Guest blog by Mike Wardlow, Distributor-Owner of Orthopedic Solutions Inc./Arthrex and EcSell Institute client
While the day-to-day operations of running any business are challenging enough, one of the greatest tests every company faces in today’s world is hiring, retaining, motivating, and developing employees despite the generation gap. With more Millennials entering the workforce and just as many Baby Boomers leaving it, the gap is widening every day. Businesses must adapt to this cultural shift in employees to bridge this gap. I would like to share some of the business practices I use at Orthopedic Solutions (OSI) in order to maintain a steady stream of talented, motivated and successful Millennial and Generation X employees alike.
We challenge our employees to constantly grow and develop themselves by committing a significant amount to educational opportunities. With the keystones of personal and professional development remaining primary, we offer our employees training sessions in-house, at our parent company, Arthrex, and through independent third party courses. These learning sessions provide excellent opportunities for employee to grow and develop specific aspects of their job in a safe and friendly environment. Overall, the goal is make each employee better at selling. This enables every employee to carry with them the skills needed to sell anything, anyway.
In addition to educational opportunities provided by OSI, we hold annual personal and professional goal setting sessions between our management and sales team so that clearly defined expectations and targets are set. We make sure that everything is “laid out on the table” regarding performance expectations and our management team works very closely to ensure that there is a plan being followed to help the sales team to attain their fiscal year’s quota goals. A great deal of time and effort is put into preparing game plans and coaching employees. We are well aware that no one likes to be blindsided by expectations that are not clearly communicated. OSI’s management team is experienced and “dialed in” to each employee’s performance against quota goals and are consistently available to help where needed. This atmosphere creates numerous mentoring opportunities that are invaluable to each sales representative in their current and future goals as well as in professional development.
We challenge our employees to place no limit on their potential performance and provide a transparent compensation package that rewards high-achieving, high-performing employees. There is no dollar limit on the amount that may be earned for each paycheck. The intention for this is to attract and keep talented people by linking pay to performance. Our parent company, Arthrex, doubles its sales every 3-5 years so we must follow suit. This constant growth not only provides great income potential but advancement opportunities consistent with climbing the “corporate ladder.”
Our employee infrastructure is wide open for upward mobility which provides employees the opportunity to become future leaders. While the structural setting does include a management group, it also includes a great deal of autonomy. There are currently nine sales territories and each one is governed by a sales representative that is independent of management. In essence, each one of these sales representatives runs their own business with the guided support of the management team and company owner. On an operational day-to-day basis, most employees are challenged to be their own bosses. Capital Manager, Josh Wheatley, affirms this when he states, “It was made known to me during my interview process that if I worked hard and did the right things I will be successful. Furthermore, it doesn’t matter if you are in the business for two years or 15. If you work hard, there is an opportunity to be promoted. After just one year as an Associate Sales Rep, I was promoted to Capital Specialist, and now I’m the Capital Manager.”
We challenge our employees to become risk takers, to be pushed out of their comfort zone and to collaborate with one another. Shared success stories are encouraged for motivation and are embraced by all. The cultured mentality of “if he or she can do it, then so can I” drives each employee to introspect and push their own potential to infinite limits. We are committed to creating a team-like atmosphere where the tricks of the trade are shared amongst everyone. This creates opportunities for every employee to grow and prosper together in a team environment. Success for one, can and typically does create success for all.
Ultimately, OSI does business in accordance with the mission of Arthrex’s trademarked logo which is to “Help Surgeons Treat Their Patients Better.” In order to complete this mission, we have dedicated ourselves to providing the best working environment and opportunity to our employees, who are primarily of the Millennial generation. We have embraced this generation by challenging them, not coddling them. A challenger mentality is the catalyst for success in the sales industry. We take pride in our ability to inspire each employee to become their greatest self through education and mentorship, clear expectations and empowerment to achieve their own motivational and financial goals in a cultural atmosphere that is conducive to success.
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