Many leaders have wondered why their teams are not performing up to their expectations. The answer may be closer to home than you think.
When I was in my early twenties, a few of my friends and I decided to take a weekend off and go to Daytona Beach. Who doesn’t love the feel of getting some time off for some rest and relaxation?
We took off from Tampa where we all live and began the scheduled two-hour journey. As I was driving us there, we were goofing off, having fun, and full of expectations for a great weekend.
Then something happened. I saw a sign on the interstate for Miami. We had been going in the wrong direction, and none of us knew it.
Sadly, the same things happen in the workplace. Employees come to work each day, put in a good day’s work, all the while going in the wrong direction.
You as the leader can help change that be helping your team in these three areas:
1. Know what their job is.
This sounds basic, but according to a Gallup study of over two million employees, “‘only about half of the employees strongly indicate that they do.” This means that one out of every two employees doesn’t confidently know what is expected of them. This same study also found that managers were just as likely to not know what was expected of them.
Just to get to first base, they should have a clear job description, but this alone is not enough. They need you as the leader to provide continual clarity on what they are supposed to do, how what they are doing impacts the company’s overall objective, and how they are making a difference.
2. Affirmed when they are doing a good job.
Yes, employees should do their jobs whether or not they are praised for their effort, but we all want to know we are appreciated and are doing our job. Studies show the companies that have good cultures of recognition have a 31% lower voluntary turnover rate.
So if you see someone who hit it out of the park recently, let them know.
Don’t be general about what they did by saying, “good job Tracy.” Instead, tell them specifically what they did, why it stood out, and how it impacted your organization’s mission.
That could look like this: “Tracy, I wanted to thank you for following through with that client of ours. I know they were pretty demanding, but like a champ, you pushed through the challenge, and they were elated with the outcome. Because of what you did, that company has signed a contract to use our services for the next two years. You have not only benefited our team, but you have shown another client why our company stands out.”
If you are in a non-profit or ministry, most of the work is done by those who volunteer their time. An affirmation may look like this: “Susie, I saw what you did for that single mom last week. She got to church just a few minutes before service began and realized she had no diapers in her diaper bag for her youngest. Instead of just saying, ‘oh no!’ You went the extra mile to ask a mom you know if she could spare a diaper. That single mom may not remember everything from the service, but she will remember how God showed his love through you. Your devotion to helping others has not only had an impact on that mom, but you solidified even more why she chooses to come to our church. Thank you for allowing Jesus to shine through you.”
One last recommendation on this subject; be genuine with your praise. If you are just checking off a box, people can tell.
3. Developed to do their job better.
Companies should be intentionally developing their team members to be the best version of themselves. As the employee get better, the company does.
This should not be the motive, team members should be developed for their benefit. More than a job, employees should be developed so they could reach higher heights.
Managers should have consistent meetings with their team members to help develop their strengths. Managers should also provide avenues for additional training; workshops, seminars, and conferences. When an employee knows that you are developing them for their benefit, they more likely to stay engaged.
Your team’s effectiveness will be largely impacted by whether or not these three things become part of your culture. Take a moment today and think about how you could improve in these three areas.
I would love to hear from you about how you accomplish any of these three areas in your organization.
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