Building a successful organization requires a comprehensive business strategy across each of your departments.
It is also closely related to your business model, the industry you belong to, the status of your finances, the available opportunities, and—of course—your team.
While your senior management team may be aligned with the company goals and vision, you want to build a culture of self-managed rockstars. Otherwise, you’ll fall into the trap of micromanagement.
My guiding light is ROI.
Often, your resources are only limited. You do not have all the time to spend and disperse across hundreds of initiatives. There is always a process or activity to optimize.
It is generally up to your best judgment to identify which activities need much attention and from whom among your employees. However, with ROI as your guiding light, it is easier to make a decision and invest wisely.
Here are seven ways to teach your people about Return on Investment (ROI) and how to effectively focus and work on revenue-generating activities.
1) Distribute ROI-Centric Activities Across Your Employees
Distributing ROI-centric activities gives your employees insight into how their efforts drive revenue and quantify the value of every task they complete. When you give employees autonomy, they stop prioritizing routine tasks that don’t directly contribute to business growth or bottom-line results.
Do not let this shift in priorities affect productivity.
Employees will still need to complete mundane tasks, like answering emails or conducting research. This is where ROI-based activities come into play.
When employees are empowered with this knowledge of how their efforts generate revenue and quantify the value of every task they do, it changes behavior in a positive way.
2) Share the Company’s Mission and Vision
Disclosing the high-level goals and what contributes to the success of the organization will help employees understand how their ROI-based activities are the foundation of your business.
In every business relationship, communication is the underlying element. Crisp communication is crucial for people to align their goals with that of the entire company. Failing to communicate your mission and vision can be massively costly in the long run in terms of recruitment costs, time, energy, and even trust.
When you give employees insight into what contributes to success, they can prioritize these tasks over less important ones that don’t directly contribute to revenue growth or strategic KPIs for success.
For example, if a task is not driving sales or improving customer experience, it’s probably an effort better spent on ROI-centric activities. Employees will stop prioritizing routine tasks and instead focus on those with greater ROI potential when given this information from senior management leadership team members.
Successful organizations have high-level goals defined by the mission statement and vision statements which explain exactly why certain work must be done in a certain way. A smart, capable employee has the resources that enable them to decide on investing the time into goals that contribute to the bottom line.
ROI-centric activities are the foundation of your business and when employees understand this, they can prioritize these efforts over less important ones. This helps to align effort toward company goals and vision for improved productivity.
3) Showcase Success Stories
To demonstrate what really contributes to the company, showcase success stories during company meetings and weekly kick-offs.
When you share success stories from the company, it helps your team members see what really contributes to the bottom line results of a business model. Outline the main areas the business invests in—including certain KPIs you track. This will help in making your people understand ROI-centric activities and why these matter most for productivity.
You want everyone on board with where time should be spent because when people know exactly why certain tasks need to get done, they will prioritize accordingly.
This is important in order to align effort toward company goals and vision for improved productivity across the organization as well as build employee morale by showing appreciation through public recognition during meetings or company events.
4) Help Your Leaders Coach Better
Your leaders should be fully aware of what contributes to the bottom line. Moreover, they should regularly advise their teams on taking responsibility for activities that make an impact on the organization.
Leaders are responsible for coaching employees on ROI especially if they are the ones with authority over time allocation in their departments or teams.
This includes recommending when it’s best to invest effort into ROI-centric tasks, which might be difficult when you have many responsibilities and things competing for your attention throughout a given workday. Some of the must-have coaching skills include the following according to the Center for Creative Leadership:
By helping leaders coach better, by providing them access to valuable tools that help explain ROI in simple terms along with insights into where certain efforts contribute the most value across different business areas, productivity can increase overall because everyone understands how their actions drive revenue growth.
Investing time wisely means prioritizing these high-impact tasks so that ROI grows across the board.
5) Develop Custom Initiatives
Develop high-level initiatives that are up for grabs. This way, members of each department can chime in and contribute to an ROI-generating initiative.
This could be an internal product that will grow into a SaaS, landing pages for your corporate website, or even campaigns to be promoted via PPC. ROI-based initiatives can be customized for each department and distributed to employees who are interested in contributing.
Developing custom ROI initiatives is a great way to empower your team members by putting them on the front lines of earning greater ROI across different areas of your business especially if they are directly responsible for ROI-generating tasks like PPC campaigns or website development, which require specialized skill sets.
This empowers people not only at work but also at home since employees have more time available for the family due to efficient allocation of effort throughout various parts of their day and fulfillment due to their active contribution.
One’s role (and one’s presence) is designed to carry out one of the three purposes: sourcing/closing business, generating work (hours/product), or saving the company from damages.
The better people are in a category, the more valuable they become considering they fit the business culture.
There could be some overlap between categories so there are nuances in measuring ROI. However, in most cases, a company highly depends on generating revenue and saving expenses by preventing damages.
6) Offer One-on-One Coaching
Figuring out ways to participate in billable activities may not be obvious to most of your employees. To combat this, offer one-on-one feedback and coaching sessions around their job requirements and the ways to supplement their activities with some that add 10x value.
While ROI is important in terms of understanding how certain tasks contribute to the bottom line, it’s also useful when you want employees to understand areas where they can improve.
By offering one-on-one coaching with tools that demonstrate ROI along with insights into what contributes most value across different business activities, productivity increases because everyone understands which efforts drive revenue growth. This leads them to prioritize these high-impact tasks so ROI naturally grows overall.
Offering one-on-one feedback and coaching sessions around job requirements empowers your team members by putting them on the front lines of earning greater ROI at work while building morale through showing appreciation for their dedication during public recognition events or meetings. These are all examples of investing time wisely.
7) Involve Them in the Sales or Support Process
The most obvious impact on revenue generation is recognized when interacting directly with customers or prospects.
Involving your team members in the sales, project management, or support process will showcase practical cases where they can chime in.
This will encourage them to invest time in the appropriate productive activities.
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An effective way of proactively managing ROI is by involving your team members in revenue generation opportunities, i.e., giving them a chance to provide input or feedback on deals under discussion with prospects and customers before they are closed.
Involving junior employees early on will help build their confidence while sharpening their skills through real-life experience.
It is important not just to give people work but also to have clear objectives for each task that teaches something useful when completed successfully; otherwise, you end up wasting more time correcting mistakes than actually teaching anything new!
Let your teammates shadow your experienced members working with colleagues—or even join sales calls and learn the ropes of the job. Listening to questions that your customers have could be insightful in devising an action plan that helps them join the process.
Test This Entrepreneurial Framework Yourself
There is a simple entrepreneurial framework that many founders have applied themselves to establish the best ways to spend their time.
Get a drawing board or a piece of paper and divide it into several columns. Each column represents a value-based activity that you perform yourself—from writing emails, forwarding tasks to other teammates, setting calendar appointments to closing deals, speaking at webinars or TV shows, or writing for the most authoritative sources.
The first column can start at $10-$15/hr with the last one at $500 or even $2,000 per hour.
For example, if you had to choose between writing for Forbes or spending five hours on Facebook—which would you pick?
Now, let’s say your company needs $50,000 in new revenue this month.
How much ROI can be generated by investing one hour of time into each activity? How about twenty-five hours per week toward certain activities that will yield the most ROI over a period of six months compared to others that may only produce marginal results?
Take some time and try creating this framework yourself with specific tasks assigned to different columns according to how valuable they are at driving ROI! It could change the way work gets done around your office.
First off, you can delegate less critical tasks or hire for them.
Second, you can use some of the mid-tier examples and let your team take on them.
And third, this example can be a primer on how your team can look into contributions related to the role they take on.
If employees feel like their contributions drive significant business impact, this will increase their efficiency and grow the level of trust within the organization. This also will create new forms of promotions, interest in taking on training courses for an additional qualification, or internal training bootcamps for delivering higher value for the organization.
Here is the link to my management guide for a more comprehensive list of resources on effective management.