I want my numbers, do whatever you want. Most of us in the profession of sales are facing this question. Practically speaking all the weekly, monthly, quarterly and yearly meets have this one question that is always put forth to us.
Numbers are important for growth but when these numbers are unreasonable and unrealistic, it creates a lot of restlessness in any organisation. People become nervy when they receive the call from their bosses. To explain the point of view in a better way, I am citing two view points
Lets take an example of a company that has been doing phenomenally well and has good employee working with integrity to ensure that the customers are retained and the company keeps on growing at a steady rate.
View Point 1
The company in the next year, want to grow by 50% in a market/industry that is growing at 20% year on year. The pressure chain starts from the Top Management and boils down to the lowest person in the organisation. In this situation the pressure mounts to a level where every one despite putting the best of the effort, growing at a good rate, is unable to meet the agreed growth rate which was taken very high at the beginning. This has got a very detrimental effect on organisation :
- At a level when people make the best of result oriented effort as not able to meet the agreed objective get disappointed and dejected.
- When all that happens in the review meet is just beating, it puts a person into a discomfort. It is imperative of organisations to understand that you cannot get performance simply by beating your employee
- The mind starts cooking various things – The company want him to quit, the company does not want to give any increments
- People start quitting, attrition increase. New people come and they also start facing the same tune and reach a point where they start looking for new employment.
- A situation is reached where the word of mouth reaches to a level where no person wants to work with such an organisation
View Point 2
The same company wants to ensure that the rate at which it is growing and the rate at which the industry is growing, is in line with the growth, that they have taken for the next year. The top management does a health discussion with the middle management and come to a consensus of doing a number which is stretched but achievable. The numbers are disclosed to all team and they are taken into confidence to achieve the numbers.
- Every time the numbers are met, the confidence of each of the team member is boosted.
- They make the extra effort to achieve more
- Attrition decreases as people are satisfied and want to work for long
- Review meeting are more productive and people look forward for sharing of ideas and their achievement.
Whatever I have said above is very practical. I was interacting with one of my friends last week, he works with a growing company and is paid well. On discussing in details with him, he told me that over ambitious targets have led to a situation where
- Targets are not met
- The top management of the organisation is abusing staff
- They are making people work for extra hours – no holidays at all. Only selected.
- There are Cctv across the office and does not allow employee to take breaks and if they are seen in the lobby they are question etc..etc..etc..
He told me – ” I am looking out for change, if you have any references do let me know.” This company in which he works is well know, well advertised and has an international celebrity as its brand ambassador.
As the old saying goes – ” If you pull the string too hard it will break.” Similarly, illogical pressure has never worked in favour of any company it has given short time success but in the long run has not been productive. Growth is a very important aspect and has to be taken up very well.