Momentum Podcast: 220

How To Retain Great Team Members

by Alex Charfen

Episode Description

There is a challenge around a lot of the material surrounding retaining the right team members. Beer kegs, air hockey and free food are an ineffective way to persuade people that their work is fun. There is a better way.

Full Audio Transcript

I'm Alex Charfen and this is the Momentum Podcast, made for empire builders, game changers. Trailblazers, shot takers, record breakers, world makers and creators of all kinds, those among us who can't turn it off and don't know why anyone would want to. We challenge complacency, destroy apathy, and we are obsessed with creating momentum so we can roll over bureaucracy and make our greatest contribution. Sure, we pay attention to their rules, but only so that we can bend them, break them, then rewrite them around our own will.

We don't accept our destiny, we define it. We don't understand defeat, because you only lose if you stop, and we don't know how. While the rest of the world strives for average and clings desperately to the status quo, we are the minority, the few who are willing to hallucinate there could be a better future. Instead of just daydreaming of what could be, we endure the vulnerability and exposure it takes to make it real. We are the evolutionary hunters, clearly the most important people in the world because entrepreneurs are the only source of consistent, positive, human evolution and we always will be.

How do you retain great team members? I'm up in Boise today at an event with Russell Brunson for his Inner Circle Mastermind. I'm spending time with a group of entrepreneurs that are growing businesses really fast. When you grow a business really fast. When you grow a business really fast, you have to not only hire, but hang onto, retain great team members because here's what happens in this group. Well, and really with a lot of the population using click funnels is, what Russell has put together is such an engine for business. It's like a key code on marketing, it really is.

It's like years ago, Cadey and I put together an information product called the CDP, that we had to go out and hire programmers and an entire team and developers. We had a CTO, and it was over a million dollars a year to support the infrastructure and the team that did what click funnels does today. It's crazy how fast accelerated growth can be in the click funnels ecosystem. There are companies that are growing by like leaps and bounds. Like Alex and Layla, last year in July, $2 million a year. This, and by the way, you go back to December of 2017, and they weren't doing, like they were having trouble, like really serious financial trouble.

Then flash forward, in July they're at two million and now they're approaching a $26 million run rate. Like that type of acceleration is unheard of, but today I was in a meeting where there are a ton of people doing that.

Like Alison Prince recently released a product where she's done over $2 million in her first year in existence. Like I don't even think she's anniversaried her first year, this is just the past few months. When you have this accelerated growth, you have to go out and find the right team members and then retain them long-term. Here's the challenge about, of most of the stuff out there around how to retain great team members, is that not only Is it wrong, it's going to put you into a very painful position as you grow and scale your company because here's the issue. Like in corporate America, they make it all about satisfaction. There like an actual, like ranking for corporations, it's employee satisfaction.

I want you to understand something. In small businesses, satisfaction will screw you. Like if somebody's satisfied with their job, you're not going to like them. You don't want somebody who's satisfied with your job, you want somebody who is passionate about their job. You want somebody who is excited about their job. You want somebody who really wants to be there. Who is getting a ton of momentum from the position, who is feeling the affect in their lives.

Here's the issue with most companies, and this is I put most. When I say most, I mean 90 percent. They have terrible management and communication practices, which lead to terrible leadership practices. Which what most companies these days try and do is they offset with some quote, unquote, benefit or perk. Those perks are things like having kegs in the building or parties or free food. Or I've seen companies do rooftop decks or ping pong tables or air hockey tables or like these things that they put in to say, "Hey, we're fun even though it's really, really difficult and painful to work here." That is not the way you retain great team members.

See, most of the time when entrepreneurs ask this question, they're asking like, "What can I install? What thing can I do?" Well, I want you to understand that that is not, that's not the way to look at the answer to this question. See, the way that you retain great team members is you create a successful company. Because when people work at a successful company, when they're working somewhere where they're winning over and over again, it is really difficult for them to leave.

If you are helping someone win over and over again, and they feel like they're advancing, and they like what they're doing, they're going to be in momentum in their lives because they work with you. They aren't going anywhere and they're going to try and do better and better. If they build the habit of winning with you, they won't want to go anywhere else.

The way that you build a successful company, because it's not simple, it's not easy but the guidelines are simple and easy. If we look at them, the application is difficult but the guidelines are simple. Here's what's simple about running an organization where you retain great employees. One, make sure that there are clear outcomes for every member of the team. This means that everyone understands your expectations. You just can't bring someone in, anoint them into a position and say, "Boom, you're my Marketing Manager, go be successful."

You have to have clear outcomes for people. You have to tell them what you want, what's important to you. What are the details that matter to you? What are the things that you know you don't want? Because you can't expect people to read your mind and be successful. Far too many entrepreneurs communicate way too little.

If you have clear outcomes for people, they will charge at them. The more that they trust, they understand the outcome, the more energy they will put into it. The more they believe that they know what they are doing and how they're getting there, the more they will go after it. The more you coach them along the way to success, the harder they will drive towards it.

One, you want to retain great employees, make sure you have clear outcomes in your company. By the way, these are the three like most foundational things you need to look at in your company is clear outcomes, accountability and transparency. I'll explain the last two.

Accountability is who does what? Who's responsible for what part of everything you do in your company? You can't leave anything to chance, and so you have to have the discussion of who's doing what, and then the separation of who drives what outcome and who tactically does what? You have to document that throughout your organization so that you know what everyone is doing, and they know what their responsibilities are, and there's documentation to back it up.

Because what accountability does is it gives someone the clear path to win, and it keeps your team from knocking into each other and bumping into each other. If you look at 99 percent of problems in an organization, there are communications issues. A lot of communications issues happen because people don't know who's responsible for what, so make it crazy clear who does what within your organization. Make sure the accountability is clear.

Who's accountable to what? What are they doing? What role do they play in the organization? What are their responsibilities? What results are they driving? Then everyone will understand what they do, what part they play, and they will play it harder. When someone knows that they can win they will, then they go all out. If you feel like your team's kind of running through the mud ...

I had a couple people tell me that in the room today, that they feel like their team is like just not going as fast as they could. I want you to know, 99 percent of the time, you're right if you feel that way. Because if you don't have a clear outcome, accountability, like every person knows exactly what they're doing.

Then the last one, transparency. What's transparency? It is the scoreboard for the company and then the scoreboard for each individual that lets them know whether they're succeeding. Then your understanding of what they're actually doing. Like you knowing what milestones they're achieving. That transparency is what lets them know they're winning.

When people have a clear outcome, they understand their role and they have a scoreboard that tells them what they're winning. This is where you assign metrics to people or you assign milestones, but you give them a way to checkoff or create progress.

If you have someone that's in an operational role doing projects, you list out the milestones and they check those off. If you have someone who's in a sales role, a customer service role, someone who's handled, in a manufacturing role, then you create metrics so you understand what they're doing. That transparency, those scoreboards, that type of measurement, that understanding of what's going on is going to help them understand that they are making progress and it's going to make you feel more comfortable.

Clear outcomes, expectations and accountability ... Sorry. Clear outcomes, accountability and transparency, these three will help you retain great team members, because here's what I see a lot in the entrepreneurial world, is that entrepreneurs find great team members and then lose them. I talked to a couple of people today who had recently lost team members. In fact, a couple who are like in the process of losing team members.

Here's the problem. You can find incredible team members who could transform your company, make you millions of dollars because, by the way, true believers who are A players understand their role and won't give up, holy cow, they are worth millions, I know. Because I'm not really capable of making the time on my own, but I've gotten to hundreds of millions, and it was because I had that.

When you hire incredible people like that and they don't have clear outcomes, they can't win. They don't have clear accountability, they start bouncing into each other and ramming up against each other. They don't have transparency. They don't know if they are winning. It doesn't matter how good they are, they're going to start to look defective.

They're going to start to look like they're not as good as you thought they were. They're going to start to look frustrated and challenged and the challenge in most companies is that there's tons of pressure on team members. When they don't have clear outcomes, accountability and transparency, that causes all kinds of stuff. Panic attacks and illnesses and feeling bad and feeling challenged and getting exhausted and being tired on the way in and getting fatigued. That's why people leave.

If you want to retain great team members, if you want to be known as a place where you want, where people want to go work, give them clear outcome, accountability and transparency.

I got an incredible note from someone this week who was actually at Funnel Hacking Live, Russell's event. It said something like, "I saw your presentation at Funnel Hacking Live, but I almost left right before it." Then he said, "I sat there and I watched you. Then you sat really near me and I stayed because ..." No, he said he stayed to see my presentation partially because I had been sitting near him, and I had been sitting with my team who came with me. He said he stayed because he could tell we were such a tightly bonded team, that he just got that feeling.

I'll tell you, like my team, they stick together like glue when they're at events because their favorite people in the room are the people that they go to work with and win every day. They are constantly talking to each other at events because they're exchanging information and trying to figure out like how to leverage everything they're doing at every second.

They have all built the habit of winning together because they have crazy clear outcomes. Like we spell out exactly what we're doing, there's clear accountability. We have an organizational chart, clear for our documents where we spell out role, responsibility, results and requirements. We have scoreboards throughout our organization so we know how we're doing as a company and how we're doing individually and how we're progressing. We have a scoreboard for the weekly commitments that we make to each other so everyone knows what percentage of what they committed to they got done.

We do all of that in a clear communications system where my team knows when we're going to meet, how we're going to meet, what we're going to talk about and how they can win in the interaction, because a lot of your best team members aren't going to be your best meeting members. In fact, a lot of times, the people who are crazy good at meetings are the ones who are like good at talking about stuff, but not necessarily getting stuff done, and so create clear communication structures where when somebody comes into a meeting, they can understand what's going on because they've been to your meetings before. When someone gets moved into a new position, they understand exactly what's happening. When you have this, you will always retain great team members.

Because when people have clear outcomes, accountability and transparency, they win together. They build a community together, they fight together, they go out together, they talk together. The guy who sent me the note about staying and watching my presentation because my team seemed so tightly bonded together, first, thanks for that note. I didn't ask your permission so I didn't use your name, but you're right. I know exactly why in my career, I've been able to accomplish what I have. It's only through the power of a team.

When I finally figured out in my career that if I gave people clear outcomes, and if I made my focus making sure every team member had clear outcomes, clear accountability and clear transparency, and that process worked, everything in my business did better. When I focus on this in my life, everything in my life is better.

If you want to retain great team members, achieve far more than you ever thought possible, and propel yourself like crazy towards your goals, create this system in your company and you will see your business explode. If you're in a fast growth company, this is the most important thing you can do. Because if you're not focusing on growing your team, if you're doing anything else besides creating an atmosphere where your team can succeed, then you're going to have a really hard time continuing to grow.

The challenge is is you have to create a structure and a system that does this with minimum effective dose so that it doesn't take over your life because you, as an entrepreneur, you're not going to want to do, you're not going to want to spend all of your time creating clear outcomes, accountability and transparency, so you have to create a system and a structure to make it work.

Keeping great people is one of the biggest exponential multipliers of growing a fast growth company. Every person that comes to grow in your organization to work with you, to achieve outcomes with you, they carry institutional knowledge with them that makes them faster at what they do, gives them perspective and helps your company move forward. When it comes to the importance of keeping those team members, it cannot be understated that that is your biggest leverage in growing your business, is hiring incredible people, creating an environment where they win, and keeping them.

Focus on creating clear outcomes, accountability and transparency and a communication system where everybody understands what's going on, and you're going to see your company explode. More importantly, you're going to see people around you grow within your organization, and that's going to fill you with a sense of accomplishment and a sense of potential that it's difficult to explain until you walk in that path. I want to see you get there.

If you're ready to install that structure, if you're ready to start building the infrastructure that's going to take your business to the next level and understand how to communicate, what interactions to have with your team, how to make this is a system where nothing is missed, and if something falls through the cracks it's because you decided to let it, not because you didn't know it was there, where your team performs at a much higher rate of productivity than they can when they don't have clear outcomes, accountability and transparency, get in touch with us. Go to We have programs for companies that are over 300,000, and coaching program for fast growth companies that are over $1 million.

If you have a million dollar plus business, where you have more opportunity than the infrastructure you have allows for, and you are ready to see that business grow, and you want to lead a team the right way, and contribution is just as important as making a living to you. Because if all of those things are true, our systems and our structure can help you scale the business to whatever size you want without feeling like you're giving everything else up or letting anyone else down.

Go to, answer a few questions with us, and you'll be given an opportunity to book a call with my team.

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