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ENHANCE PROFITS BY MENTORING, MOTIVATING AND RETAINING STAFF
ACCELERATING MID-SIZE SERVICE FIRM GROWTH THROUGH INTENTIONAL MENTORING
What Is This Service?
Our Mentorship Coaching service empowers mid-sized service firms to break through organizational and cultural barriers to keep growing. After more than 20 years of serving mid-sized firms, those with 25-100 staff and 10-50 million in revenue, we’ve noticed that many firms hit a plateau that they can’t seem to rise above. Growth begins to stall out once the organization adds somewhere between their 35th to 50th employee.
Usually this is quite perplexing to leaders who’ve captained the ship up to this point. These leaders have relied upon a set of practices and a leadership style that has worked well in the past. But now things have changed and they’re often unsure of what to do to reignite growth. In some instances, we’ve seen leaders look to improved sales and marketing practices to stimulate growth. We’ve also seen them hold team-building exercises and off-site programs that produce short-lived results. But nothing seems to produce the sustainable results they used to see with so little effort. Some leaders are wondering if their mogo is gone or if their luck has simply run out.
At The Shattuck Group we’ve seen these situations for decades and we can say with confidence that you absolutely can break through these plateaus. But to do so, you’ll probably need to look more internally than externally. The root cause of the stall out, in our experience, usually has little to do with business model type, service offerings, client satisfaction, market conditions or even operational efficiency. The root cause is that the practices that once served you well no longer work because your organization is bigger. It needs a different approach. It needs a formal mentorship program.
WHY YOU NEED THIS SERVICE:
THE PRACTICES THAT ONCE PRODUCED NEARLY EFFORTLESS GROWTH NO LONGER WORK BECAUSE YOUR ORGANIZATION IS BIGGER, MORE COMPLEX AND MORE CHALLENGING TO LEAD.
What Issues Give Rise To The Need For This Service?
If what we describe below sounds like your organization, you are likely a great candidate to consider our Mentorship Coaching services.
- Age gaps. In most service firms we’ve coached, the leaders are in their 50s, 60s or even 70s and the staff are in their 20s, 30s or 40s. These age gaps come with natural differences in values, work-styles, communication preferences and expectations. Usually, these differences become more pronounced as the staff begin to outnumber the leaders by a factor of 5 or more.
- No clear path to advancement. Many small to medium-sized service firms can operate with loosely defined advancement criteria. But when certain people get promoted from amongst their peers and there is uncertainty about why it happened, discontent and rumors break-out. Charges of favoritism or “sucking up to the boss” take on just as much credence as do hard work, good judgement and personal initiative. This demotivates staff from giving their best.
- Weak connection amongst teams. Most service firms we’ve coached operate as a team of teams. Team 1, for instance, needs to collaborate with teams 2 and 3 to serve clients and generate profits. But when team members don’t connect deeply to their team or when friction develops between teams, productivity suffers. Tribalism ensues and ensuring team-wins gets replaced with ensuring your team is not the obvious reason for a loss.
- An uncontrollable rumor-mill. As organizations grow, communication becomes more siloed and challenging. Leaders often note how certain groups seem to hear the same messages differently from other groups. Leaders also see how certain narratives spread quickly and without validation. Without a formal and fast means of communicating important messages to everyone in the company at the same time, the rumor-mill takes over. Productivity suffers and a leader’s job, on certain days, can be almost 100% allocated to putting out internal fires.
- The old guard. Nearly every service firm we’ve coached has some form of the old guard. These people are often long-term and valued employees who have made significant contributions in the past. Sometimes they are formal leaders and other times simply line staff. But they have influence and deep institutional knowledge of how things have been done. In some instances, these people have become resistant to necessary change and long for the good old days.
- An absence of motivation and inspiration. As organizations grow and silos form, people often end up feeling less inspired and motivated to do their best work. A malaise seems to form as risk-taking and collaboration on problem-solving diminishes.
- The org chart. In nearly every service firm we’ve served, the org chart doesn’t accurately represent the influencers in the business. We often find that the people who wield the greatest influence are in the middle to lower tiers of the org chart while those at the top are often not as influential as their position would suggest.
- Negative influence. In some instances, people who are influential (but usually not on the leadership team) can use their influence negatively. They might undercut messages from leadership or interpret messages to other employees in a negative light, attributing dark motives to certain decisions rather than positive motives or even giving leadership the benefit of the doubt. When leaders call them out for this behavior, they often feign innocence, suggest that they have no influence in the first place or down-play the damaging effects of their influence.
Our Mentorship Coaching service addresses all of these issues by instituting a three-pronged approach:
- Instituting a formal mentorship culture.
- Creating “circle of 7” mentorship teams.
- Formalizing career advancement criteria and tiers.
To learn more about how we do this, please click on Our Approach above.
Who Needs This Service?
Professional service firms who:
- Have hit plateaus that they can’t seem to break through.
- Have noticed that internal communication and messaging has become far more challenging.
- Have struggled to control rumor mills.
- Want to see team collaboration and productivity increase.
- Sense resentment amongst staff about who gets promoted and why.
- Have seen turn-over amongst employees they thought would be lifers.
- Want to embrace new ideas for stimulating growth and camaraderie.