Just when we thought naturally posed calamities and rampant viruses which came one after the other were done with us, the global economy decided to show us its worst-ever face, pushing us into recession and economic distress. While every organization small, medium, and large irrespective of their revenue size was finding its way back to normalcy, some learned how to get accustomed to the ‘new normal’. That said, the frequent tremors in the economy and the fear of having to face adverse situations forced companies to take the most crucial decision of ‘laying off’ tens, hundreds, and thousands of individuals from their workforce from entry-level to experienced positions.
While the layoff fever was at its highest, direct selling organizations whose workforce is widespread, believed in empowering their distributors and customers with adequate knowledge enrichment because the channel believes that a business becomes a full-bore only when each of its individuals is rightly empowered.
What is performance enablement?
Simply put, it is the concept of enabling a distributor to attain their full potential by analyzing their strengths and weaknesses. Through efficient and effective performance enablement, an individual could identify the factors that hold them back from achieving their goals and discover capabilities that were untapped or unidentified by themselves. While performance enablement is distributor oriented, its end result is reflected in the organization creating a win-win situation.
Enabling a customer begins with inclusiveness. When a distributor realizes that their contributions whether small or big matter to the organization, they will be encouraged to expand their knowledge acquiring new skills to deliver beyond what is expected of them. The stepping stone to enabling performance starts from distributor onboarding. From setting clear and attainable goals that might differ from person to person to understanding how well they intend to contribute to the growth and success of the organization, onboarding is the first and best step to analyzing a distributor who joins the workforce.
Direct selling business is where the thriving and the fittest survive. Distributor training is one strong pillar that helps a distributor build their forte. Enabling them with business, target, and success-oriented skills and proficiency is essential. Training also has to be future-oriented which inspires them to foresee beyond their best of performances in the past. Continuous feedback from time to time during the course of training is yet another filler that can build the base strong.
Distributor engagement is yet another pillar that needs to be cemented appropriately to leverage the best results from training and constant motivation. When a distributor who is a high performer indicates difficulty with scaling up the ladder, the team leader has to identify the same immediately to help them cross the hurdle. In the same way, when a low performer continues to perform low, perceiving their plight from their point of view is how an effective engagement takes place.
As much as performance enablement is about driving sales and revenue, it is also about improving productivity and delivering the best results. An efficient performance enablement would result in creating higher organizational value, improve business outcomes substantially, and most importantly aid with cutting costs at every phase of the business process.
Performance management vs performance enablement
As the business grows, performance is given prime importance in every organization. But, legacy performance management systems are not future-oriented but it is an analysis of the past. As much as performance management is important, performance enablement helps distributors and businesses move one step ahead with rising competition and customer expectations.
Performance management is where every aspect of the distributor’s performance over the past is analyzed and passed through various levels of filtration to enable them for an appraisal or a promotion. If the distributor has not made any significant progress reflecting in the growth and revenue of the company, they would ideally end up not receiving a bonus or rank advancement. This legacy system does not count the progress that the individual might have made by acquiring new skills or implementing innovations into the channel. According to the 2023 Global HR Research Report, distributors find performance management biased which results in lowering their trust and confidence in the brand.
Performance management is largely based on the OKR model–objectives and key results. In this primitive model, concrete goals and objectives are set by the senior management with or without understanding the right caliber of their distributor force. This in the long run might drain the abilities of a distributor whose superior skills are left untapped.
Performance enablement analyzes every aspect of a customer’s journey with the brand right from onboarding to as long as they stay with the organization. Performance enablement in a way aims at empowering the distributor force by helping them explore their full potential, at the same time, expanding the business primacy to newer extents. A distributor whose prime skills are not merely with what he does but is proficient in various other allied fields supporting the development of the business could help a brand improve drastically. This is where performance enablement would benefit a business in numerous ways.
With performance enablement, a distributor is given enough opportunities to collaborate within or among various teams to bring out the best in themselves for the benefit of the brand. This would help them set their own targets and objectives and, through efficient distributor engagement a distributor will be capable of resetting their personal and professional development goals identifying priorities that could fluctuate or change with varying market conditions.
Effective enablement of distributor performance
Like molding a kid right from school with the necessary academic education, and skills and improving their capabilities, a distributor once onboard needs efficient training that can upskill their knowledge and capabilities. In order to effectively enable distributor performance, three key areas to focus on are
With network marketing training tools, learning can be made a daily priority and the organization can also pave the way to newer opportunities for its distributors and customers. LXP or Learning Experience Platform is an advanced Learning Management System (LMS) that provides opportunities for distributors to learn from numerous professional and personal enhancement documents and research materials available in the organization database and internet. Learning can be encapsulated by designing various schedules and making use of various platforms like JLP (Just-in-time Learning Platform), social learning, self-paced learning, etc. Learning could be made easy and effective through Gamified Learning Experiences (GLE) and VR-based online training where state-of-the-art technology and gamification can be put to use to help distributors understand and implement various concepts that would help them scale up in their job profiles.
Communication is the most important aspect of any business. Especially for a business that deals with numerous people spread in various geographies, miscommunication could lead to misunderstandings that would ruin a peaceful coexistence. Setting clear goals and clarifying expectations is a deciding factor that encourages a distributor to stick to a team or the business itself. Encouraging a distributor to converse or communicate with their peers, team leaders or managers is one way through which thoughts are developed, ideas are exchanged and concepts are widened. Building distributor communities to motivate distributors to participate in various discussions will help understand market trends and various unknown concepts. Sponsor support channels would give huge backing to beginners and experts alike to resolve challenges. Social media is yet another channel through which seamless and effective communication can be made among distributors and customers. Emails, newsletters, and other classic tools of communication can be used to keep the distributor workforce in the loop to stay informed and encouraged at the same time.
Collaboration is an ideal way through which roadblocks that cause hindrances to distributor growth can be identified quickly and easily. Collaborative learning programs are also great platforms through which practice and application, discussions, feedback, coaching, and mentorship can be implemented in order to simplify the dynamic process of performance enablement. Collaboration not only enhances skills but helps develop accountability toward one’s roles and responsibilities and also improves interpersonal skills which are imperative in an organizational setup. Through collaboration, building a productive and resourceful team that can maximize the capacity of the team for the advantage of the brand can be done instantly. Initiating discussions based on interests, building remote teams to collaborate within and outside of work, developing the team’s capacities through individual analysis, etc are the advantages of collaboration that results in the formation of robust future-oriented teams.
How practice is proven to help improve and excel with a task or a skill, performance enablement can also be considered as a practice that enables performers to train for the future. Direct selling businesses foresee innovations and integrate strategies ahead of time. The channel considers performance enablement as an ingenious approach to building stronger core business foundations and extensions; with an empowered workforce who are skilled, talented, and resourceful enough to tackle any contemporary business challenges ambushing a state of consistent growth and progress.