An easy to follow guide packed full of info and a free template which will help you get the most out of your team whilst maintaining your own, consistent high performance.Knowing how to get the most out of your team whilst maintaining your own, consistent high performance that you’re used to, is not easy, but don’t despair, there are things that you can do to help!
In our series of blogs that are coming up we will visit each of the 3 components that you need to balance in order to be a successful billing manager based on our experience of working with over 1000 recruitment business in the last 10 years.
There are 3 key components that, as a billing manager, you need to balance. Which we’ll be covering during the next 3 weeks:
In this article we visit the first point on our list of components to balance as a billing manager which is achieving your targets.
‘If you want to change the world, start with yourself’- Mahatma Gandhi
Self-Management – holding yourself to account
The best place to start is with yourself. There is nothing worse than trying to motivate a team who can see you’re not practising as you preach. Making sure that you do everything as you would advise one of your team to, unless there is a specific reason, is a good idea. We influence by behaviours and actions far more than by what we say.
So, here’s some practical approaches that the best billing managers seem to nail:
- Do you own Job Spec – remind yourself of what responsibilities you should own and share with the team. Set expectations of yourself, create clarity and hold yourself to account.
- Map out the skills, knowledge and attitude you should develop and take responsibility for your continuous development.
- Map out what success looks like (£, clients, candidates, process, team, you etc – The financial performance is the outcome from doing the other bits well) – paint a compelling picture of success looks like and make sure it excites you.
- Decide what attitudes you should adopt and choose to consistently live them.
- Revisit what you measure yourself against (it’s more than just the numbers).
- Share the above with your team so they see how you set high expectations, measure yourself, set yourself goals, push to develop yourself, etc..
- Ask for feedback.
By taking a step back and managing yourself, not just from a sales figures point of view, you’ll not only achieve your personal billings, you’ll influence the team.
Personal Effectiveness (categorising and prioritising activities to maximise your impact)
Work smart. You can’t manage time, but you can decide where you spend your efforts and energy, it can revolutionise the way you work. Any busy professional always wishes that there were more hours in the day, but do you make the most of the ones you do have?
Getting into a good routine will help you to use your time efficiently. Knowing what it is that you should be getting on with, rather than contemplating what you need to do next will save time. This will streamline repetitive tasks on a daily, weekly or monthly basis.
So, how do we do it – here are some powerful approaches that work:
- Work out your end game (see above) and ditch anything that isn’t taking you there
- Map out the different hats you have to wear (business development, account management, personal billings, team development etc etc) and reflect on which hat’s falling off.
- Your time matters – learn how to categorise and prioritise activities. Work with a 4 box grid based on urgency and important:
- Urgent/important stuff – Do it
- Non-urgent/important stuff – Diarise it (and respect the diary entry – this stuff moves the team forward)
- Non-important/urgent – Delegate it
- Non-urgent/not important – Dump it
- Say no to interrupters and finish off what you’re doing
- Start the day with the big stuff
- Give yourself and diarise 1 hour slots to do those things which often slip (planning, coaching, analysis etc)
Reflection and stopping for 10 minutes can be your best friend when it comes to time management. Analysing processes and previous tasks, there may be ways that you could do things better the next time round. Here, at The Recruitment Network we use something called a W3 to analyse ourselves, performances and processes and where we spend our time.
Running a W3 can give some interesting insights post project/task
The W3 is a simple, quick and easy to use concept. It is basically three points to go through.
W1- What went well?
W2- What didn’t go well?
W3- What can we do better next time?
Systematically reflecting on past performances and processes using this technique, will help you to save time, improve and prioritise tasks. Use a list to plan tasks effectively, include the information from your W3, and set deadlines for yourself within this plan. Then manage everyone else’s expectations to prevent unnecessary pressure on yourself. Finally, don’t over commit yourself, know your limits and don’t be afraid to ask for help or say no if you need to.
Something else to think about is what marginal gains can you make to improve on your performance or the performance of your team. When combined, these ideas are powerful enough to really make a big impact towards smashing your targets.
Evaluating where you could make small changes in all areas of work, from meetings to technology and client interactions to health and well-being, could make the difference to boost your team to the next level in terms of performance.
Making a small change to meetings, for example, by asking everyone in the meeting to park their phones and give their full attention will make the meeting more productive. Shave 15 minutes off a meeting can give back 15 minutes to a team of 4 -that’s an extra hour a week to impact performance. Only invite the necessary people to the meeting, so not to waste the time of the people who do not have to be there.
Marginal Gains was a big focus at our previous Huddle, read about it here.
To balance everything that you have on your plate it is essential that you have focus. You need to focus on the quality of your work rather than the quantity, which may mean reducing the number of clients you work with to concentrate on the ones that are more important. By this we don’t just mean the ones you like the most, but the ones that you have retained deals with or provide you with a good number of openings to fill each month or year. Make sure that you are working on the right roles, not just as many as you can find.
Keep an eye on the bigger picture and ask yourself, are the decisions that I make now good for the growth of the business? With everything considered, you need to remember to work towards positively influencing business growth, the is the vision that you need to be focused on through all of this.
Focusing your attention on what is important means not setting yourself too many goals. It is better to set a few, meaningful goals for yourself with deadlines to work on, rather than loads of goals and scatter your attention on each, not doing a good job of any. You have a team who are there to help each other. Don’t be afraid to ask for help if it is needed.
Make sure goals, objectives and activities are all aligned.
Bringing in your team to the decision making process will help make them feel more invested in the team’s objectives.
One of the biggest difficulties of delegating is learning to let go. If you are used to managing your own tasks and taking charge of them, it can be hard to release some of this control. You need to trust that the person in your team that you have delegated the task to can do what you’re asking of them.
The key components to delegating well are:
- Start with the outcome- allow for flexibility and autonomy. The person you delegate the task to may have other ideas on how to get to the same outcome, which may be better.
- Identify limits- are there any absolute hard rules to the task?
- Follow their progress- regular checks to ensure the task is on track are a good idea, but not too often, you don’t want to micro manage.
- Mistakes- people learn from the mistakes they make and by preventing this you may stop them from learning. Allowing someone to make a mistake while doing a task will mean they are more likely to remember that in future and avoid the same thing.
- Recognition on completion- make sure to praise good work. This is often forgotten about when the task is complete, but recognition for a job well done will go a long way towards keeping them motivated.
So, you have focusing your efforts, managing your time and yourself more wisely and delegating successfully what you can, now what? The next component on our list to balance as a billing manager is to build a cohesive team, which is what we will look at in the next article, but let us leave you with the take home message from this piece:
TAKE HOME MESSAGE –
Work out what is important, make those small changes and focus your time wisely. Learn to let go of the smaller tasks and ask for help when needed. Be clear on the overall vision, and keep on track. Manage yourself if you want to earn the right to do the others