Jul 13, 2008

Know your employees well

I've always thought that the best ideas in sales and marketing are applicable to managing Human Resources too. So when I heard about Harvey Mackay and his 66 item questionnaire I was convinced that managers need to use it to manage their people - and HR professionals need to use it to manage their clients - line managers.

But first about Harvey Mackay:

Harvey’s first job out of college was working in the shipping department of an envelope company and two years later rose to become a salesman. Three years after that he left to start his own envelope manufacturing company, Mackay Envelope Company, which he built into a $100 million company today with 600 employees.
In 2002, Harvey was inducted into the Minnesota Business Hall of Fame. In 1979-81, he was elected by his peers to lead the Envelope Manufacturers Association.

All this fuss for a envelope salesman? You might ask.

Harvey Mackay is not just any salesman - he views his business as one that builds relationships - he's just happening to be selling envelopes.

Fortune magazine called Harvey Mackay "Mr. Make Things Happen." As a successful author, businessman, speaker, and nationally syndicated columnist, Harvey Mackay's energy and enthusiasm are infectious. Two of his books, Swim With The Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive and Beware the Naked Man Who Offers You His Shirt, were ranked #1 on the New York Times Bestsellers List. Both books are also among the top 15 inspirational business books of all time, according to the New York Times.
After the success of Swim With The Sharks, Harvey followed up with Beware The Naked Man Who Offers You His Shirt, Sharkproof, Dig Your Well Before You're Thirsty, Pushing The Envelope, The Rolodex Network Builder, and We Got Fired. . . And It's the Best Thing That Ever Happened to Us

So you might ask - what's the secret to his success with customers - well its this questionnaire - with 66 items on it which he asks all his sales people to know about his customers. You can download the pdf from his website.

So here's what I am asking you to do. Instead of your customer use the same tool for your employees. Find out how much you really know them

I'm guessing you won't know more than 20 answers in that document.

Action plan after that - raise the number of answers you can get higher by really getting to know your people and understanding what makes them tick.