This week’s episode provides a great follow up to our conversation with Janet Rives and her business plan tips for leaders. Communication was an integral part of our conversation. So in this week’s episode, we’ll talk about some specific items your team needs communicated from you. And we’ll provide some action steps with each one.
Your team routinely asks these questions about you and the team and the answers to those questions are critical to their level of commitment or engagement to you and the team’s efforts.
* How does our team or you the leader handle adversity?
* Do I really have a future here (regardless of my career aspirations)
* If given the choice to work anywhere, why do I choose here?
Because of those ongoing questions in the back of every employee’s mind, here are three things you can do as the team’s leader to encourage positive answers to those questions and in turn, impact positive results with your team.
#1 They need Honest and Timely Information
In a time of instant communication and information, the pressure is even greater of leaders to keep the team updated. Choose a designated timeframe (quarterly, monthly) to provide formal updates to the team. Ensure you include a “State of the Business” – that communicates how the team is doing toward its 2-3 key metrics. Share the state of your surroundings. What are others in your industry doing? What trends can be helpful for the team to understand? Finally, let them know what is on the team or company’s horizon. What new markets or products/services are being explored (that shows opportunity)? Is the company planning to grow or expand? Or, is it honing any area of the business? These updates keep them in the loop. When you are providing updates on a regular basis, you eliminate the need for them to make their own or talk to others and create assumptions on your success or progress.
#2 Your employees also need the confidence you have their best interests at heart.
This important element of trust is built based on the feedback you give them that no one else will. This ongoing feedback allows your employee to be successful and is likely those messages no one else is willing to tell them.
#3 They need to see signs of action or progress across the organization
Find ways to help them see how the tasks they do every day contribute to the team’s major metrics – even indirectly, how they contribute to a bigger picture. One of the best ways teams do this is the discipline of addressing recurring problems. When a service error occurs or the team misses a target, slow the world down and dissect the misstep – not in the attempt to cast blame but to fix the problem. And here’s how progress occurs. The team has the discipline to address the actions that need focus. This is one of the toughest items to sustain but that discipline to stop a task or action (and perhaps one the team has done for years) is sometimes the best progress that can be made.
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