Most businesses have reached a state where the business is no longer growing. Year after year, the team’s performance has reached a plateau and they have lost their desire to improve. This is normally because many of the business owners have not set new goals for the business and are busy working ‘in’ their business, rather than ‘on’ it. Here are six tips on how to re-energise your team and your business:
1) Be a strong leader. Stop managing and start leading your team with passion and responsibility. Leaders “do the right thing” while managers “do things right”. Start by communicating to the team regularly. Be visible and available to them and catch them doing the right things. Reward them with an honest ‘well done’ and ‘thank you’.
2) Create Common Vision and Goals. As Steven Covey said, “Begin with the end in mind”. What is the vision that you have for your business this coming year? Start with where you want your business to be financially. How does this vision then translate to the products, technology, markets and most importantly the kind of people you need for your organization? Once you have mapped out your strategies, communicate this to the team. Inspire and enroll them and get their commitment to support the vision.
3) Have an Action Plan. Most business owners are running their business like Christopher Columbus…. They have a rough idea of where they are now; have a vague idea of where they want to go. They beg, borrow, and steal money to get started; sail off into the sunset and either fall off the edge of the earth or reach land somewhere. Business owners should take the military approach to planning: determine exactly what your goals and objectives are; know precisely where you are starting from; budget your resources so that you don’t run out half way to your destination and get advice from specialists who will help to plan a campaign that includes constant measuring and monitoring of progress so that success will be guaranteed.
4) Support Risk Taking. Once the plan is in place, i.e. you know WHO need to do WHAT by WHEN, trust your team members and delegate responsibilities to them. Keep progress in check by having regular, scheduled progress updates and track key performance indicators (KPI) of the team and tangible results generated. Ensure that the team knows what is expected by making the rules of the game clear. If actions needs to be taken, do it early before the whole team discovers that you are miles off-course from your goals and morale is affected.
5) Stay Above the Line. Both managers and team members must be pro-active and take ‘ownership’ of the tasks, are ‘accountable’ for results achieved, and are ‘responsible’ to the team. These are traits of those that stay ‘Above the Line’. Those who act “below the line” ,‘blame’ others, offer ‘excuses’ and ‘deny’ it is their fault. Ensure that everyone in the team knows that staying ‘Above the Line’ is the number 1 rule of the game.
6) Encourage the Kaizen spirit. ‘Kaizen’ is continuous improvement in Japanese. Only through constant and never ending improvement can we see long lasting impact of any endeavor. Encourage every team member to improve their skills, or to seek new skills. Provide training and incentives for team members to improve. Tie performance improvement to performance ranking and finally performance rank to pay and benefits. The only true asset that an organization have is their people, so why not increate its value by investing in its development.
Unless the business owner does something different with their business and team members, their future will remain the same as their past. If you want a different future for your organization, implement the above 6 steps and watch your team fly.
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