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So, you know what they are – now how many of them do you have?

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I bet you thought we were going to start with a stat.

With a reference to literature and research.

Reliable estimates, benchmarked polynomials, census-based survey feedback.

But we won’t – that would be too easy.

Let’s recap

[for which we will be happy to bill you thrice]

In Parts I, II and III we sought out the answer to the first straightforward People Innovation(®) question: Who is your ideal employee?

And arrived at the answer:

Those employees most likely to maintain and grow their productivity in the future and
who have most potential to increase value for our future customers.

But now it becomes tricky. You know what it is you’re looking for. And you know that should you be lucky enough to identify them, you are almost definitely guaranteed to achieve business success.

But where are they? How many of them do you have?

And we know you’re still looking for that stat. We told you why in Inertia Real?

So let’s get real.

Q: What proportion of your workforce could be classed as your ideal employee?

The first part of the answer…

[sans stats]

A: Not nearly enough

There, that wasn’t hard was it.

Most of your organization is observing the workplace than out there delivering good business, and you don’t have nearly enough of your ideal employee.

Every manager in your organization will tell you their people are outstripping all historic performance records all the time.

Wait for a moment.

They’re lying.

Why is growth so hard if every individual in your organization is breaking the bleeding edge(®)?

Simple. They’re not. Everyone stretches the truth in business. So why would it be such a surprise if your managers did so too? Come on… Didn’t you lie, cheat and screw people over to get to where you are. Everyone did.

[even badconsultants, though we have been known for charging people to fix the aftermath]

And that’s the hardest thing you have to face. You know now that you don’t have nearly enough of your ideal employee. You need many, many more of your ideal employees. And everyone is telling you that you already have a workforce brimful of your ideal employee.

[Can anyone say gap analysis?]

OK, OK, OK – we know you’ve been wanting the stat.

Our cross-dimensional, multivariate, co-relational analysis says that it’s less than 25%.


In fact, if 1 in 4 of your workforce can really be classed as ideal, you should be singing all the way to the bank. It’s quite simple, somewhere between 0-25% of your workforce have the potential to take your business somewhere else; to grow your market, shopfront, earnings.

The rest? Well, before you reach for the shotgun, arrow quill or termination letter template… STOP!!!

Less than 1 in 4 of your employees can be classed as your ideal employee but that doesn’t mean that the rest are ready for the ol’ crapola-chute.

There are about 10% that do, though. But you already know that, even when their managers will never tell you that they exist in their team. You know they are there. You haven’t dealt with them for years, even though you know they’re there. So let’s ignore them for the moment – they’ve already dragged your business down as far as they’re able. Before we move on though, let’s just make something very, very simple and clear.

[hard truth alert]

It is pathetic that you do not deal with your poor performers.

But we’ll call your bluff on that some other time.

For now, let’s keep focused on the 1 in 4 of your workforce that are most likely to improve their future productivity AND increase the value of your best customers. 1 in 4 – but that stat doesn’t really matter. You see, the real issue is not that you don’t have enough of your ideal employees – let’s face it, many businesses are far more successful than yours

[and don’t you hate that we know you feel that way – we’ll be happy to submit a statement of work to let you know how – and what you can do about it]

and they don’t really have proportionately more.

They just let them do what they’re good at. It’s not the number, it’s what you do with them.

We know you’re wondering how, but we’ll get to that in the next part of this series.

For now, let’s summarize:

  • Your managers are lying to you
  • Less than 1 in 4 of your workforce are your ideal employee
  • You only need to really get rid of about 10% of your workforce to make things much better

More on the how, when we return…