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How does a Leader put a dollar amount of the most delicate of office issues?

How does a Leader put a dollar amount of the most delicate of office issues?

In the midst of layoffs and organizations looking for reasons to justify spending even the smallest of amounts, how do you put a dollar figure, or dollarize issues that you are dealing with so that you can either get solutions or get rid of the cost of that problem.

Delicate issues might mean:

                • miscommunication
                • lack of coaching or the way you coach
                • not dealing with a “difficult” employee
                • having a bad (or ineffective) boss

In each case, you might want to approach your boss and ask for a solution. If you have both the potential cost of the problem and the potential cost of the solution and the solution is less expensive, you increase your chances of getting a yes exponentially.

So, what does it cost your organization in cold hard cash for:


These can range is hard costs from $10 to Millions of dollars. If you told someone to only buy the box lunches for the conference of 100 people and those are $9.00/each and instead they ordered the plated lunch for each person at $27.00/each, you’re looking at a cost of $1800. If you yelled at a salesperson because you were stressed and they took it personally and missed a buying signal from a potential client who wanted to buy $250,000 in product, your reaction just cost a quarter of a million dollars. Makes a Dale Carnegie course in communication at $3,000 or bringing in an in house trainer at $5-$7,000 for the entire team seem like small potatoes, doesn’t it?

Lack of Coaching

This, too, has  range, but if you are not coaching star performers who sell $80,000 a year and they get used to that amount, you could be losing upwards of $50,000 per year, per team member if you are not coaching them in ways they can improve and upsell. With 3 star performers, that’s $100,000 per year. Plus, if you spend your time coaching only those who don’t sell well, you are giving them attention and people do what they get paid attention for, so you’re likely reducing the $80K sales person’s revenue as well and continuing to give attention to those who sell only $30K per year, which means they’ll keep doing that, just to keep getting your attention. The same scenario is true for not dealling with a difficult employee. You take time away from those who are selling the most because they will start to manage or try to help the problem employee and take time away from their own sales. Or at a minimum, they will begin to feel resentment for the fact that you are not managing the difficult people’s performance.

Having a Bad Boss

Okay, so this one hurts and has lots of math. Ready? If you have a bad boss and he leads 10 people and those ten people are responsible for 500 customers who donate $3.5 million per year to your foundation. 10% of the team will do what’s right and meet the customer needs just because that’s who they are. So, two employees will continue to request and close $350,000 in donations each. 80% of the team will see a slump in thier attitude, a decrease in time spent on the phone because they are complaining about the boss in the break room instead, and will all each recieve and close only 80% of thier normal productivity rate, as they have ‘quit but forgot to tell him’ or ‘don’t have as much energy’ or ‘just aren’t as into it as they used to be’ or ‘any number of other external reasons that they’ll use instead of articulating the real problem – no leadership. Thus, 6 team members will only earn $280,000 each, instead of $350,000 each, accounting for a total loss of $560,000. The remaining 10% or 2 people will simply shut down and stop doing anything extra, putting forth any extra effort. They’ll become order takers and watch their numbers drop by 60%, earning only 40% of last year’s numbers, or $140,000 times two team members. All from just one bad boss, whatever the reason is, perceived to be bad by those ten team members responsible fro $3.5 million in renveue, you will see a loss of  $840,000.00 or total revenue of only $2.66 million. Might the job’s boss be in question at that point, as well? Might the expense ratio of a $300 per person training or even a long term coaching program that costs $80,000, if they promise to resolve the issue, make fiduciary sense?

What issues in your organization can you dollarize and thus find real world solutions for less?

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