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Have You Closed Your Team?

February 6, 2018

How do you measure your impact as a people manager? How can you make this seemingly intangible part of your role tangible?

Think about it in terms of sales.

Imagine a salesperson in your organization asked for a commission when the customer said: “I’m interested, I’ll come back tomorrow.” Laughable, right? Sales only count when the money is in the bank — everything else is tea leaves.

You should measure your success as a people manager in exactly the same way. You can’t measure the result by what you’ve done — whether you’ve had 1:1’s, feel like you’ve given feedback, etc. You measure the result by what they’ve done. Did your efforts, taken as a whole, result in them changing their behavior or not?

Has your employee bought, or are they still browsing?

Here are four types of transactions you can safely count as a sale:

  1. Did they engage in critical thinking? Count one sale for each time someone on your team questions an assumption that you or the team made, does some research on their own, and comes back with an alternative path forward.
  2. Did they change a long-standing behavior? Does the person who used to never speak up in meetings now regularly share their opinion? Ka-ching! Does the person who used to get defensive in hearing feedback now listen and take genuine responsibility? Put it in the plus column.
  3. Did they take ownership of work you used to do yourself? Did someone intervene in a conflict between colleagues to help them work it out? Did they reach out to the customer to offer an out-of-policy fix because it was the right thing to do?
  4. Did they give you feedback that was uncomfortable to hear? Count one sale for each time a member of your team pulls you aside and tries to talk with you about something you did or said that they think you could do better on in the future. This one counts towards your year-end bonus.

When you start tracking the people management moments in your day with the same passion and engagement as you do your core technical work, you’re on the right track.

Not out of some abstract notion about culture or values, or creating a people-first place to work (whatever that means), but because the best version of you cares about the best version of others.

So, how many sales are you going to close with your team this month?

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