I saw a great tweet from my friend Karl Sakas today.
Do you have a plan for what you’ll do if any of your current employees resigned?
— Karl Sakas (@KarlSakas) January 6, 2016
Although Karl helps digital agencies, his question is relevant to every business. A few years ago I was thinking about using Sabermetrics in a business setting. I started by thinking about VORP (value over replacement player) and how it could be used as a lens into your best employees.
In the VORP equation, a player is compared to someone who would take over his position if he left. In baseball that generally means how much better is a guy than the guy waiting in the wings down at the AAA level.
The only problem with that analogy is companies don’t have a farm system preparing people to step up and take over the reins.
What most companies do when one of their employees leaves is a short stint of panic, followed by reallocating the existing work and then an assessment phase where a decision is made whether to replace the employee. “Did we really need 3 outfielders? Two can probably cover almost as much ground and we’ll save a lot of money.”
In the 2015 baseball season, Bryce Harper (who won the National League MVP in a landslide) had a VORP of 97.4! That means he created roughly 100 more runs during the season than a run-of-the-mill replacement would have.
Every business has people who are clearly their most valuable. There’s no statistician running the numbers, but most people “just know” who those people are.
Your gut feeling is probably right, but it doesn’t help you clearly rank everyone else. The people who aren’t in your daily view, or who work out of the satellite office. When one of those people comes to you and lest you know they’ve accepted an offer from another company, you’re left wondering just what type of impact that will have on your team.
Run through the mental exercise of the discussion you would have with each one of your reports when they walk in to your office and close the door. Think about the plan you would put in place. Are you grooming someone else to step in?
Why This Matters
If you’re that account manager who is killing herself working 75 to 100 hours a week keeping the high-profile clients happy … do you feel loved? Do you feel safe? Can you see the grand plan for three or four years from now?
When I’m at an event and I meet someone who seems outstanding, I like to ask a very simple question: “Do you love where you are?” It’s very rare I get a “Hell yes!” Usually I get something closer to “My co-workers are great.” I know what that means – it’s code for “no”.
If you’re part of the 70% of workers who hate their jobs, think about what you’re life would feel like if that all changed. Imagine being surrounded by people who elevate you to a level where you do the best work of your life.
If that sounds interesting, take a look at the positions we currently have open. Are you the one we’ve been looking for?