Employing and managing team members is generally the most challenging part of running a business. Too often I hear the old sayings, “you can’t get good people” and “if you want something done, you have to do it yourself”. If you find yourself making these statements or similar, take the time to start building your skills in “people”. If you look at the most successful people out there, they have great people skills that get people to buy from them or willingly do what they require them to do.
Search out training programs that will help develop your people skills and in the meantime, put these 7 points into action.
- Clear understanding on their role, Everyone likes to know exactly what they are supposed to do. Each position in the business should have a job description that clearly states what activities they are expected to carry out. This also enables you to clarify each role in your business to ensure you only employ the number of people that are needed to make your business successful. It also enables you to understand what each person should be doing.
- Clear targets that need to be achieved, Each position will have activities that can be measured, i.e. How many times the phones ring before answering, all invoices processed by day end, target revenue to make each month, number of customer follow-ups to be made each week. There is an endless number of ways to measure employee effectiveness. By establishing some key targets for each role, you will be able to provide your employees with clarity on what they are meant to achieve to be considered fully productive.
- Regular team meetings, Open team meetings are where you will be able to drive your business forward. Providing and open forum where there are no repercussions for honest appraisal of the business, its team, including the owner, will provide you with enormous amounts of ideas and motivation on how to run the business more effectively and how to resolve issues. If you take action on what you learn from your team members, they will know that what they say is heard, and then will be willing to get more involved. Not everything can be actioned, but smart, sensible and practical ideas are what you are looking for.
- Training, Training builds knowledge, Skill and motivation and is the only way your team will become more productive. Everyone says they have no time for training, but there is a great old saying out there, “I’d rather have a team of trained people of which some may leave, rather than a team of untrained people who perform poorly and never leave”.
- Flexibility, Your way is not the only way, sometimes it is the worst way to do things, listen, learn and allow your team to build a better way. You just need to ensure that it still gets the expected result in, or better than the timeframes expected.
Provide a bit of give and take with your team, if you find that it’s all take, i.e. want some time off early, but won’t stay late, reduce the amount of give and take that your provide. I always found I could start with some giving, but when there was no give back. I stopped.
- Support decision making, The worst thing you can do in your business is to have your team members come to you for decisions to be made. As long as this is happening, you will never have enough time to do anything but put out fires. You need to train them on how to make a decision and let them make decisions. This can’t be done overnight, you will need to let them see you going through the process of making decisions so they can learn how you do it. Teach them and then let them go. You will also need to set levels for decision making and then work through these levels as they become better at it.
The best thing you can ask them to do is when they are in a situation where they have to make a decision is to, work through the process, make a decision and action it. Then when they next see you, they can tell you what the situation was, what they decided, and what the result was. If it was a good result, pat them on the back. If it was a bad result, review the decision making process so they will learn how to get a better result next time.
Don’t be afraid to let them make mistakes. Everyone will grow from them.
- Recognition, Do you spend your time telling your team how poorly they perform and never let them know when there performance is good?
Spend more time looking for the good things your team does and let them know, and when you have to let them know about poor performance, you will get a better result. How would you feel if one of your team members walked up to you and said, I think you do a great job at running this business. I think you would feel good inside, even you like to have someone let you know they believe you are doing a good job.
These are simple points for getting the best out of your team, practice them and you will have a much better team working for you. Remember, the 2 key roles of a business owner who has a team working for them are;
- Strategic direction of the business
- Managing the team
Have a great week,