It is true, those you would classify as high-performers on your sales team, are likely happy people. They are happy at their job and happy at home. They are just plain happy most of the time. They have a sense of well-being and transmit that to others.
Martin Seligman, the father of Positive Psychology, in his book, Flourish, talks of happiness being better defined as the construct of Well-being, comprising 5 parts: positive emotion, engagement, meaning, positive relationships and accomplishment.
It is about this whole idea of happiness that I want to share. A few months ago, I was coaching the leader of a sales team and the members of it. Total number of people was only 8, one sales manager and 7 sales people. This team was selling residential lots in a suburban subdivision to investors, builders and end users.
The subdivision had no particular amenities that were unusual. Overall it was nice, suburban and the lots were reasonably priced. Beyond that it had no particular attraction.
Yet some of the most successful sales people I had ever known in the Real Estate industry were a part of this team. To give you an idea of what I mean, there were two sales agents that had earned over $750,000 in commission two years in a row and the other 5 had earned over $250,000 annually since they had been a part of the team.
If you put the pencil to it you will see that this team of 7 sales people were selling residential lots at an annual rate of nearly $50,000,000. They were earning a combined $2,750,000 in commissions annually. I am certain that you may be able to find a higher performing team somewhere, however this team would qualify as almost anyone’s “A Team.”
Apart from our responsibility to coach these people to continued success, the employer wanted to see if there were any unique characteristics among this team that would allow him to look for among other sales people and improve his selection process or their performance, or both. Certainly there were no visible characteristics, each member of this team was pretty average. There were 5 women and 2 men.
The men were toward the bottom of the group, in terms of commission earnings, however keep in mind all were and had been earning commissions at a rate of $250,000/ yr or better. So, no one was in danger of termination, for failure to meet quotas. There were some differences in experience level, however they did not equate to better performance.
All members of the team received the same training and support. There were no discernible differences to be observed, on the surface.
In an attempt to see what we could not see or see what was “under the hood”, we decided to use some psychometric tools to gain insight into their values, strengths/weaknesses, behaviours and emotional intelligence.
We found all to be the expected driver/influencer, to value personal efficiency and return on time and effort, to be particularly Resilient and all to have an elevated sense of happiness or well-being. The Driver/Influencer, Valuing return on time and effort, and being Resilient were traits that were consistently present among sales people however the happiness trait was not something we had sought before.
Since that discovery, we have incorporated within our screening process, for use in selecting salespeople, the presence of a higher level of happiness or well-being and even if the candidate does meet all other criteria, without a high level of happiness we will not recommend an applicant for a sales position. What that has done is reduce our replacement rate by 71 percent. Saved us loads of time and money.
While happiness alone does not make a superior sales person, seldom can one become a superior sales person without a high level of happiness or well- being.
Five Ways to Make Your Employees Happy
Happy employees increase productivity and overall team morale, so they are important to have. We explain five very effective methods to ensure that your employees are happy.
Make them feel appreciated
You might not have a human resources department, but there is no excuse for not communicating the appreciation of your employees. A 2015 poll found that just 13 percent of people said they felt appreciated at their jobs.
You need to make sure your employees know they’re appreciated, not just in November when you give a holiday bonus or to employees who have been there a long time. Make sure they know you know that your marketing and sales reps are doing a great job and you appreciate that effort.
Use performance management If you don’t have a performance management system in place, then you are either a very small business or you don’t care what your employees do.
Give them room to grow
People don’t grow in isolation. You as a leader must set clear goals, but also help your employees reach them. Employees become what they know. People appreciate being given the opportunity to grow as individuals and in their careers.
When your employees see that you value their personal growth, they will work hard to grow your company. We are a millennial-run company and I take great pride in the work that I do. When I worked for a software developer, my manager was great at helping me get to where I am today.
I am thankful for his knowledge and his push to help me along the way. Many millennials might feel overlooked. However, it is crucial to remind them that their value is important and they should be grateful.
Listen to their suggestions
Listening to employees’ ideas and suggestions is an important part of your responsibilities. You can also use feedback from your employees as part of the improvement process, which will help you better understand your team’s problems and solutions.
Allow employees to speak their mind. They may have good ideas or input on your services or products, which will help you develop a better business in the future. It’s a great opportunity to improve communication with your employees and create more productive relationships. Relate to employees on a personal level.
As your business grows, you will encounter many different personalities in your workforce. This is why you should take care to make your employees feel as if they are part of the team.
Offer flexible scheduling
Whether you have a startup or a company with multiple locations and locations, setting employees up with flexible schedules can help you retain talent. A flexible schedule encourages employee motivation, and allows people to be more focused on work rather than constantly worried about whether they will be able to make it to a particular event or class.
However, the reality is that some people can only do so much at one time, and this flexibility might not allow them to be as productive as they should be. For example, some parents may prefer to spend time with their children, which might require them to work a flexible schedule.
The same goes for people with children who can’t make it into the office during the week. Hire a happier employee Another way to make sure your employees are happy is to hire a happier one.
Allow time for work-life balance
In the fast-paced world that we live in, it can be hard for many employees to find time to relax and unwind. However, letting your employees unwind after work hours can do wonders for your workforce.
Even small efforts to let your employees unwind can have a big impact. For example, scheduling activities for your employees, such as a coffee break, work-out class or massage, can show your employees that you care. It can also help your employees to appreciate their work-life balance more.
One of the ways that you can show your employees that you care is to create flexible working hours. This will make it easier for your employees to find time to unwind after work.