It’s not many bosses who dangle the possibility of an annual cruise in front of employees for a job well done, but that’s one way Dave Zillig ignites performance at DAZSER.
Zillig and Stephen Roesch — who founded DAZSER to operate JaniKing International Inc. franchises — have found it’s easier to motivate employees when there’s a bright light — or, in their case, a cruise ship — at the end of the tunnel. To keep the eyes of DAZSER’s 60 employees on the ball, the pair has devised a goal-setting and monitoring system with daily objectives.
“How do you define a good or bad month? It’s very hard to be objective about it,” says Zillig, who serves as president. “We wanted a more objective way about it.”
He attributes DAZSER’s growth to outlining a clear framework of objectives for employees to work with and closely monitoring the results. In 2008, the franchisor of the commercial cleaning company posted revenue of $40.8 million.
Smart Business spoke with Zillig about how to set and monitor goals.
Define a target. You have to have the end in sight. First, what do you want to accomplish, and then work backward.
Most business owners know what the target is. We knew what we wanted to accomplish each year, and we worked backward form that, what that would require in terms of activity levels. All of this can be regulated to formulas.
Take the target, the goal, and break it down to the lowest common denominator, down right to what’s going to have to be done on a daily basis to achieve that.
We’ll track each day as to how many proposals were delivered by each rep, how many quote calls were made, how many sales in terms of contracts and dollars.
If we don’t think it’s important enough to measure it, (the employees) are not going to think it’s important.
Get every employee involved. Whatever the goal is, everyone has to contribute to that result. It can’t just be sales. Whatever the target is, I think you’ve got to involve multiple departments; otherwise it just doesn’t achieve that sense of teamwork you’re trying to accomplish.
Sales, operations, regional manager, customer service — they all have measurable results that we can determine.
Everybody buys in because it’s very doable. It gives them a structure, a framework to work within that they know if they follow that plan, they’ll be successful.
Don’t set the bar too high. I’ve seen some team goals set that were sort of pie in the sky. I think they became demotivating because people hadn’t come anywhere close to achieving it in the past.
It becomes counterproductive because people just made a decision that it was not realistic. Realistic is everyone has to do their job.
Most people might think you take all of the individual goals and add them together and that’s a team goal. We look at it a little bit differently. Just take people’s quotas. Quotas are the minimum level of performance to keep your job.
There’s quotas, and there’s target. If we were using targets, we would probably be setting it too high because then what we’re saying is, we want every person to be a star in order to hit the team goal. But not everyone is going to be a star. I think that’s what makes it unreachable.
We just took the group goal and said, ‘Listen if everyone does their job … hits their quota, hits their objective, that’s what we used as a team goal. It doesn’t sound like we’re setting the bar too high, but what we took into consideration is there’s turnover — there are new employees that will take a while to ramp up.
By taking everyone’s individual quotas and working that through the numbers, that’s a healthy team goal because everyone did their job for the whole year.
Monitor your results closely to stay on target. We’re going to go back to what we used to do, which is getting back to more daily accountability and weekly. We have monthly reviews and monthly recaps, but you really can’t affect the month when you’re always looking back on it. Success happens in what you do each day.
We want our sales managers to have daily recaps with their salespeople. Brief, just talk about what transpired the previous day and what you have today and get back to more managing the results one day at a time rather than a month or a quarter looking back, which is always sort of retrospective, and it’s too late.
There’s a sense of urgency when you’re looking at what was accomplished each day. I think that carries through to the entire staff.
They have a daily recap that they’ll review with their sales manager. That feeds a weekly recap, the weekly recap is what the regional director will see and myself. Then the weeklies feed the monthly.
The monthly goes into our formal statistic book that comes out every month. It’s a comprehensive book of everything that happened in the office that month broken down to even how many calls each telemarketer made, how many appointments they set, how many proposals, how many appointments didn’t turn into proposals. Every aspect of our business we can dig deeper to find out what went right or wrong.
We share that with all the regional directors and they share that with their staff. Then we talk about what we’re going to accomplish the next month.
How to reach: DAZSER, (727) 797-7744 or www.dazser.com