Everyone who runs a business says the hardest thing about growing is building a team. I disagree. I think anyone can build a team. What is hard, is building a good team, and harder still, a team of superstars!
Very few owners would say they have superstars, despite all business owners we work with wanting one. So why isn’t it happening? What helps a team pull together and deliver according to McKinsey, the 1.9X performance of a top team*.
Let’s look at some ideas to help close the gap.
Being able to state what great performance looks like is a big first step. It also lets’ you write job ads to attract the right talent, set expectations for the successful candidate and allows you to be clear in interviews about what you are looking for.
Once they start in the role you can also remove any poor assumptions from prior experiences. Providing clarity about what a successful team member does and does not do sets your team up for success with objective performance criteria.
Onboarding new staff takes time, and typically from your most valuable team members (especially you, if you are the senior manager). Perhaps the biggest waste of time we see is that this onboarding is done repeatedly for each new team member.
Using video is a great way to eliminate this double handling and reduce this time suck in your business. Simply record some training talks you give to new employees on general training and then record common tasks that most employees need to do. Then upload them into an operations tool.
The next time you do an onboarding you simply ask the employee to watch the videos, then confirm they have done so and you can reduce the time spent one-on-one for your most valuable people.
Delivering training digitally also provides a record of who has been instructed for each area of training. Good for the team to ensure nothing gets missed, and good for the business to verify it was completed.
A great technique we are seeing more of is micro-training where targeted video of specific actions is attached to specific activities.
Again, a good mobile operations tool will allow you to attach training or coaching videos to certain activities for safety, quality or efficiency to ensure staff are reminded exactly how to do an activity well.
Regular and constructive feedback
If you have coached a team you will know that you are giving constant, constructive feedback. You are clear about what great performance looks like, your team should be clear, and you have shared goals.
If you put these in place you can then use accurate compliance monitoring of duties completed, client feedback and remedial work to ensure your team are constantly learning.
Involving client feedback is also a great way to keep issues small and direct your team to make the changes that meet the client’s expectations. And just like the coach on the sidelines, it is lots of micro-feedback that is on point and in the moment that directs the team to make the adjustments to go from great to superstars.
Make it two-way and whole team
Inviting the team to help shape onboarding, training and processes is essential. As team members step up to ‘own’ their work, it empowers good staff to be involved in creating the procedures based on their experiences.
By having a shared vision of success and benchmarks you can readily measure if changes lead to improvements in quality, safety, time or costs.
Where issues are persistent on a site or task the team can be a brilliant source of innovation. Consider asking them to suggest improvements.
The more we can have the team empowered and responsible for continuous improvement, the more we can rely on them to adhere to their own work practices in the field.
As in any business practice, being able to make it very clear what you need is critical to aligning your team around your desired outcome.
This does take time to shape and share, but is time well spent. And having a tool to capture coaching, training, induction and compliance is essential to provide ongoing feedback to create superstars from the people in your team.
Martin Callan is CEO of www.getfreshOps.com
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