Are you maximizing team performance? How do you know if your team is working at maximum capacity? Here are some of the symptoms of a team that struggles with low productivity.
- Difficulty meeting deadlines and goals
- Flat or decreasing revenue or profits
- Increase in product quality issues (increased defects, customer complaints, returns, fewer repeat orders, etc.).
- Increasing or unacceptable employee turnover and absenteeism
When a company, or team experiences these symptoms for too long they generally think they can’t do anything about it. This week, I am going to talk about how you can maximize the performance of you team and see real impacts on your bottom line!
Maximizing Team Performance
Businesses either grow or die. Keep in mind, if your business is growing slower than your competition, you are in the process of dying. Some business owners might think this is acceptable, as long as they can ride it out until retirement. But think about it, if your business is dying, how well are you really servicing your clients? Are they getting the high level of service they expect or deserve? You’ll have to answer that question. Today I am going to talk about how to maximize your team performance, and make sure you stay in front of your competition today an in the future!
An employee development system is not an annual performance assessment. It is not long drawn out conversations about why someone needs to improve. I have 2 boys that play sports. I do my best to coach them both. When a player strikes out, as he’s walking back to the dug-out I often give him a quick piece of advice. Adjust your hands so you can get the bat around or shift your balance so you can get a more level swing. Something quick and immediate. I didn’t wait until the end of the season (like an annual review). We try to make corrections now so we can see improvements at his next at bat.
To continue with the coaching analogy, there is one coach, one piece of advice, and one conversation. I don’t overload the ball player with three for four pieces of advice. It’ll clutter his head, and he’ll certainly fail again next time. We don’t have every coach giving advice at the same time (I do see this at times). Again, keep it simple, direct and understandable. Normally the change doesn’t come immediate in a game, and that is OK. But at our next practice I remind the player what we needed to work on, then we practice it until we get it right.
As a coach I develop my players on a game by game, day by day system. I work to elevate performance, so at the end of the season we are better ball players. Hopefully at the end of each practice we are a little better. When creating an employee development system, these same fundamentals apply. A quick, simple, timely process for feedback, with the intent of elevating talent, will improve productivity, lower retention, and drive profits that you will see in your financial statements.
Companies pay consultants to come in and do employee engagement surveys. (find out how ours is different). Based on the results of the survey, leaders are encouraged to create action plans with their teams. The idea is to work on something that will get your team engaged and working towards a common goal. Most of the time, teams would pick something easy to do, something they knew they could accomplish without too much interference with their “real jobs.” As you might imagine, this didn’t really get teams engaged and had very little impact on actual engagement.
In most cases I observed that “focusing” on engagement often had the opposite result from the intended effect, and many times company leadership completely missed the point. The word “engagement” lost its true meaning and become a chore. Engagement isn’t about one more thing to do. Engagement is about building commitment and loyalty to a project or a company. Engaged employees give that discretionary effort needed to see a plan succeed under any circumstances.
Believe it or not, your people like to be held accountable. Holding them accountable for doing their job is a sure-fire sign that their job is important. Accountability leads people to strive to do better. It isn’t necessarily the fear of being held accountable that motivates someone to succeeded. Success builds confidence and momentum. People genuinely like to be successful and it makes them feel good. We can all appreciate this, as we’ve all had days that were successful and others that just went down the drain. Which one makes you feel better at the end of the day?
Holding people accountable means, you, as the leader, need to hold yourself accountable. Hold regular meetings, or whatever form you use for accountability and stick to it. If you ask someone to finish a project by the end of the month and wait until the end of the month to check for status, don’t be surprised when your team member lets you down. They let you down, because you didn’t tell them the project was important. Therefore, develop a schedule and a system for accountability, follow it, and watch your engagement soar.
This Week’s Challenge
Is your team working at maximum efficiency? In which areas could you improve performance? Do you know the root cause of the lack of performance?
Give us a call for an assessment and consultation and see how you can start improving your bottom line.
If you would like to discuss more ways to help your business grow or if you feel you have a specific problem that needs to be addressed, please reach out to me.