One of the biggest shifts I made in my business as a leader and CEO is when I went from being a task assigner to assigning ownership of results. This was a huge “a-ha” moment for me.
You can’t grow your business if all you’re doing is assigning tasks. You have to be able to assign ownership to specific people on your team. With that, you’re going to want to have specific KPIs or success metrics that you’re watching. Sometimes they’re easy to determine, but there are some positions on our team that aren’t as easily attributable to revenue or profit.
So today on Art of Online Business, I sat down with Erica Macauley to talk about how we can determine success metrics for those support roles in your business. This is critical if you want to shift from a day-to-day entrepreneur to the leader and CEO of your business.
Erika is a systems slayer, chaos coordinator, Trello evangelist, and pretty dang good at whipping the back end of businesses into shape. She’s an OBM, integrator, and project manager who works with 6 and 7-figure creative business owners to get her Type A brain wrangling all their amazing visionary ideas into actionable outcomes.
In this episode, you’ll learn:
- What your first hire should be
- The importance of finding the right people to hire
- Why you have to start with your job description
- Tips for writing success metrics
- KPIs you can use for these hard-to-quantify roles
- What you shouldn’t put in your KPIs
- What to expect from contractors
- Ideas for rewarding your team
Links & Resources:
- Get Erika’s resources https://erikamacauley.com/rick
- The Art of Online Business website
- DM me on Instagram
- Visit my YouTube channel
- The Art of Online Business clips on YouTube
- Full episodes of The Art of Online Business Podcast on YouTube
- The Art of Online Business Podcast website
- Check out my Accelerator coaching program
*Disclosure: I only recommend products I use and love and all opinions expressed here are my own. This post may contain affiliate links that at no additional cost to you, I may earn a small commission.
Erika Macauley’s Links:
Please support the podcast by giving an honest Rating/Review for the show on iTunes!
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A lot of clients have really, really high expectations for support team members. And let me finish, because that sounds good to start. But a lot of them sometimes expect their support team members to be as invested in their business as they are. And I’m like, this is a three hour a week contractor. They have their own business. Like you don’t even want to hire them as an employee. Pay them benefits, give them a computer to do their work. You’re not investing in them. So it’s not really fair to expect them to give 100% to your business. Should they do their job? Yep. Should they own their role? Shoot for the stars like do the best job they can? 1,000%. But they’re running their own business. Their dream is not yours.
As I’ve grown here in my business, as the CEO, as the leader of my business, one of the big off has that happened a few years ago was when I, I shifted from being that task assigner, if you will, to people on my team to assigning ownership, assigning ownership of results. Right. And so there’s different roles in your business, obviously, that are responsible for different things. So the you can’t grow your business if you all you’re doing is assigning tasks, assigning tasks, right? You have to be able to assign ownership of a specific result or results to people on your team. And so with that comes you should be having success metrics or KPIs, key performance indicators for the roles in your business when. That role is is tied to like revenue, for example. Maybe it’s like a sales role or a marketing role or whatever it might be that is easily trackable to revenue. Well, then those success metrics are really easy to come up with. But what kind of success metrics do we assign to our support roles, roles on our team that aren’t as easily attributable to revenue or profit or what have you? Right. And so that’s what we’ve been talking about here today on the podcast. And I’ve I’ve invited my good friend, she’s back on the podcast, Erika McCauley, She is an online business manager and she’s an integrator and she she’s also doing work for me, by the way, right now in my business, I’ve hired her to do some projects in my business, and she’s really the person that so many six and seven figure CEOs rely on to run their business.
She’s also started a service where she’ll do hiring projects for people. She’ll do the hiring for you. And so I asked her to come on and talk about this topic of how do we figure out what the success metrics are for those support roles in your business? This is critical If you want to shift from that day to day entrepreneur in your business to the CEO and the leader of your business, this topic right here is critical. And stay tuned till the end because I ask her the question. Ray, towards the end of the interview, what would your support team love for you to know? And I say your support team, meaning you listening right now? What would your support team love for you to know right now about how they’re feeling? She gives some really interesting, interesting answers there. So without further ado, let’s go hang out with Erica McCauley. We are talking about one of my favorite topics here today, and I think it’s one of your favorite topics, too, is it not?
It is one of my favorite topics.
And you could talk I mean, we only have we have a 60 minute slot on our calendar here. This is something that we could talk about for days.
I’ll do my best to rein it in.
The last time you were on the show here, you ruffled a few feathers, shall we say? Yeah. Do you recall what we talked about?
Yeah. The last time I was on this show, we talked about an unconventional hiring process, building out your support team, and a lot of people had a lot of opinions about that episode.
Just give people a quick recap for those people who have not heard the previous episode.
Sure. So what I discussed in that episode was and it’s my opinion you can come at me forward if you want, but that when you’re building out your support team is you don’t have the systems in place, the SOPs in place, the time to train a new hire that the first hire is likely not an assistant level, like getting an admin visa or somebody like got into your business. My take on that is that your first hire should be, even if it’s a short term project. Vip day, a management expert, expert level system specialist, somebody to set that stuff up for you so that when you bring that assistant level hire on there, set up for success in the role.
So oh, beam.
So an OBM, a an integrator, a system specialist, depending on what you need in your business, but somebody who’s got that management level experience of building those things so that new support team members can come on and there are systems for them to work and there are SOPs in place, There is a training and an onboarding plan for them. There’s a place to ask questions and get resources and stuff like that. If you have all that, great, go get your VA. But if you don’t, bringing somebody into chaos just adds more chaos. That’s that’s my tagline for that.
Yeah I think when you and I mean. I think the first time we had that conversation, I was like. Like, for me personally, I wasn’t fully on board with that. Yeah. I would say now I’m much more on board, not 100%, but I’m more on board with that now because my thought is like, All right, let’s let’s get those quote unquote $10 an hour tasks off of your plate as quickly as possible. And a lot of especially earlier on in the business for people, they you know, one of the big things and I totally understand and get it, is that they’re like, well, I I’m not able to invest in that sort of role. So what would you say to that?
Yeah, that person, I would tell them, keep listening in that episode because I do address this. But what I normally tell people in that case is to hire at the whatever your budget is, the most experienced quality person you can get for that rate. And maybe it’s for a few less hours due to budget constraints, but just getting the cheapest person is going to often get you the lowest quality work like it really is that you get what you pay for thing and the support team industry. So if you’re not in a position where you can do a VP day or short term or project hire with a management level support team member, I would say find the most experienced person you could get at the the top dollar that you can afford to pay.
Yeah. And it doesn’t have to be full time.
No, I think there’s really some whoever is saying this in the industry, shut up. You do not have to hire support team members full time. They don’t need to be full time employees. You can hire somebody for 10 hours a week or 20 hours a month, or you can hire them for a VP day or a short term project. People get really scared around hiring and think that it has to be this big, long term indefinite thing. And and it can be very fluid and you can have it fit your needs. It does. Everybody listen. It doesn’t have to be full time. You can stop listening here if you want. It doesn’t have to be a full time hire. No, please keep listening.
But so, I mean, you’re right. There is a perception out there that, oh, it has to be full time. It has to be an employee. Yeah. And the other thing that gets perpetuated too, is like, Oh, I have to, I have to have benefits, etc..
Yeah. I mean, if you have an employee, hire it. I mean, I’m Canadian, so if you have an employee hire where I’m from, you definitely you have to provide their benefits by law. I mean, there’s stuff you have to do by law with that. But if you’re hiring an independent contractor for 20 hours a month, I mean, you don’t need to buy them a laptop. You don’t have to give them any paid time off if you don’t want to you you don’t have to pay their Social Security or anything like that. An independent contractor is a business owner just like you. I pay my own tax deductions, I pay my own overhead. I buy my own computer. So. There is a trade off in that in that sometimes independent contractors can look more expensive on paper. But when you think about the other things that you have to pay for, for an employee, there’s no. I don’t know what it is in America, but I mean, in Canada, there’s like Canada pension plan contributions. The employer is responsible for all that kind of stuff. If you have to buy them a computer, like sometimes that overhead can end up being close to the same amount.
Yeah. And I and I think to that and you and I’ve talked about this a lot. You can get a ton done if someone is quote unquote, only working 20 hours a month, for example. Yeah, like if that person is good at what they do, they can accomplish a lot in, say, 5 hours a week.
And that’s where it really ties back to the previous point of if you don’t have a big a bigger budget to to get an OB or somebody to assist you in your business right now, those people who are at the higher end of the spectrum and maybe a lower budget rule are going to be able to do that job a lot more efficiently and quickly and probably have a lot more knowledge and a bigger skill set than somebody who’s at a lower rate and is maybe less experienced in just starting out. So 5 hours with somebody who is brand new and you’re paying them 15 bucks an hour and 5 hours with an experienced person at 25 bucks an hour is not the same output of work. You’re going to get way more bang for your buck with the $25 an hour hire in a situation like that.
Yeah. And we’re going to be talking today about success metrics for a support role. This is something that comes up all the time. You know, in Accelerator, I’m always talking about, you know, ownership and KPIs, key performance indicators for different roles and what is the ROI of that specific role. And I’ve talked about time and revenue and energy and a lot of different types of stuff. Before we do, just I want you to share because you are doing something different than the last time you were on in terms of hiring projects. You’re doing strategy calls for people where they can just, you know, get 90 minutes by bye, 90 minutes of your time and come on and do a strategy call. Yeah. Just describe those two things, what you’re doing now.
Sure. So I’m now doing hiring projects while not now, I’ve been doing them for over a year now, hiring projects as a one off service. If you have an OBM in your business, generally, they’ll have some experience with hiring support team members, and that is something that is generally expected that they’ll take care of in your business for you, something that falls into their scope of work. But if you don’t have an OEM in your business, I find that a lot of these amazing visionary CEOs and business owners. They’ve they’ve never been in HR before. They’ve maybe never hired somebody or they’ve had a really bad string of just getting people off Upwork who are not doing what they want. And I like Upwork is great, but you have to know what you’re doing. Hiring is a skill. I see so many CEOs beating themselves up about this and I just want to give you all permission right now to let that go, because you do not have to be automatically good at HR stuff in a business just because you’re really good at whatever that special sauce is.
That you do. Yeah.
That doesn’t fall under the same category. And if you’re not comfortable with it or you’re not feeling like you’re great at it, that’s okay. You don’t have to be. And a lot of people would just like to hand that off. So what I do in my hiring projects is it’s a 4 to 5 week process where we work together to get a really comprehensive job description developed. I build an application form. I put the jawbone in my networks. I vet the applicants who come in, I interview the top five, and then I come back at the end of the project and I say, Here’s all your candidates. Here’s the interviews that I did with these top five. Here’s my top two or three recommendations for you to meet with. Here’s a list of questions you can ask them. Here’s a 90 day onboarding plan, and now you have me for a week of post project support. So it’s really a done for you process. And I specialize on hiring specifically operations and administrative roles for that. That’s where most of my network is. So that looks like hiring executive or administrative or operations, Vas, Obama’s project managers, things like that.
I don’t often hire for really niche stuff like podcast managers or copywriters or graphic designers. I can, but it’s smaller, so sometimes it takes a little longer. But some people already have a great team and they just like to really step into that leadership role a little more and make sure that they’ve given their team clear goal and direction and that everybody, first of all, knows what we’re all working towards and they have very clear success metrics to get there. So I do 90 minute strategy calls and I’ve had people use those calls for just about anything. But it’s really a it’s really a big pick my brain session where you can come and ask for best practices. If I have templates, I share them and people have used that call before to get like to do a 1 to 1 call where we work through what KPIs might look like for the roles in the business. So that’s a good use of a strategy. Call with me. If somebody’s already got their team in place and they’re great and they’re loving it, they just want to give everybody the the guardrails to work towards those goals.
Yeah, I love it. And I want to mention it right now in our discussion, because this is something that, as I’ve told you before many times, like this is something that has been so needed, like the hiring project, like, all right, this is what I’m looking for. And then it’s like, please go do this. And you hire you hire really good quality people. It just makes it so much easier for leaders of our of the businesses.
Well, I’ll tell you why that is the way it is. First of all, I’m good at this. This is my special thoughts. This is something that I’m good at. But I also have boundaries around my hiring projects. Like if you’re looking to hire a $3 an hour VA from the Philippines, I’m not the right person for you. My hiring projects, I get these quality applicants because I make sure that we’re working with a budget that will attract quality applicants. And during the process, like we figure out what does the role look like? Work backwards from the budget to
see how many hours we could get somebody for stuff like that. But it’s also part of the vetting process. And, you know, business owners are busy. They don’t have time to schedule and get on five different interviews with people and talk to them about stuff. And so I think that that helps. But especially the number one thing is the way that I craft my job descriptions. I every hiring project I do, I get feedback from candidates that it’s a very thorough and detailed job description and that they really appreciated that. And I often hear I wish everyone would post jobs with that level of detail. Yeah, it seems long that people want that. It helps themselves select and that’s how we get such great candidates from it.
So where do people go? Because they’re like, okay, wait, I want you to do this for me, working people. How do people connect with you on that?
Sure. Well, if you’re interested in something like that on my website, which is erica McCall ecom e r i k a make a u l e y. You can see all the services I offer on my site, but there is a page for the hiring service and I have start to finish details what’s included, what the timeline looks like, the cost, everything is on there and you can contact me through my website if you’re interested.
Awesome. Awesome. Now you mentioned like in that process there. Success metrics, KPIs and. So many of us do it backwards. Yeah. And we often find it really hard to, you know, if we have a sales person. It’s very easy to make a connection of ROI and success metrics like you need to be doing five sales a week. I’m just pulling this like five sales a week. This number of calls per per week. It’s very clear it’s either happening or it’s not. And it’s directly you can directly correlate that to in ROI. Now, in a support team role though coming up with those success metrics is. A little bit more challenging and I think is very what’s the word I want is very muddy for so many of us. Yeah. Because we’re like, Ooh, what is that? What does that look like? How do I correlate that to Roy in my business? How can I make sure that this is more than just like, All right, I’m answering a few emails each day or whatever that might be. So can you kind of take us through sort of how we might want to be looking at this process and even talk about maybe some examples of success metrics?
Yeah, I think that where. Where I see this. I always like to start where where I see this going wrong, because I think that’s an easy place for people to start working backwards from. But where I often see this going wrong is people, and this is me back with my controversial opinions, people starting at the KPI and just saying, okay, well I bought this course and here’s 20 KPIs for a social media person and thrown it out there marketing person and saying these are your KPIs. It doesn’t start there. But the way that I like to look at it is as more of a pipeline. And this ties back to what we were talking about before. Those KPIs need to be very, very, very obviously closely related to what that person is actually doing in their job for you. And that’s why we can’t just grab them from a random coach on the Internet because their marketing person might not have the same scope of work as your marketing person. They might have a different number of hours available for them to work. You might be looking at a full time hire versus somebody who’s working 3 hours a week for you, right? Those people will likely not have the exact same KPIs. Sure. So they’re very accustomed to your business and what you hired the person for in your business. So I suggest to people instead of starting at the end goal is the like hard nut, let’s call it the hard number KPI like X amount of things happen per week. Instagram followers go up by 20% every week. We make 50,000 on a launch, right? Instead of starting there, I would say go back, go two steps back to your job description for that role.
And this is where where I was just saying having a really detailed job description and the candidates love it super clear people can self-select for a role. When you have clear tasks and responsibilities for a role in a job description, that is what can start guiding you to what those KPIs for that person might be in your business. And so to clarify that even more from the job description, there’s an in between step that I like to call a team role breakdown. So the job description is very public facing, right? Like we’re not going to put out on the Internet that maybe some some internal confidential information about your business. It’s just a general thing, right? We put it out in the public. A team role break down is what I call the in-between step between the job description and the KPI. And what’s included in this. It’s can be in a document format. You could make it a click up dog. I guess you can make it in a Google sheet as you’re really swinging that way. Like, I don’t know you do you, but the stuff that’s included in a team rule breakdown and you have one for each role in your team, including the CEO, and there’s an overview of the role. You know, if it’s a marketing person, we might have something like the marketing assistants responsible for any tasks relating to email marketing, the podcast, the YouTube channel, and the social media platforms for XYZ Company. And from there we want to get really detailed about the tasks and responsibilities they have in this role. Where do we get these from? Go back to your job description, copy and paste them, Add more detail as necessary.
And before before you go on there you mentioned. So we’re grabbing them from the job description, but you mentioned like what is a good line item, if you will, of responsibility on the job description and what is not what would not be a good example.
Yeah, I have a lot of not good examples. So I think that I always aim for first of all, start with this. I aim for 8 to 10 line items. Minimum and 15 hours a max on a job, on a job description that you’re putting out into the world. That should be it doesn’t need to be an exhaustive list, but it should give people a good enough idea of what the day to day responsibilities in that role will look like. So what I never and you’ll never see this on any of my job descriptions and what people don’t want to see is a line item being YouTube management. So here, here’s my deal with these line items. If it says coordinate, manage, support, any of those words that don’t actually say what you’re doing, I don’t want them as a line item.
Because I’m raising my hand, because I’ve been I was I was guilty of this for a long time.
And a lot of people are in And I’ll tell you, what happens is you hire somebody who says, oh, yeah, I know how to do YouTube management and the way that they did it for somebody else in the expectations of YouTube management for the other client are a complete 184 what you want from this role and maybe it’s a bunch of stuff they haven’t done maybe in their last role they didn’t they weren’t responsible for replying to the comments or they don’t know how to upload stuff from YouTube studio or like things like or they didn’t edit the videos, but now you want them to edit the videos. Like YouTube management is so broad, like, right YouTube management if you want. And then in parentheses responding to, to video comments and things like that. So I think if it has a word in it that doesn’t actually say what you want them to do, that’s never get clarified.
It’s the specificity of what you want done within that. Whatever that line item is.
And then this is where when you take that, we’re going to use you to I’m going to run with the YouTube management exam, go for it. So we’re copying all the various tasks. We’re now we’re talking about a marketing assistant because they’ve got some YouTube management. We’re copying those tasks into their team role, break down, and maybe we’re going to add some more that we’re not necessarily public facing stuff or we want to be more detailed and and give them a really good list of what to expect. Couple other sections that we might include here that I’ve found helpful and businesses are who covers this team member when they’re off? That’s a key one, because these role breakdowns are for every single person on the team to be able to look at. So they’re able to look at this and know this is not the person who I asked to go respond to this YouTube comment. Right. Or whatever it is. It’s not just for the CEO to look out or the team member for themselves is for everybody. So who covers them when they’re off? And if you don’t know this for your team members? Pause this, go sort that out and then come back, because that is so important, knowing who’s responsible for what when somebody is off. That could be a whole other discussion. So I’ll put a cork in that.
But what it makes sense to. I love that. And by the way, at the end of our interview here, everybody listening like Eric is going to is going to share how you can get examples and templates of this. No email necessary. Just go here and grab it. Where do we put the I know we’re going to keep going here, but where my brain goes to is like, okay, all right. Yes, we need to make sure that everybody in the team understands these things, especially something like, okay, who’s covering for so-and-so when? When they’re out? Yeah, where do we put something like this?
So my first place where I would love to see something like this is let’s say we’re using click up as our project management tool for our team. We’d normally have some kind of team headquarters area in there where we’ve got people’s, first of all, people’s upcoming time off on a calendar. So everybody’s aware when people are taking time off. Maybe there’s resources, sops, log in, stuff like that. And this team HQ area, I’d expect to see these team role breakdowns in that area where the whole team already has access. It makes sense. It’s in a team headquarters area. Even if you’re in if you’re doing stuff in Google Drive a team folder with some of the stuff that I just talked about, plus these roll breakdowns, that would be a place that makes sense. Maybe you have some something else that you’re using, but it should be with all your other team resources.
Making sure that people obviously know where to find all these.
Yeah, these should not be a secret in your business. We’re not like we’re not putting anybody’s pay or anything on these, but people need to know what other people are doing. And the benefit of this is that when the marketing assistant has their role breakdown and the executive assistant has their role breakdown and they both know what the other person’s responsible for, and then the task comes up and they can say, Hey, this isn’t on anybody’s list. And that’s when we need to start looking like, well, whose scope does this fall under? If it’s nobody, maybe we’re looking for another team member, right? Like it it helps you continue to curate your team properly.
So we have the the overview of the position. Yeah. In this case here, we’re talking marketing assistant as an example. Then we have the responsibilities taken right from the job description. Then a section of like, okay, who covers this person when they’re out and what else? We want to make sure that we have on their.
Eye if it makes sense for your team size and structure. I like to have how this team member interacts with other roles so that it’s very clear where the lines of delegation are and who works alongside this person, who delegates to them, who they can delegate to. I like that being very clear and maybe you have an org chart already that’s highlighted that for your team and they’re all aware of it and that’s great. Maybe it doesn’t make sense if you’ve got two people, but if it makes sense for your team size and structure, I think being very clear about like the marketing assistant doesn’t delegate tasks to the EEA, they delegate them to the graphic designer or something like that. Helps just keep everybody knowing. The thing is, people want to succeed in these roles. They want to work hard for you. They want to do a good job. And giving them the information and the expectations of what you want is how they can rise to meet it. So you don’t want to really say this, but I’m going to you can kind of put whatever you want in here. But the important thing is that everybody gets to know up front what the expectations are so that they can decide that that’s a good fit for them and that that’s what they want to do.
But but they’re getting are they they’re getting this after they’re hired, though, correct?
They are. But the the tests and responsibilities is what should help themselves select at the job description stage.
Gotcha. Okay. Yeah. Okay. And so. And then when we do, do we at that point get to okay, these are what the know this is what success in this role looks like?
Yeah, that’s the very last section.
And so this is where we talk about the metrics.
And this is the section where we’re going to build these, and those are what are going to dictate what those hard numbers I talked about before for the KPIs are. So I’m going to I’m going to keep running with my YouTube management example. So we’re on the marketing assistance team role break down under their task list or several things, but one of them is YouTube management with very clear, like responding to comments, posting the YouTube video to YouTube every Tuesday. I don’t know what else might be in that, but some more things. I’m not marketing person. I don’t know why I pick this as an example, but.
So each so each weekly video gets is live on YouTube by whatever time.
So that’s, that’s what we’re getting to that’s not in their responsibility list when we get to. Oh right right. This metrics, this is where we’re going to outline what does success look like for each of those tests? So we’ll go back to my YouTube management example.
Go for it.
If the if the task responsibility is YouTube comments are responded to, the success metric is YouTube comments are responded to, and then you need to say some kind of quantifiable statement. So maybe it’s they’re responded to within two business days, they’re responded to within 3 hours, they responded to within one week. Whatever your expectation for that is. And if there’s a YouTube video that goes out every Tuesday, the success metric is the YouTube video is published by 9 a.m. every Tuesday. You know, things like that. This is where we start getting into like, okay, I see the task. What does done look like? What is my expectation for this is completed the way that I want it. So if one of your tasks is we’re going to go back to the word I hate management inbox management, which is an output inbox management on a job description. Inbox management is not a task. But if that’s what is is on there and we’ve clarified that by like you’re reading all incoming messages, filing them in appropriate folders, actioning emails for the CEO to look at when necessary, then that corresponding success metric looks like the inbox is checked four times a day.
Minimum start of day 10 a.m., 2:00 PM, end of day, or whatever that looks like for your definition of done. And then maybe it’s. You know, the emails are filed in the applicable folders within two business days of receiving them. I mean, this is where you have to you do have to think about as a CEO, how fast do I want things done? What’s the timeline for this? What’s a reasonable timeline, especially if you have employees or contractors, because there’s a difference there. And what does done look like for these? So you’re taking those tasks and you’re like, okay, great, this is the task. What does completed to my standard look like for this? That’s what builds those success metrics. And then you can take that the inbox is checked four times a day at these times. And like you said, with your very first example about sales and like we make 50 K this quarter, that’s a quantifiable result. Either the inbox was checked four times a day at those times or it wasn’t. It’s a yes or no thing. That’s what we’re looking for for that hard number KPI.
How would we know that as the leader of a leader of our business, where so and so on? The team is checking the inbox. They’re supposed to be checking it four times these. How would we know that?
This is where I would say I would probably as a CEO. And if you don’t have an online business manager or some management level hire in your business, this would fall back on your shoulders. Sporadic checks are good with your weekly one to ones you might be checking in on these KPIs and being like, Hey, is this four times a day schedule manageable? Is that working? Like, do we need to
increase it or decrease it? I don’t want people to think that once you make a KPI, you have to set it in stone for the rest of your life. Don’t change them every single day. You need some like reporting time to see if they need to be changed or not. Sure. But that’s that’s a great thing to check on in like your weekly 1 to 1 or a monthly 1 to 1. And here’s what I’m going to come to a really big point of this. If you don’t trust your team member, if you see the work is getting done and you don’t trust that it got done by checking it four times a day or whatever they said they were doing, I mean, can we spy on our team? Yeah. Are those people going to feel really loyal and want to work hard for you and feel like a valued member of your team? No. So it’s not a matter of the CEO going through the EA’s KPI checklist every day and being like, I saw them in here at nine check. I saw them in here at ten check, like the team members should be able to report on their own KPIs. And unless something is going sideways or they’re never being met every day, or there’s a clear problem where you log in once a week and you see there are 200 unfilled emails, you can probably trust that your team member is working towards that goal. And if you don’t trust your team, that’s a whole different discussion, right?
That’s a whole different discussion. Well, something like a tool like Help Scout, for example, that we use in our business. I mean, if somebody is responding to customer service emails there you can see the time it took to respond to emails in there. So you can pull reports and and all that stuff. And so the key thing there is being super clear, as you mentioned earlier, being clear on what the expectation is. And then it’s like, is this happening or is it not happening?
And what about the argument, because I know you and I think about this very, very similarly, the argument about ROI, Right. Sales. Sales, very clear that you can measure a financial ROI from that, but in a in a support role, it’s not as easy. Now we’ve established how you can create these success metrics and KPIs. And where does this fit into? Because something that I encourage and I talk about here in the podcast and I encourage all the time with my accelerator members is like going through your panel and making sure there is some some form of ROI on the line items on your pal. And so where does this conversation fall in the ROI within ROI?
Yeah, I, I know that oftentimes people get hung up on specifically the operations and administrative support team KPIs and wanting to see hard numbers for ROI. And it does require, I think, a bit broader thinking about it than our very narrow tunnel vision. We get sometimes of like, I pay this person $3,500 a month and then they make ten grand a month for me. And so I’m getting ROI and that’s fantastic and we love that. But. I think a responsible CEO understands that you may not be able to like. Excel formula. Dollar amount for a support team person. And what you’re looking for more in these cases is a return on your time, on your energy and your stress and things like that. And that is a bit harder to quantify. And I do want to put a caveat in here that, like the CEO feels less stressed, is not a KPI for your team member. They cannot control whether you feel stressed or not. But when we’re building these KPIs for our support team members, it’s really important to to take that second step of thinking ahead of like, okay, the KPI is let’s say the inbox is checked four times a day at these times and the emails are filed and, and that one that we talked about, that KPI with that team member hitting it should then give you return on some of your time because you’re no longer spending an hour of your day in your inbox. So that’s very clear. You’re trading an hour of time for that or whatever it looks like for you in your inbox, in your business. You know, maybe you have a lot less stress because you don’t have that little red number on your inbox, on your iPhone telling you that you have 9926 unread messages. I know so many all listening have that. And I just want to know, how do you live? Like.
What’s your number right now?
I’ll show you.
Because I don’t have for some reason my Gmail 000 Look at you.
I cannot live that lifestyle. It’s it’s not in my it’s not in my blood. I can’t do it. But but do you know what I mean? Like, if I looked at that and I saw 9000 unread emails, I would be so stressed. And if I was paying an executive assistant for myself to deal with those and get that number down to zero, that’s a return for me because I’m like, I don’t have stress every single time I look at my phone now. So is that a little harder to quantify as people like, how much stress did I save? Yeah, like those are just the facts, though. I mean, and if that’s not worth it to you. Fair enough. You don’t need to have somebody doing your email for you, but then you got to do it yourself. Like that’s the tradeoff.
I think it’s a great point because I think that’s where going back to the job description, then it’s on you as the CEO, or if you’re having your integrator or OB team create that job description. And one of the goals of this support role is to reduce your stress. Well, then you need to know what are some things? What are those things that can reduce your stress? And then those are things that get put on the job description. And then responsibilities. And then then obviously metric metrics, key metrics and KPIs based on that.
It is one of those things where and I’m sorry, I know CEOs are busy, I know you don’t want to hear me say this, but you do have to take a little time to think that through because just telling somebody like hire somebody, I want to be less stressed. Well, I don’t know who that is. You a marketing assistant. Do you need any aide? Should I get an integrator for you? Do you need a podcast manager? Like we have to dig a little deeper for stuff like that. And when you tell me I have 9000 unread emails and it’s making me crazy, I’m like, okay, yeah. When you tell me like, I’m so sick of editing the audio for my podcast, we need a podcast manager, right? Like, you do have to be able to dig a little deeper and say like, these are the things that are bugging me. And from there we can grab it and run with it and build something.
Yeah, So just to kind of summarize. This. So the KPIs don’t start with like, Oh, here you go. And these are just I want to come up with these KPIs. Go do it. The KPIs start from the job description.
Yeah. For me, I visualize that as a pipeline that we first have to craft a really great job description, that the scope makes sense. The tasks and responsibilities on it are clear from that that informs our team rule break down that we create, where we get more specific and we start making those success metrics from those more specific tasks and responsibilities. And then from those success metrics, that’s where it’s time to go into our Google sheet or our click up or our table or whatever we’re using to start tracking. Like, did this happen Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, put a check mark on it for that week or however you want to be tracking those. But it doesn’t start with like, okay, I have a marketing assistant, I guess I’ll Google marketing assistant KPIs. Just use this list of ten things I found on Forbes Like, Sorry. Forbes But no.
Not the way to do it. All right. I have to before we wrap up, I have to ask you, you have a very unique inside perspective from many people in support roles who talk a lot.
Yeah, a lot.
What was you? Maybe too much. What would you say that. They would want. Us CEOs and leaders of our businesses to know. About KPIs.
In general. We’ll just leave it in general. And KPIs. Yeah.
I’ll start with KPIs and then I’ll expand on that. So what your support team would love for you to know about creating KPIs for their role is. That team member needs to have direct control. Over that action. Okay, So what I mean by that is your OBM or your executive assistant doesn’t get $25,000 of launch revenue on their KPIs because they are not the person affecting that action, doing the task to make that happen. So what we want to make sure is that whatever ends up on that KPI list. And this is why we start from the job description of telling that person, This is what I want you to do in this role. They need to be the person who has control over that if they cannot control that outcome. It should not be on their KPI list because just like first of all, that’s not fair at all. Right. I’m like, how? How can I how can I if we don’t hit 25 K on the lunch, maybe it’s because the marketing assistant like forgot to publish all the social content. How do I like I’m not in charge of that. I’m the other person who’s checking the inbox like, you know, so really making sure that they’re related and they have direct control over them. Some other things from the support team side of things. And again, this is one of the reasons why I like doing these hiring projects and why I think I’m pretty good at them and I have a good success rate with them is i’m not coming from corporate h.r. And i’m not a i guess i am a ceo, but i’m not a business owner. I’m not a coach. I’m not that kind of like trying to build this big business. I am a support team member. I work every day as an obm, and I just think you get a different perspective for hiring when somebody who’s been there is doing it. Not some like executive person who’s never been an assistant in their life.
So when I talk to people in support team roles and I’m in a lot of networking groups and Facebook groups and all kinds of stuff, there’s there is definitely like some standard stuff that comes up that they wish business owners knew. But because of the power dynamic of getting paid by somebody and being on their payroll, they’re not always comfortable telling you that kind of stuff directly. And so some of the things that often come up on that, the number one thing is always around boundaries. So especially, you know, as the like work from home and remote team industry gets bigger and bigger, more and more people are talking about like their work, our boundaries being pushed. They’re getting 100 messages from their client on their days off. They’re constantly being asked to drop stuff and run in and help with an emergency, even though they’re only being paid for an hour of their time of day. You know, things like that. A lot of out of scope asks. I see a lot of support team members frustrated with that. And another thing that I have seen a lot is a lot of clients have really, really high expectations for support team members. And let me finish because that sounds good to start, but a lot of them sometimes expect their support team members to be as invested in their business as they are. And I’m like, this is a three hour a week contractor. They have their own business. Like you don’t even want to hire them as an employee, pay them benefits, give them a computer to do their work. You’re not investing in them. So it’s not really fair to expect them to give 100% to your business. Should they do their job? Yep. Should they own their role? Shoot for the stars like do the best job they can? 1,000%.
But they’re running their own business. Their dream is not yours, right? In a situation like that, I think expectations should be realistic for I mean, if you have a full time employee like, yeah, they should be investing in your business, they’re a full time employee and you’ve invested in them. And yeah, those are two things that I see coming up a lot. And I think the last thing is if you have a chance. No, I’m going to change that. It’s good to make an effort to find out what your team’s appreciation languages are. I talk about this everywhere I go, that if you can reward your team in their own appreciation language, it means a lot to them. Support teams are behind the scenes. People who are doing a lot of stuff that know their face is not on the camera. They’re not the one teaching the course. They’re the one making sure everything works in the background for you. And they don’t get a lot of like public accolades or anything like that. And that’s okay. We’re not expecting that. But to get a thanks and some sort of recognition for going above and beyond or a job really well done. Some people, yeah, okay. They’d like some extra cash and that’s nice, but some of them might prefer paid time off to spend with their kids or tickets to a Knicks game. Not an ex game, but you know what I mean? Like maybe tickets to a sports game or or something like that. Yeah. Finding out what what they like shows a lot as a leader to reward them in the language that means the most to them.
Yeah. I mean and that’s super, super key because. We often we often just jump to Oh. More money. Yeah. Is what motivates them. And it does for most people. Right. But yeah, just like you just said, it’s like not everybody is motivated by money. Some people like public praise or just like you just mentioned, tickets to an event or an experience or what have you. I just want to go back to real quick and you’re going to laugh because I learn of these some of these little things that are just like, blow my mind and then I hear from you all. You’re like, Yeah, why didn’t you know about this? So I’m one. So talking about boundaries, right? So I’m one that like, Oh, I thought of this thing that I got to tell Erica or I got to tell Jamie or whomever it’s like, and I got to get out of my head because I will forget. And so I’m like, All right, I’m going to slack this person, but you can schedule your Slack messages. I didn’t know this before. Earlier this year. I forget who told me. Maybe it was Gretchen. I don’t.
Know. Gretchen always schedules them. I learned it from her, too.
So it was probably. It was Gretchen then? Yeah, that you can. And if you’re on the phone, if you’re on your phone and you’re in your Slack app, you just hold down. For those of you who don’t know. You’re going to thank me later for this. You just hold down the center, pull down the send button, like don’t tap it. Hold it down and up will pop like a little box there that lets you schedule that message to be sent. And that’s a game changer. It’s kind of like just like email, right? You can schedule email. Same thing you can do in Slack. And now it’s out of my head. It’s going to the right person and it’s going to that person during work hours. Yeah.
So I think. And you know what? People really appreciate that. And if that sounds like a bit too much for you right now, the one thing you can do is just send it. But really make sure that you set the expectation with your team that you don’t expect them to respond until their work hours and you don’t get snarky with them if they don’t respond until their work hours. That’s a two part thing. But I love the schedule set and I just think it feels nice as a support team member that somebody like was like, Oh hey, it’s 8 p.m.. She probably doesn’t want her slack pinging right now. I’m going to schedule this for tomorrow. Like, I feel appreciated when people do that.
Yeah. And I’m going to go even and say don’t send even if people turn on their, you know, do not disturb or their notifications are off or what have you. Sometimes people forget and the slack message comes across and it’s 830 your time and you’re in San Diego and that person is on the East Coast and now it’s 1130 at night, Like just just schedule the thing. So it goes out in the morning and you can schedule it at to go off at 6:30 a.m. Pacific time. So it gets there at 9:30 a.m., you know, whatever.
But I know that a lot of people also don’t know about Slack. Use the DMS with yourself. When I have an idea, I put it in the DM to myself.
Like if I’m like, Oh, I don’t want to bother anybody, then it’s in Slack. It’s ready for when I have slack open tomorrow and I want to talk to somebody about it, but I have to keep it in my head, not in some separate notes app or something. Use the DMS with yourself.
I like that. See something else don’t even think about. Yeah. All right. Where can people go?
I love it just to keep them going. Where where can people go get a copy of the role breakdown and do you share an example of one as well?
So I have two templates for everybody that you can grab and customize for your own business. There’s some example text in them to get you started and and that but I have one for a CEO, which I know is sometimes the hardest one to write. Yeah, and I have one for an executive assistant so you’ll be able to customize the assistant one for a lot of different support team roles. So I have two of those with a little video of me just walking through it, which you can watch or if you don’t want to, that’s okay. Just grab the templates and run. But if you go to Eric McCall e-commerce, Rick, you don’t have to give me your email. There’s no pay to play here. It’s just going to open up a Google folder where you can grab it and go.
And you have instructions on what to copy it, Right. It’s a copy of the form from the Google folder.
Yeah. Yeah. Bloom video. The Loom video. I love a loom. You will never find a team who doesn’t love a loom. Video.
Watch the loom video. First my friends, and then download that. It’s like Erica said, it’s You have to opt in or anything. Like just go right to it. Erica McCawley dot com forward slash Rick I will link that link up and then also Erica’s site to go to check out about the hiring projects and the 90 minute strategy. Call a link over the show notes for today’s episode over on my website. Erica, as we’re
talking here, I’m like, all right, I’ve got to have you on more regularly because as we’re talking here, I’m like, ooh, that’s a topic in and of itself that we can talk an hour about.
Every time I talk to you, I’m like, Just stay on track. Come on, just stick on.
No, these are great topics that come up all the time for people.
Yeah. So and I really encourage people to consider the voices of people like me who are support team members. And it’s always great to listen to, you know, some really big successful CEOs and some, you know, basketball players and all these people. But when you’re talking about your team, listening to somebody who’s been there and knows what it’s like to be the team member, I think is an important voice in the conversation. Just the two on a little.
I agree. There you go. Shameless plug.
For yourself. Shameless plug for Eric.
I love it. Go work with Erica. Go. Go. Download those things that she just gave you. We’ve instituted those in our business very recently because frankly, we hadn’t been doing a good job of it. And so we’ve made those improvements and Eric has given those to you. So, Erica, thank you for coming back on the show.
Appreciate you. Thank you for having me. It was great to be here again.
Hey, so as you heard today, this is something that I help our accelerator coaching members with in streamlining their business, streamline their systems and processes, their sales and marketing and so forth. So if you would like my eyes on your business, if you’d like me to coach you and help you scale your business and impact while working a whole lot fewer hours in your business, then let’s chat. Let’s see if we’re fit to work together. The best thing for you to do is go to Rick Mul Radio.com forward slash accelerator. There you can learn more about my coaching program here from current and past members about their experiences in the program. And you can also fill out a just a super short application there which will help me understand if we might be a fit to work together. So thank you, my friend, for tuning in today. As always, super appreciate you. Until next week, be well and I’ll chat with you soon.