesses. He is one of Australia’s most experienced HR consultants and leading career coaches. He is the founder and owner of Soulidify and Career365. As an entrepreneur/business owner, Greg has experienced first-hand the joys and frustrations of starting and growing one’s own business.

You can find him on LinkedIn or Linktree.

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