“It is better to first get the right people on the bus, the wrong people off the bus, and the right people in the right seats, and then figure out where to drive.”
—Jim Collins, Good to Great
No small business ever seems to have the time to interview and hire. Even though they know how much they should devote to preparing, searching and then on-boarding the new talent, they just can’t afford the time away from client or customer work. This challenge, coupled with the pressures of hiring a full-time employee that was needed yesterday and who must be up-to-speed for a busy season already underway, will impede getting the best person for the job. Business owners have lived through this staffing challenge too many times. With each new round of hiring, business owners may attempt to be more strategic in preparing, finding and keeping staff, but consistently repeating the tactics that can make them a successful hiring firm is beyond reach. So, it is no surprise that getting the right people into your firm and placed in the right seats is really tough, and you don’t even want to think about letting go of the wrong people who you have let sit on your bus way too long.
Enter the 4W™ Program.
The 4W Program is a set of tools to help the small business owner plan for, prepare to select and hire new talent, and then onboard, grow, evaluate, promote, and mentor those talented people into the best employees ever! It also helps managers and owners ease out the employee who is not a cultural fit. Having to remove people from your company begs the question, how did the wrong people get on the bus in the first place? Well, if these folks were hired before you changed your business model or your culture, then it would be natural that some staff would no longer be a fit after a significant company transformation. Yet it is more likely that there are gaps in your hiring and staff development processes that allowed these wrong people to slip through. The 4W prevents bad hiring choices and turnover. In fact, there is a multitude of benefits the 4W can bring to your small business.
4W Program Benefits
The 4W Program is incredibly robust and will be the only human resource tool the small business owner needs to find and keep their best people. Depending on your employee need, there is a 4W tool to help. And more good news? You only need to purchase the 4W functionality you require. As your business grows and you hire more employees, you can acquire more 4W support. The 4W tool is perfect for small businesses who prefer buying only what they need.
Here is the complete list of 4W Program benefits if you were to install the entire 4W program as your human resource development system. Some of our clients have done just that, resulting in incredible saving of time and money. It is important for small business owners to know that this tool is made by your colleagues. We built the 4W based on our small business clients’ needs and continue to expand it in response to our clients’ requests. As we expanded, we kept the tools stand-alone as well, so if you have only one employee, the 4W is right-sized just for you.
Check out these benefits. Call us with questions!
Our 4W Program helps small business owners and their talent managers with a myriad of human resource challenges.
Any of these challenges resonate with you?
- find and keep the best employees
- plan how to increase productivity
- set performance expectations
- manage staff performance
- learn how to manage your staff based on outcomes and results
- keep staff aware of and aligned with company culture
- convey good work habits, interpersonal and professional skills
- monitor habits employees have mastered and which they need to develop
- make hiring and firing decisions
- convey company goals
- set individual goals
- create ads to post to job boards and sites
- map an employee’s future at your company
- communicate what is expected of each employee and by when
- keeps track of goals and personal growth
- onboard a new hire
- build an employee dossier which can be used during promotions and layoffs
- create job descriptions to attract candidates
- standardize the interview process by using the same position map
- create a performance baseline for each employee
- monitor employee growth throughout the year
- decide which employees are ready to move into management/supervisor positions
Employees want to:
- feel valued
- strive for goals
- celebrate achievements
- know that their jobs are not dead-ends
Bored employees are not productive! Once employees feel that they are being paid a competitive rate, the satisfaction of receiving a pay and getting the occasional pay raise quickly fades. These are external rewards. The internal rewards are what each employee strives for: to make a better work life, to have pride at accomplishing individual, team and company goals. Making the right changes to create productive and happy employees will benefit each individual and will benefit the company because great and happy employees stay loyal.
4W Program Service Suite
Rita Coco Consulting clients get exactly what they need when they need it. That includes the various 4W stand-alone products that comprise the service suite and are designed to fit the small business budget. Whether you are going to hire your first employee, or you want to implement a company-wide employee/manager development plan, we will build the 4W environment that is just right for you. Here is a quick peek at the 4W products and the outcome you can expect once you implement them in your own environment.
4W Job Baseline. This is the basic job position map which only needs to be created once for a specific job title. All other 4W tools for this specific job will be layered onto the baseline. The baseline is the foundation and the first time an owner or manager participates in the 4W Program. It is important to note then, some of the first-time experiences that are likely to be enjoyed.
Participating in their first 4W experience, owners and managers for the first time will:
- explicitly declare the cultural attitudes they wish to foster
- create titles (aka positions) for their present staff
- create future titles to support individual development planning
- document the ‘job’ for one position
- decide the best use of time across the roles within this position
- focus on performance outcomes not only tasks
- share their expectations of the position with all employees who occupy this position
- foster standardization across the organization
A huge benefit? Once the 4W baseline is implemented, it may be the first time that employees become aware of the performances that are expected of them (not just the tasks!)
4W for Candidate Search. A job description is only a fraction of what you need to search for the right candidate. This 4W tool layers search criteria upon the 4W Job Baseline. You use the resulting 4W candidate position map to create your job description, your ads, and job posts. This map is the key interviewing tool which keeps every interviewer aligned to the necessary qualifications when vetting the candidate.
4W Onboarding with Ease. Layered on the 4W/Candidate Search tool are the 60-day and 90-day performances that must be met before you convert the new hire into an employee. Especially in small businesses, the owner and supervisor/manager are new to any formal on-boarding process and this inexperience puts owners at a disadvantage. We want to change that. Inherent in this tool is a guide on how to conduct on-boarding. The first 90-days is when the company really discovers if they chose the right talent, and at the same time the new hire also decides if s/he has chosen the right job and the right company. It is unpleasant and painful to both parties to uncover negative answers to these questions later in the year when it becomes a loss of time and money for both the company and the individual.
4W Performance Appraisal. Layered on the 4W Baseline tool is an evaluation program between individual and manager. This service creates a new Performance Appraisal tool and guides management/owner in its use during a formal review process. We coach the manager on how to prepare and conduct a Performance Appraisal meeting including how to use the scoring key and how to deliver scores in a respectful manner. We coach the employee on how to conduct their self-evaluation and how to defend their view without defensiveness. We coach both manager and employee how to co-design actions that will close employee performance gaps. Managers have praised this tool as it leaves little room for ambiguity. The employees feel less threatened by this type of performance appraisal as it focused on their individual growth plan and it remains separate from salary and compensation discussions.
4W Development Plan. Layered onto the 4W Performance Appraisal tool is a training and mentoring process that converts the Performance Appraisal tool into a 6-month or 1-year Development Plan. This service guides the manager/owner in the use of new tool. We coach the employee on how to report their progress on developmental actions they received at their review. We coach the manager/owner on how to respond to completed actions, incomplete actions, and below expectations progress. We also work with manager/owner on when to mentor, coach and/or train. Rita Coco Consulting monitors the Development Plan for 6 months by calling on both the employee and manager to solicit and reconcile issues.
4W Manager Baseline. First line managers in the small business industry are still doing employee tasks. Layered onto an employee-turned-manager 4W Baseline tool are the manager roles. We create a manager baseline using the 4W Baseline the new manager has been following as an employee, and then include the manager responsibilities. Employee success hinges on how effective their managers are. Many small business managers have only had on-the-job training when it has come to learning how to be a manager. They may hold the title of working supervisor, supervisor, foreman, project lead or even partner. Besides the new management responsibilities of growing their employees, managers may also be asked to assume duties delegated to them by the owner. All of these responsibilities will be captured in their 4W and managers will also participate in periodic performance reviews.
TBO Delegation Plan. This service supplies business owners with their own 4W Baseline, but the format is quite different than any of the other 4W tools. The TBO Delegation Plan is sold separately from the 4W Program Suite but it is important to mention and emphasize that the owner has a 4W position map in the company, just like any other staff member and it will likely be the first time the owner ‘owns’ a list of ownership responsibilities that complement employee responsibilities. Rita Coco Consulting, through coaching sessions, holds owners accountable to their True Business Ownership transformation.
4W Program Testimonials
Here are the reactions of seven employees who were involved in 4W Performance Reviews at one client company.
- “Everything worked!”
- “This was simply amazing.”
- “I really enjoyed the process.”
- “More conversational than it was evaluative.”
- “Now, I’ll know when I fall short of my goal, but I did not feel intimidated by the process.”
- “I’ve had managers before tell me what I should improve—but not like this.”
- “Today, through this process, I learned that my input mattered.”
Here is a business owner’s view of the 4W Performance Review process which occurred at a 6-person company.
“We are so happy with the 4W Program. We had a great 4W Performance Review with our new first line manager, Mary, who has been an employee here for 3 years. We addressed her high and low scores. She was very positive. Her responses to why she scored herself low is eye opening! The 4W Program helped us realize the weaknesses of our company and where we had to change so that Mary could grow.
Yesterday’s 4W review made us understand this for the very first time: when we change the company, not only will one employee grow, others will also.”
—C.V., Milford, MA
Although we have a comprehensive employee appraisal, development planning, and training tool, remember that you start only with what you need! If you are hiring your first employee, then let us help. If you are promoting an employee to be your first manager, then you only need one 4W tool. Each of the 4W tools are cost-effective as stand-alone support, and the 4W tools exponentially increase in value as you grow and require more support.
Why 4w with Rita Coco Consulting?
There are human resource tools on the market that will do one or more of the 4W functions but they are not targeted to the small business owner and are cost-prohibitive. As a small business owner and manager, you may have not had any reason to explore or research their value because the tools are not specific to your company size or your needs.
Small business owners need these tools and Rita Coco Consulting has them!
Please call us and we will answer your questions.
We built this system for our small business clients and maybe, just maybe for you too!