One of the challenges many small businesses face is being able to rely on their staff to get the job done. Achieving consistency in delivery of a product or service can be a real challenge, especially when it comes to the different levels of skill within the business. When you combine issues such as illness or absenteeism those challenges are compounded even more. Developing a team for success is an ongoing process especially as the business grows and the market changes around us. Nothing stays the same and if there is one thing I learned managing a team of 50 people, it’s often easier to work regularly on your team than to wait until you have a raft of problems that need fixing.
Here are the Top 5 simple things to try in your business to get an uplift in performance across your team and deliver more consistency and drive more profit:
Create a weekly One on One meeting per employee for at least 30 minutes.
As business owners, we generally have a pretty good idea of the strengths and weaknesses of certain people within the team. The challenge for many of us is just making the time to spend with staff members to improve their performance. We might grab 5 minutes here or there but it’s never really enough to drive the change we need to enable an uplift in performance and we wonder why things never improve? My best advice is GET ON THE FRONT FOOT make the time to work with your employees and you’ll notice the benefits sooner than you might realise. Make a few notes of what you want to cover in each meeting and collate feedback during the week. I always found having a set time per week for each employee built an easy routine for all of us and it became part of our week especially for new employees or team members who needed a bit more support. As the business owner, you are the one with most of the knowledge. You are strongly aware of your business plan and goals, therefore how you want the business to perform. The more you share this knowledge with your team the sooner you will escalate the performance of the business.
Compare the skills required for the role to the team members skills
Before the first meeting compare the current skills of the employee to the key things the job requires. Often a position description gives clarity to both you the business owner and the employee around what is expected to deliver results for the business. It can be as simple as listing the key tasks or skills on a piece of paper and then comparing it to the current skill set of the employee. The benefits of doing this task is that you are able to easily see the areas that need to be worked on and quite often it’s these areas that once strengthened, really drive an uplift in performance and improve confidence for the employee as well. Don’t underestimate what a lack of knowledge or a clear direction in a role does to someone’s confidence.
Decide if the team member in question has what it takes to step up and deliver what’s needed in the role:
It’s never a nice thing to do, but the reality is sometimes when we review the list, we do question ourselves as to whether the employee has the ability to meet the requirements of the job. Depending on what level of feedback you have given your team in the past, you will have legal obligations to follow under the Fairwork ACT about managing performance. If you’ve never given your employee realistic feedback about their performance then it is a good opportunity to sit down with the employee and give them your feedback and to seek feedback from them about their performance and what they think they can do to improve. If you’re both committed to moving forward then make the time to work together weekly to address issues and review the timing of the meetings once the performance starts to improve. It is via this process that you may be able to give a written warning to the employee should the performance not improve. Remember you need to provide at least 3 written warnings to the employee with the suitable time given to address the concern.
For specific advice on HR requirements talk to companies like HR Advice Online who are perfect for small businesses that need the right HR advice on demand.
Create a plan and set some goals for achievement:
Depending on the type of role in question it is often good to have a clear plan of attack so that both parties are clear on what is required for the role. If it’s a sales job then having things like a monthly budget and set numbers of calls/leads might help. If it’s an internal role such as internal customer service you may wish to establish some minimum performance KPIs such as an amount of calls taken, closed opportunities or a customer satisfaction indicator would be a good way of setting a benchmark for the team. Once these measurements are in place spend your weekly or fortnightly sessions looking at the details and the performance and give feedback to the employee on what they did well and where they may be able to improve. For example, if a sales person is making 50 calls a week but isn’t getting any orders or new business have a look at the information in the call report and see where the problem may lie.
Remember sense isn’t common so don’t assume your team will do things the same way you do – unless you coach them!
Book in the training:
Staff development is often one of the key drivers in employee satisfaction surveys. Having the core skills to do your job at the highest level drives the best performance in today’s competitive market. Please, please don’t look at training as a COST! If you’ve identified it as a vital skill of the role and your team member needs the training then please look at setting a budget for training for the year and prioritise the spending by importance to the business to deliver your goals. There may even be a state of federal subsidy available depending on the course so be sure to talk to the registered training organisation when you’re researching your options. Just promoted someone to a new manager role? Often, it’s the best performers who get promoted but often don’t receive any extra training to be able to handle the extra responsibility and it can lead to failure. Make sure these people at least do a course that’s relevant to being a new manager to help kick start their performance.
For more assistance in driving more productivity in your business contact Paul @ Striive Consulting today and learn how to supercharge your business in 2017. Read more about business consultant and Striive founder, Paul Coniglio.