Momentum Podcast: 349
How To Keep Great Team Members
by Alex Charfen
As entrepreneurs, we get to a point where the momentum we can create on our own simply isn't enough. It takes a team to get to where we want to be. Your success is dependent on the team you build and keeping those great people around you. One of the questions I get asked most often is “how do you keep great team members?”.
In this episode, I'm going to go over two of the main complaints that business owners receive from team members and how to resolve them.
Full Audio Transcript
Alex Charfen: You get to a point as an entrepreneur where you realize your success is no longer completely dependent on what you can do, it is dependent on the team you build and keeping great people around you. One of the questions I get most often is how do you keep great team members. Let's dive in.
I'm Alex Charfen and this is the Momentum podcast made for empire builders, game changers, trailblazers, shot takers, record breakers, world makers and creators of all kinds. Those among us who can't turn it off and don't know why anyone would want to. We challenge complacency, destroy apathy and we are obsessed with creating momentum so we can roll over bureaucracy and make our greatest contribution. Sure we pay attention to their rules but only so that we can bend them, break them then rewrite them around our own will. We don't accept our destiny. We define it. We don't understand defeat because you only lose if you stop and we don't know how. While the rest of the world strives for average and clings desperately to the status quo we are the minority, the few who are willing to hallucinate there could be a better future and instead of just daydreaming of what could be, we enter the vulnerability and exposure it takes to make it real. We are the evolutionary hunters. Clearly the most important people in the world because entrepreneurs are the only source of consistent positive human evolution and we always will be.
When you find somebody who's really awesome who's incredible, who does a lot of work in your business, who's able to accomplish a time, who supports you in the way that you want to be supported chances are they're not going to work with you forever but you want them to work with you for as long as possible. And anyone who tells you that it doesn't matter if team members leave just hasn't really had anybody incredible on their team who has left. Because when that happens you actually feel the pain of it, you will feel the massive deficit created by someone leaving. In fact I have a couple clients right now that have had really good people leave and they are feeling the pain. One of them in a dramatic way is having to cut other people because the person that they lost was so good at helping manage the team they've lost a ton of productivity and a ton of revenue and now they're having to reshuffle the team and figure out how they're going to move forward because one person left.
So learning how to keep great team members is a huge component of becoming a successful entrepreneur especially at the beginning. Because what you don't realize when you're first starting out is that employee turn, team member turn will kill you. People coming in and then going back out will absolutely crush you. When you first start you don't really realize that it's happening. In fact you might have somebody come in, work with you for six months or a year then leave and you find somebody else. And what you don't realize until you have the perspective of time which is why I'm sharing this with you right now is that that turn, that in and out, that somebody starting, somebody stopping, losing the momentum of having them there will absolutely crush you. And it doesn't matter what position it's in. When it's in a more strategic position then it's more dramatic. But even when it's in a tactical position it still affects you in a massive way.
So here's some tips for keeping great team members or here's a way to keep great team members. First in order to understand how to keep great team members let's look at the number one and number two complaints in entrepreneurial businesses. Number one, team members complain that they don't get communication, they don't understand where the business is going, that things aren't clear for them. And number two that the entrepreneurial businesses change focus too often. So if you want to keep great team members the two things to do are to resolve those two complaints. Number one, not enough communication. Number two, no focus.
So the way to do this is actually way simpler than you would think. And this is exactly what we teach. In fact the reason we teach what we do is because we show entrepreneurs how to build teams and infrastructures of people and processes around them so that their businesses can grow incredibly fast, explosively fast, faster than most businesses in the world ever grow. And the reason we teach how to fix these two things is that by eliminating the chief complaints you actually change everything in your business and you start not just attracting great team members but retaining them long term. It's just like in a marriage. What's the number one issue most couples fight about? Money. So set a net worth goal. Talk about money all the time, you'll knock that one out and you've got an infinitely better marriage than the people who aren't talking about money.
So this is what we do. We teach entrepreneurs to one communicate within a system. Stop trying to communicate from the hip with your team. Create a communication cadence where your team knows when they're going to hear from you. They understand why they're going to hear from you. And they hear from you systematically each time. For us this cadence is literally, at the beginning of the year we build our entire annual calendar, the most important calendar for us is when we're going to meet with our team. Each year we have our annual meeting, each quarter we have our quarterly meetings, we call them targeted interactions. They are targeted. They have one outcome.
And we don't call them meetings because they're not just meetings. They're targeted interactions where we know exactly what we're doing. They're choreographed so everyone knows exactly what they should be doing in the meeting. We prime them so people know that they're coming. We want people to show up at their best. Then there is clear outcomes for each meeting. So we have our annual, our quarterly, each month we have our monthly meeting where we set up the next month's productivity and we set up our monthly goals. Each week we have our weekly meeting on Mondays at 4:00 o'clock where everybody makes their weekly commitments and then we drive all week to get there. And that cadence, that system, that structure is something that entrepreneurs fight like crazy but process and structure will set you free. It changes everything.
And then the second complaint that people have is that entrepreneurs don't focus or they change focus too often. Well that's because you don't have a strategic plan. So how do we show people how to eliminate that complaint? You create a strategic plan and the way that our clients do it in our system is we set up our one year objectives at the beginning of the year. Then each quarter you set up your quarterly objectives in your quarterly meeting by the way and then each month you set up monthly goals and those monthly goals ... So the annual objectives, the quarterly targets and the monthly goals all combine together to create a strategic plan that we call the waterfall. You can go back to my podcast on the waterfall to understand it in more depth. But when you have the waterfall and the communications cadence you eliminate chief complaints number one and two that most team members have in entrepreneurial businesses.
You have no idea how much pressure and noise that will relieve for your team until you've actually done it. It literally changes everything. And while entrepreneurs fight structure and we don't want to have structure. In fact we feel like structure constrains us or holds us in place. What you'll find is that once you have structure around your team it will become easier to run a team. It will become easier to retain top talent and it will become easier to bring the right people onto your team.
And then one last thing and this is big. Once you've eliminated the number one and number two objections to working on an entrepreneurial team, the struggles that teams face the third one is unrealistic expectations. This is a big one. This is how you will chase away the best team members you have by setting unrealistic expectations. And unfortunately if you bought into a lot of the dogma that's out there today, a lot of the common thinking around how entrepreneurs should plan you've been trained to have unrealistic expectations. In fact this is how most entrepreneur training goes. You set some crazy massive big vision which you tell everybody about and then every single day you work your butts off to get there. Well guess what? Your team they understand your vision. They want to be part of something great, they want to be part of something bigger. But if you have an unrealistic vision and no path to get there, no plan to get there, it's just unrealistic expectations. And if you walk into a team that just barely hit a million dollars and tell them that the next year you're going to hit 10 million dollars and you don't have a clear 100 percent grounded path to get there you're only going to frustrate your team. Those are unrealistic expectations. You're asking them to chase a dream. And that's how you lose the best people.
If you write anything in my podcast down, if you ever take notes write this down. "A players will not lose consistently." A players will not lose consistently. If you put A players in a position where they are consistently losing because the outcomes and the objectives are too big, the vision is too intangible and they can't actually show that they're winning they will leave and go to a team where there's expectations that are clear, where there's clear communication, where the strategy is not changing all the time and they can win. Because A players want to win. And if you have a team where you have unrealistic expectations and they're not winning consistently you're only going to keep players that are willing to lose, you're going to keep the people who are co-dependent, you're going to keep the people who don't want to make decisions, you're going to keep the people who are afraid to make mistakes, you're going to keep the people to whom winning is not important.
So if you're an entrepreneur and you want to keep great team members those are the three things. Number one, eliminate the complaint of no communication. Number two, eliminate the complaint of no focus. And number three, eliminate the complaint of unrealistic expectations. Your entire team will change. They will shift. You will see them come alive and start crushing it at a level you never thought possible. We watch our clients do this all the time. In fact we just had some clients of ours, Wallace Nelson and Ashlynn Nelson who run a huge manufacturing firm for supplements who put the systems in place that we're talking about and they went from 6.6 million dollars to 8.6 million dollars in run rate in just a few months. Not only that they had some shuffling on their team where the right people going into the right seats without them having to tell them to. And they've onboard and I think they said six or eight new team members in just the past couple months. So not only will this help you keep great team members it will help you find the right team members as well.
As an entrepreneur we get to a point where the momentum we can create on our own it just simply isn't enough. It takes a team to get to our full destination, it takes a team to get to our full capacity and to get to where we really want. And if you want to make your greatest contribution you're not going to do it alone. Put these systems in place and you will keep great people on your team and you'll attract great people to your team and your company will grow like crazy.
If you're ready to start building a team where people grow, where they understand what's going on, where they don't have the frustrations that most people have on entrepreneurial teams go to alexcharfen.com and apply so that you can see the private presentation I did around our Billionaire Code Accelerator. If you're ready to bring the right people onto your team, grow like crazy, have the systems and structure you need that is minimum effective dose so with a minimum amount of time you can grow the infrastructure of people and processes around you to go fast go to alexcharfen.com, fill out this simple questionnaire and we look forward to sharing the presentation with you. Alexcharfen.com.