Getting great results from your team, only happens when the members of your team are fully skilled in the activities of their roles.
Over a number of years, one of the managers I respected the most, kept reminding me of one very important step in managing/leading teams. Always “Inspect What You Expect”.
If you expect your team members to be carrying out their roles as you require them to, ensure that they are well trained, are fully resourced with tools, materials etc, and always inspect what they are doing.
When people are struggling in their roles, it is mostly because they are not clear on how to carry out the specific activities, or they are poorly resourced for their role, and the only way you can truly find out what the issues are, is to be out there with them at times, to inspect how they are doing their job.
What I have noticed over years of managing team members and coaching many businesses, is that business owners and managers are expecting results from their employee’s, without really knowing whether they can actually carry out their tasks correctly.
I recall a number of occasions when I have been in the field with team members and experienced first hand some of the problems they were facing in their roles. I recall one technician who was having a problem with a specific area of a piece of equipment. Through knowing this I was able to find out that the technical training was not covering this part of the equipment well enough. I was then able to have the technical specialist upgrade his training on this piece of equipment.
I had several occasions when the technicians were having trouble contacting the call centres and losing time. Seeing this first hand, enabled me to follow up with the call centres and make some changes on how they were operating.
I had issues with several sales reps, constant contacting my technicians and even myself, to find out information on operating various pieces of equipment we sold. When it became obvious that it was quite an issue, I was able to follow up with the sales manager and have him improve the quality of his sales training.
Inspect what you expect, is a saying that my coaching clients have heard from me continuously. Through this process, you will be able to improve the results of your organisation considerably and save time in your day.
Applying this process is a matter of, when you start inspecting, you do it regularly. Then as the person or team get better at the tasks, you reduce the regularity of the inspections. However, you never stop the inspections. You simply design ways to ensure you are able to see and be fully aware of any issues.
If you have managers, supervisors, team leaders etc reporting to you, it is your responsibility to ensure that your training of them, includes the process of inspect what you expect. You should be inspecting what you expect of your managers, supervisors, team leaders and they should be inspecting what they expect of their team members. This process works through your businesses structure.
Delegating is not abdicating, when you delegate a task to someone, you need to be monitoring how they are doing it, to ensure it is being done properly.
When you are skilled at using the inspect what you expect process correctly, you will find your team have a higher skill level, enabling them to operate more independently, resulting in you having more time in your day as you will have less interruptions.
Have a great week.
Peter Johnson – The Time Retriever