May 04, 2016

Back To Your Team

You've put your program in place. Your Executive Team knows what you are focusing on and what you are going to deliver. Your Chief Merchandising Officer is fed up with you because you pointed out that Merchandise Productivity is down 7% this year and the CEO, well, she is all over the Chief Merchandising Officer to make changes.

And your very own Marketing Team is fed up because you are spending half of your time with your Brand Response Marketing Team.

This is when attrition happens.

It's not like your team is signed on for three years at two million dollars a year. They are free agents, and are not paid all that well, are they? And when a new Marketing Leader puts her foot down, puts the hammer down, well, some of your team will rebel.

You want to lose people in the early days.

I once took over a team where I lost eight of ten people in my early days ... some were fired, some quit, some flamed out in spectacular fashion. I required security backup to move one individual out of the company - folks were worried about my safety. Moving eight of ten people along cost me a year of productivity ... and that didn't go over well with Sr. Management.

Similarly, I took over a team of fourteen individuals ... I didn't change anything, none of them quit, and I didn't fire any of them. Huge mistake. All of the problems that existed prior to my arrival existed after my arrival ... but were now my fault.

Set clear expectations from day one.

Hold people accountable from day one ... if they are not meeting your expectations, they must be moved along. I don't say this to be a combative wombat. I say this because you must get the most out of your people, and you cannot get the most out of your people if they are working against you or are not qualified to implement a Customer Acquisition agenda.

Immediately hire yourself a programmer (don't work with IT on this, have your own programmer), and make sure that your programmer is analyzing simple issues for you, and is producing customer acquisition reporting, customer retention reporting, lifetime value reporting, marketing effectiveness reporting, and reporting to refute Executive idiocy ("we're failing because customers are expecting an omnichannel solution that you refuse to implement").

Immediately build a list of qualified candidates to replace any staff members that are not likely to survive your agenda. Work with HR, now.

And encourage those who are not supporting you to leave. In one instance, an employee walked into my office and said to me ... "make it like it was", to which I replied ... "you mean like it was when the company lost 10% pre-tax profit in back-to-back years and people worked 27 hour weeks and drank margaritas on Friday afternoon at 3:00pm?" And the person responded "yes". That person should not be there. That person is not inclined to support a Customer Acquisition agenda.

I know, I know. You don't like to think about people issues. People issues are unpleasant.

You will not enact change, you will not rebuild your marketing function, and you will not be successful with your Executive Team partners if you do not immediately fix the people problems in your department.