It's no secret that your staff’s performance can make or break the success of your business.
But how do you get your people to be top performers?
While there are lots of ways you can reward and motivate people, the best way to drive long-term performance is to take a holistic approach to managing your workforce. The following tips will help you build a dynamic, hard-working team that consistently delivers exceptional results.
Plan your workforce.
Great teams aren't created by chance. You have to plan ahead. Look at your business. What kind of people will you need one month from today? How about three months, six, or even twelve months down the road? How many people will you need—and in what positions? What kinds of performance levels, attitudes and aptitudes will you require? Think of it as filling a bus that will be driven to ensure you reach your objectives. Create a list of the specific criteria for your high performance workforce, along with a plan of how you are going to go about filling the seats on your bus.
Study the bus.
Look at your team as a group of people on a bus. Do you have the right people on the bus? Are there any weeds? As any gardener knows, weeds can threaten the health of a garden. They consume vital nutrients and steal the life from other plants. An employee with a bad attitude is no different. Their negative energy drains people, and in the long run, hurts your business. Make sure you get those “weeds” off the bus. Get rid of naysayers and people with "can't do" attitudes—and you will see an immediate improvement in morale, performance, and profit.
Are the players in the right seats on the bus?
To get top performance, focus on each staff member’s positive qualities and make sure that they are in the “seats” or positions that utilize and maximize their strengths. The more you focus on your staff members’ positive qualities, the greater their morale and performance will be.
Teach your staff to see problems as exciting opportunities for improvement.
Every organization has problems. The key is to notice the problems, without dwelling on the negative. When someone spots a problem, bring your team together to brainstorm solutions. Point out how you can make changes to make your business stronger and more successful. And most importantly, don't shoot the messenger. Recognize and show appreciation for people who bring problems to your attention.
Practice and expect open and honest communication.
As a leader, you set the example for how your entire team communicates. Communicate openly, honestly, clearly, and with the commitment to address the greater good of your business and those on your team will communicate the same way
A quarterback needs his receivers. A pitcher needs his fielders. Even a golfer needs her caddy. Studies have shown that groups of people working together produce significantly greater results than people working independently. As a leader, you need to not just build a great team, but also get your team actively into the game. Share your vision. Involve others in solving problems. And delegate responsibilities that allow everyone to contribute to the success of the organization.
Institute and uphold employee responsibilities, guidelines, and company policies.
One of the biggest reasons employees fail to meet expectations is because they were never clearly told what was expected of them in the first place. At a minimum, every employee should review the employee handbook and appropriate paperwork that clearly delineates their daily responsibilities and company policies. Even better is to make sure every employee is provided with a clear, written list of expectations that is specific to each project they are assigned. Then, their performance should be objectively measured against those expectations.