How to Improve Your Team’s Inner Being & Results
‘The Culture of a business is determined by the mood of the leader’….Harvard Business Review
If you do not believe this – go work for a moody Boss!
OK, you are not a moody Boss, great, but do your team know that? Perceptions are Reality, and if we go into work with pressing issues on our mind often that can be perceived as a bad mood. If we enter the office without saying ‘good morning’ people often they feel the Boss is in a bad mood….
It spreads, like wildfire, beware, beware the Boss is in a bad mood!
And the attitude of the Boss is critical, we cannot have a down day in front of the team ….. A flat battery cannot jump-start another!
So no-one motivates you? That is the responsibility of leadership, even if your Boss doesn’t motivate you, break the chain and find the individual motivators of your team members….their hot buttons….and then play to these.
Many leaders say to me, why should I have to motivate people, I pay them well. I point out the number one thing people desire is Recognition & Acknowledgement, and if we do this in a timely, specific and authentic way it increases engagement.
If you have read my other articles you know that Actively Engaged team members are around 30% more productive than someone “sitting on the fence”….and sadly only around 30% of the workforce are “Actively Engaged” 50% “Sit on the Fence” whilst about 20% are the bad apples “Actively Disengaged” who go about undermining your business.
If as a leader you find yourself needing to motivate your team, realize that is the role and responsibility of a leader and most of your team never aspire to leadership or business ownership, so do it to obtain 30% more productivity from them! And remember the following quote from Zig Ziglar….
“Many leaders tell me motivation doesn’t last…Well, neither does bathing, that’s why we recommend both daily!”
No matter what kind of standards you set as a leader—high, low, or in between—your people will take them as their goal. If you set high standards, they will strive to achieve them. If you set low standards, they will aim only for those easy targets. You have the power to establish the standard and the tone of employee performance. Employees will follow your lead. If you think excellent performance is important, so will the members of your team.
Some employees will feel that a mediocre performance is all they need to offer to keep their jobs. A leader cannot accept mediocre effort. Even 80 percent effort should be abominable to you. Be sure to emphasize and demonstrate your seriousness about the standards you set by holding yourself and everyone on your team to these standards, and don’t hide the fact that achieving mediocre results will have repercussions.
The following numbers represent a typical team before there is a commitment to personal development plans and a focus on positive performance management:
■ 20 percent high achievers
■ 60 percent average achievers
■ 20 percent non-achievers
Where is the minimum acceptable performance for this team?
Most leaders will say in the middle. Wrong! The minimum acceptable level is what the lowest non-achiever is attaining. He is still on the team, and all team members will view their performance as acceptable to you. You have to set a high standard and enforce it, or the standard of the lowest performer will be the standard you are actually setting in the minds of your team members.
Your most important expectation of all should always be constant improvement. You must demand it and support it in every way you can. This doesn’t mean you should neglect radical change in some areas of your business, just don’t expect people development changes to happen overnight. You cannot simultaneously work on enhancing all people’s strengths and eradicating any weaknesses you see.
In their book Discover Your Sales Strengths (Warner Books, 2003), Benson Smith and Tony Rutigliano write: “In the course of our work we have studied sales forces for some of the best companies, companies that have care- fully recruited and selected their representatives. Even in the best companies, we found that 35 percent of the sales force did not have the talents necessary to achieve acceptable results predictably. This rather considerable group—one of every three salespeople out there—is consistently in the bottom half of the performance curve.”
Rather, you have to concentrate on gradually capitalizing on the strengths of individuals and taking these to a new level, isolating any weaknesses that are threatening, and working on these as well. Following are some tips for setting and achieving high standards within your team:
■ Tie performance standards directly to the organization’s strategic goals and objectives.
■ When setting expectations, be honest, courageous, ethical, consistent, and focused on results.
■ Involve the team and obtain input before setting the standards.
■ Model the standards you’ve established.
■ Reward people who exceed the standards.
■ Remember that once you’ve set the standards, it’s your responsibility to remove any obstacles your employees face in meeting them.
■ Build and maintain a positive environment.
■ Hold a meeting with key leaders and establish a plan and detailed program for how new standards will be met and how improvement will be achieved.
■ Accept no excuses, but value truthful, valid, and clear explanations.
■ When stepping into a new role, take some time to engage your people, engendering trust and respect while inspecting performance. Once you’ve learned the terrain, act decisively to set clear, high standards.
■ Make sure the standards are consistent across the team or organization.
■ Refuse to carry passengers—address substandard performance immediately and fairly.
Talk to Ken if you would like a no obligation analysis of your business and an assessment of what can be done to improve your team’s inner being and results.
Ken Wright +61 414 157657