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The Midweek Motivator – Help Your People

While a station owner, nothing was more important to me than snagging and keeping talented, motivated, collaborative people. One of several key questions we asked potential candidates for programming or for sales, was, “Why do you do what you do?”

Sure, hearing responses like “meaning”, “money and career challenge” are important, but in those rare cases where a candidate included “I like helping people” as part of their response, all but sealed the deal!

Even in light of current times, Media is no different. If you’re a regional VP for one of the conglomerates, or a manager in an unrated market, the magnitude of hiring and retaining becomes even more critical. Bad hiring is magnified; your organizational climate grows sluggish (even stalled under the current Covid cloud).

But Covid’s no excuse for indecisiveness in tolerating people who “won’t help.” The smartest people I’ve worked with including Roy Disney Jr. and Jim Long (TM Companies) practiced a 2:1 “Ear to Mouth Ratio”.

Calculate your Ear-to-Mouth Ratio several times a week! And, think about these organization-builders:

1.     Recruit and hire people who LIKE people!

2.     Promote people who like people.

3.     Don’t hire people who don’t like people!

4.     Whatever you do, don’t PROMOTE people who don’t like people!

Among the deepest values held by human beings is their longing to be valued and appreciated. Think about it: your greatest client relationships occur because you and your staff are in the “appreciation business.”

We talk about media being “intangible.” It’s not true. And once in a while a department head will utter a comment like, “Judy just isn’t very quick.” Where a given manager’s approach may be “cut to the chase,” Judy’s may simply be contemplating the best approach, the right substance or model with which to solve her client’s problem.

It might be a good idea to include a light training module on sharpening “helping” skills as opposed to “how to sell more”.

Worth repeating, Programming or Sales, when relationships break down, business breaks down. 2021 seems like the perfect time to step back and sharpen weaponry beginning with your people. As Tom Peters once quipped: “Find ‘em,” “Love ‘em,” “Pay ‘em,” “Keep ‘em!”