3 Keys to Getting Results from Your Team
What’s the most important tool for a leader, manager or owner of a business?
Hands down, it’s the ability to effectively communicate.
Wouldn’t it be great if you could simply say a thing to people—just once…and it would stick?
Ah, but that’s just not real life.
Fortunately, Dave is back with another proven strategy gleaned from his decades of experience as a Fortune 500 executive.
Communicating Ideas, Instruction and Insights to Your Team
You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know
Most of the time, people in leadership believe their teams have a keen understanding about the mission, about directives, goals…about everything.
But the truth is, that’s not always the case. In fact, it’s not even close.
As we talked about in an earlier post, for most teams, there’s often a huge disconnect between what leadership wants—and how the team understands those wants.
The major issue is that managers and leaders don’t see the gap.
They assume everyone’s on the same page. The same is true for the team—just ask them.
Boss: “Do you understand the goal here?”
Team member: “Yes, of course.”
See? They get it.
Fortunately, there are a few astute leaders who do recognize the gap between the actual message and what teams understand about that message.
But often in those cases, managers believe the problem is with the people on the team.
The staff or employees are:
- Too lazy
- Just don’t care
- Too busy socializing
- Not a team player
- Insert other theory here_____
That “understanding” lends itself to frustration and anger, which inevitably leads to friction within the business, a true decline in motivation, and often increased staff turnover.
3 Keys to Unlocking Understanding & Getting Results
The first key to getting everyone on the same page is your ability to effectively communicate to and with your team.
Your messaging, and how it’s delivered to your staff, makes a huge difference for your productivity and profitability.
Second, follow-up. We have to see our message being converted into action on the floor. Coach in the moment.
The third key is consequences. Both positive and negative.
So, how do we get it done?
The one-time you’ll have everyone’s focused attention is right at the beginning of the shift.
Shift meetings should happen every single day—without exception.
There’s a very specific (and effective) way to conduct staff meetings.
This simple plan is taken from a chapter in The Bar Shift:
- Keep it short (5 minutes max)
- Tight agenda (2-3 topics)
- Check for understanding
- Q & A
Here’s what it might look like:
- Tell ’em what you’re going to tell ’em
- Tell ’em
- Tell ’em what you told ’em
Tell them what you’re going to tell them:
“Hey, everyone! I have 3 things to cover today”:
- change in the wine list
- time-off requests
- POS keying errors
“First we changed the wine list to include…..
Next, if you need time off, you must follow….
Finally, we appreciate your feedback to adding new keys in the system and….”
Tell them what you told them:
“So, we reviewed the wine list, time-off requests, and the POS system.
Joe, what are the changes to the wine list?
Kirsten, describe the time-off policy.
Rod, what are the new keys we added?”
The key to effective shift meetings:
How to Make the Message Stick
Repetition, even to the point of redundancy, is crucial if you want the message to stick.
It would be great if you only had to say a thing once, and people would remember it forever, but…
- How many times do you need tell your teenage son to take out the trash?
- Remind your spouse about an upcoming event?
It’s not (necessarily) that people aren’t listening to you. It’s just human nature that we have to hear something over and over before it sticks.
Reinforcing the message is important. Not only do you need to be sure people hear the message, you’ve got to be able to see it in action,
Coach in the moment.
When you see staff doing the thing—give them a pat on the back!
Reward the behavior and make sure everyone else sees it, too!
The reverse is also true.
When it’s not happening, bring the team member aside and remind them (again) about the thing.
Don’t give them all the answers.
Ask them about it, try to elicit responses that will help reinforce the message. Have them say back to you the outcome you expect.
Confirming they understand the message in their own words is a great follow-up tool!
Before we get to consequences—make sure you don’t miss the most important step: Leadership.
Between the communication and the consequence (positive or negative) it’s your job to manage expectations, to coach your team and to bring them along in the process.
Now, assuming you’ve done your job, you’ve repeatedly and clearly communicated a message, you’ve coached your team and reinforced the message, and you’re starting to see it click with your team.
Reward those behaviors in the moment, and as well in your shift meetings.
Remember, talented people want to work with other talented people. When you get the messaging right, and the team responds and delivers, you’ll see a snowball effect.
But what happens when there are a few folks in the mix who still don’t get it?
Well, it’s clear then that you’ll have some decisions to make as to how long that relationship is going to continue.
It’s also your job to trim the fat when necessary—the snowball call roll both ways.
How constructive or even negative consequences work in your business is unique to you. It could involve a performance improvement plan, or it may be a situation that warrants immediate termination.