Recently I was involved in a conversation with an executive about what I did. We spoke about the backbone of his company. The people who made him money and helped grow his company. We covered the importance of not having turnover in this area and making these people as productive as possible. After we talked for a while he said, “Oh so you are a strength coach for my backbone!!” I had never thought about it that way; but, he was correct.
One of the first things a football coach does when he takes over a struggling program is to invest in a results driven strength coach. There is a direct correlation between physical weakness and losing ball games. It is a combination of under used/challenged muscles and a lack of discipline. Not only are the players stronger; but they now engaged with the new program. They see the new coach doing what needs to be done to get the desired result.
The coach and players both want to win games
One of the organizations in my past had some excellent employees. They were in the game and they saw their successes not just being for the company. They were proud to tell people who they worked for. They were awesome internal recruiters out in the community. However, some of these same employees had a problem. They felt some employees did not measure up to everyone else. They did not understand why they were hired and retained. They also felt those employees were not in the same class and had lower productivity. They felt these other employees were not held to the same standard as the awesome employees. When I arrived on the scene, I found the awesome employees were right.
Strength coaches succeed by setting a standard and holding everyone to it
We started reviewing the standards throughout the company. As we looked at the results, it was clear we did not need to set a new standard. We had to enforce the one in place. The company was doing very well with the awesome employees. We were losing it all on the less then awesome. The standard was now going to be strictly enforced. Not surprisingly, several of the weaker employees immediately met the standard. We gave everyone 10 days and lots of development opportunities. When the dust cleared, we had plenty of people meeting the standard. We did not miss the employees who were let go when it was apparent they could not meet the standard.
Our productivity shot through the roof, cost per unit dropped through the floor and employee engagement had never been higher.