I hope the title of this week’s article caught your attention. The truth is most teams today really do fall somewhere between 100% and good enough. This statement is true in regard to a team’s innovation, cohesiveness, problem solving and even reaching results. The easy reason is the obvious one: we’re all human and there is no such thing as perfection. And yes, that is true, but too often teams rarely excel above good enough and striving toward perfection (100%) rarely happens.
Can you relate? If you are reading this article, chances are you are not settling for “good enough” but you may be frustrated because your team has slowly settled to a place that falls in that difficult in between place.
Well this post is for you. If you are looking for a “pick me up” and some ideas to kick-start your team’s morale and effectiveness…read on.
Leading (and managing) people is tough. In fact, I’m convinced if most of us knew how difficult the job was we may not have taken it. Yet at the same time, leading others can be tremendously rewarding when a breakthrough occurs and results begin to appear-both at an individual and team level.
So, why are most teams stuck somewhere between 100% and good enough?
The team doesn’t understand where it is going.
It’s called many things: vision, direction, strategic plan and others. Regardless of your terminology, your team needs to know what it is working toward. Go beyond the day-to-day operations and let them know what the next 3-6 months hold. What new customers are you pursuing? Is there a new product or service under review? Where do you see the revenues and profits of the team in the next few months and what will those $$ mean to the team? Without this information, complacency and routine set in. Employees begin to just show up for the eight hours they must give in exchange for a paycheck. And that routine translates to a “good enough” mindset.
Every team member doesn’t understand how their individual role fits into the big picture.
Want to encourage a 99.9% mindset? Help each member of your team believe and know what they do every day has purpose. While every role has tasks that fill up the day, employees need to understand how those tasks link to something bigger. Help a customer service representative understand how answering client questions every day impacts the success of your company. Help your housekeeper understand how important his job is to the company’s brand. People want to be part of something bigger than themselves and that desire extends to the workplace. The more connected your employees feel, the greater opportunity to give you 100%.
Poor performance is tolerated.
The greatest contributor to lackluster effort can be traced to your employee’s co-worker. When your employee gives his/her best but sees other co-workers 1) not giving their best and 2) not being held accountable for their poor performance, questions naturally come to mind. Why should I give 100% if my co-worker doesn’t? At the end of the day, we make similar pay so what’s the point? This thought process doesn’t happen overnight but gradually over time. And the result? Effort, focus and job performance slowly decrease from 100% to good enough.
One last thought for today’s article. The principles described apply to every employee on your team. What happens if one person on your team has the mindset that “good enough” is acceptable in his/her performance? Worse yet, what happens if every person on your team thinks the same? Can you afford the cost? Maybe…if you think the same way too. But I’m betting that’s not you. Here’s to your journey to 100%.