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Why Your New Billing Team Isn’t Working….. Yet
Posted by Nicky Coffin
The latest UK recruitment index from Deloitte and APSCO has confirmed the many conversations I am currently having with recruitment business owners.
Net fee income is increasing, which is great news for our industry; though many of you still feel there are challenges ahead particularly around:
- Increasing headcount
- On boarding talent effectively and efficiently
This is a challenge for all industries and especially a growth sector like recruitment. Today I want to talk about on boarding talent and the challenges of new team dynamics in your organisation.
So what if you are growing, fees are up, new talent is on board and yet the process and team working aren’t exactly smooth? The truth? It’s normal and here is why.
High performing teams don’t appear overnight they take time and effort to develop.
Today I want to share with you exactly how to get your team on track and performing; it’s easier than most people realise when you use this model I am going to take you through.
It’s a well-known training framework on team growth and performance that was developed in the 1960’s. It’s called the Tuckman model and was first published by Dr Bruce Tuckman in 1965.
His model is focused on how teams develop and behave over time. His explanation illustrates how your billing team will develop and mature, increasing in their ability and how this will change relationships in the team and how this will require you to flex and utilise different management styles during each phase. Still with me? Let me explain more.
You may have heard this model also referred to as:
As you start to reflect on this idea and past recruiting team’s you’ve been part of you will see the common pattern. Now you have this awareness you can flex your style to help your billing team move through each stage in a productive way. As a billing manager the most valuable part you can play is to recognise the stage your team is at and then provide the most appropriate management or leadership necessary.
At this stage it’s all about getting to know one another. Everyone is generally polite, though specific roles and responsibilities are not always clear. You will be looked on for guidance and direction whilst at the same time having your boundaries and authority pushed.
This isn’t a time to be unclear or flaky. The team at this stage needs clear direction about what is expected of them and how they need to do it.
Expect a lot of questions here about purpose, objectives and KPIs. Have patience and be prepared to answer questions. If in doubt; communicate, communicate communicate. You will then be prepared for a bit of storming!
After a period of time; this can vary in each recruitment organisation, the barriers drop and self-confidence starts to build. This is when power plays can enter as your different recruiters vie for their place in the pecking order. Be prepared for seeing teddy being thrown out of the cot on more than one occasion.
This is where you need to focus your team consistently on the goal, KPIs and process to avoid them and you getting distracted by relationships and emotions.
Comprises might be necessary and this is where you will need to utilise your management skills to handle any conflict firmly and fairly. Here is where you employ your coaching skills that we talked about in a previous blog post.
Your billing team have calmed down as they have worked their way through the storming phase and agreement and consensus start to happen. People know and understand their roles and what is expected and are OK with that.
Here it’s about facilitation which is a wonderful state to be in as you experience your recruiters starting to perform well; without all the constant questions. Life as a billing manager suddenly appears to have some light at the end of the tunnel.
Be mindful that your team is still fully aware of the purpose and goals and; when you need to challenge if coasting and complacency appears.
The Holy Grail that all billing managers strive for. A recruiting team that performs and bills consistently. Now the team are more strategically aware of what you and the organisation want to achieve and why. There is a shared vision and they don’t need micro managing to produce results.
High performing billing managers and leaders now delegate while they oversee a high performing team; resisting the urge to interfere when it just isn’t needed.
You are still the main source of advice and development as well as reward and recognition for a job well done!
As you have read through this post what has come up for you? Can you recognise which phase your billing team are in? Are the patterns I mentioned occurring?
If they are how are you handling it and are you using your coaching, delegation and directional skills?
We have linked to other resources available here throughout this article. If you are unsure take some time to read through them; it will be worth it.
Want to find out more about how to manage you team to deliver more ? If the answer is yes watch my free webinar – ‘The 6 Step System to Convert Your Under Performers to High Billers in 14 days or Less’