Growing is obviously great! And growing has never been easy. So facing problems and struggling is normal. This blog post helps you locate what issue you are experiencing and offers you different tools and techniques (think countermeasures) to get you away from pain and closer to pleasure (where you want to be).
You are finally in a position of growth and are starting to ramp up your operations. You are going to hire people that will take away some responsibilities from you so that you can focus on more high-level things.
And that's when the problems begin...
Here are the TOP 2 problems you may be facing if you are going through the growth stage:
One way or another, your idea of hiring more people and stepping out of operations does not seem to be working.
2 things we have to go over to figure out what is the root cause of your problem and how to deal with it:
If one of them goes wrong, it is guaranteed that you will be spending more time in operations than ever before.
Let's start with your hiring strategy and we'll address the onboarding one in a separate blog post!
The question that everyone asks is:
Whom should we hire first?
The right question to ask though is:
What hire will free up more of my time?
And here we have to understand how new hires (be it a front-line team member or a leader) affect our free time capacity.
As you can see a new hire is all about time spent (I consider it a time investment though).So think of a new hire in terms of your free time at the start (when a hire is made) and at the end (after training).
Free Time = Working Hours - (Training + Coaching + Execution + Management)
Use this simple formula to model the new hires. See a few examples below.
Here is what happens to the formula if are a solopreneur:
Free Time = Working Hours - (0xTraining + 0xCoaching + Execution + Management).
In other words, the only things you do is management and execution.As soon as you made your first hire, here is what happens during the training period:
Free Time ⬇️ = Working Hours - (Training ⬆️+ Coaching ⬆️ + Execution + Management ⬆️)
The interesting part though is what happens after the training period:
In other words, every new front-line team member adds more management time to your plate. Every new leader reduces the management time spent.
Start with hiring front-line team members.This will lead to an initial spike in your workload (way more work than before hiring), as we predicted in our formulas above. Your time spent on these 3 activities goes up:
Then your workload will significantly go down as you will offload execution and stop training. That leaves you with:
That's already a great achievement. Be careful though with the number of people you coach and train. When the number of your front-line team members that report directly to you grows to 5-7, it is time to hire a leader to offload your management time.
Only now the leader comes in and you experience another spike in the workload as you will:
Now you are closer than ever to finally focusing on the high-level items you wanted to focus on quite a while ago.As your leader takes over the management work and coaching of your team members, you are staying with:
Great leaders are self-managed. So managing a leader is not required unless you are a micromanagement believer (then this post is not for you)
Obviously, in real life, things are far more complex than described above as there are multiple processes that happen simultaneously. You may be onboarding a few front-line team members, replacing a leadership position, and launching a new product or service.In other words, complexity is almost incomprehensible.
And this is exactly where your onboarding/training process comes in...
The second part of this blog post covering the Onboarding and Training process will be published shortly...