Tag Archives | team training

Improve staff performance in your business

  • Are you frustrated with poor staff performance in your business?
  • Have you given your team members tools to do their role, but they still under-perform and miss their KPIs?
  • Do you sometimes wonder if it’s time to let certain staff go?

At times it’s easy to assume your staff just don’t care enough to do their job well. Before you decide to move them on, make sure you’ve given them every opportunity to succeed.

As a leader or manager, it’s your responsibility to improve staff performance by providing team members with training and support to do their role. It’s their responsibility to be interested and take every opportunity to improve their skills. Coaching will help them develop their own abilities, and add more value to your business.

So how do you improve staff performance?

During your weekly one-on-one meeting is an ideal time to coach your team members (if you aren’t doing this, request our e-book “The 4 habits of highly effective managers” for a guide to effective  meetings with your staff).

First, introduce the idea. “Ben, I’m going to coach you to help you improve your skills, and effectiveness in your role. It’s part of increasing productivity, which is my job as a leader in this business.” Of course, you can put that in your own words. Good team members will welcome any opportunity to improve, so if you get pushback at this stage you could question why they don’t want to be better at their role.

Now you’ve introduced the concept of coaching, how do you implement it? There are four steps.

1. Collaborate to set a goal

The idea is cooperation, not dictatorship. Start with “Let’s set some goals”, not, “Here’s what I want you to do by December.” People are much more likely to implement a plan when they’ve contributed to it from the start.

Together, decide on a behaviour or result to achieve, and set a date to have it done by. Your employee might state: “I want to be proficient at our new software by 30th June.”

2. Brainstorm resources

Brainstorming is all about quantity of ideas, not quality. Ask your team member to write down all the possible resources they have to achieve that goal. They should include anything that comes to mind, without evaluation. In 2 or 3 minutes a good brainstorming list could have 20+ ideas. In our software example their options might include seeking help and training from a colleague, watching video tutorials, or taking a course.

improve staff performance3. Create a plan

From this bucket of ideas, discuss which are feasible, and which the employee will act on. Once you’ve narrowed it down to a few, create a short-term plan (up to 4 weeks). Start with about 3 or 4 steps with deadlines.

Ensure the tasks the employee sets for themselves are small, specific, and achievable. Even short tasks such as researching are steps towards the goal. “Get online and find 3 books that might be helpful, by Monday next week” is more achievable than “read 3 books by next week”.

4. The employee acts

It’s now up to the team member to do the work, and report back to you on their progress at a mutually agreed time (their next one-on-one meeting is ideal).

Remember that you are the coach, not the teacher. To improve staff performance, it’s not always up to you to suggest options and find information, but to coach your team members to decide what they’ll do. (And remember they may do things differently than you, which is fine as long as the desired result is achieved!)

Coaching your team members takes the pressure off you, as the leader or manager, to provide all the resources your employees need to succeed. It helps your team recognise their own options, plan their own actions and timeframes, and feel the rewards of achievement.

As your team members take more responsibility for their own learning, they will increase their ability, so you have more time to grow and develop your business.

A high-performing business needs individuals all working at their peak. Business moves fast, and if your team aren’t constantly improving, you may fall behind your competition. To have a healthy, evolving business, team development is not an option, it’s a necessity!

Speak to us about team development in your business. 

Do you still want a dream team of employees in your business?

Do you want a team of high-performing employees in your business? 

Have you got some star players, but a few stragglers bringing the team down? 

Do you want to stop “oiling the squeaky wheel” so you can spend time developing your key staff?

When you started out in business you dreamed of having a team of passionate people working with you to build the best business in your field. If you’re like most business leaders, sadly after a few years you’ve found the reality falls short of what you’d hoped for.

Some business owners resign themselves to the notion that having a great team just isn’t possible.

Better employees, better business

But we believe having a great team isn’t only possible, but a certainty when you implement the right systems and manage your team in an effective way.

The team you’ve got today is a result of the standards you’ve set until now. Are you ready to stop settling for second-rate performance from your staff?

To get a different outcome you’ll need to do different things. Are you ready to do what it takes to get your team to either step up or step out?

Follow our tips below to get them moving in the right direction …

Leadership, employees

How to create a high-performing team …

The first step is to ensure each team member knows what great performance looks like. You can ensure this by providing them with the following:

1. Team Culture Statement

Every team has a culture, whether it’s defined or not. Unfortunately sometimes it’s a toxic one! The behaviour you’ve settled for means that the original standards of performance you set may have slipped. As new employees join your business, they follow the ‘norm’ of how everyone else is behaving rather than performing at the level you’d like.

It’s important that you create a culture statement in your business that outlines expected behaviour. We call this the Rules of the Game.

Our culture statement includes our non-negotiable values, including excellence and fun. Each team meeting we assess how we’ve lived up to those standards, and how we’ve observed it in each other.

A culture statement isn’t merely a laminated piece of paper on your office wall, or a statement on your website! It must be the ingrained way of ‘how we do things around here’.

2. Position Descriptions

As your business has grown, you may not have taken the time to record what each person’s position involves. Even if someone has been doing a role for years, it’s essential that their duties and main areas of responsibility are visible to them and their team-mates. This avoids the notion that ‘someone should ….’ and lets everyone know who is responsible for what.

As well as a position description, an updated organisation chart should be provided to each employee so they can clearly see where their role fits within the business, and their reporting lines.

3. Key Performance Indicators

In addition to knowing the rules of the game, key responsibilities and where they fit in the organisation, it’s essential that employees know how and when how they will be assessed on their performance.

A document outlining key performance indicators for their role should be provided to each employee and reviewed at regular intervals.

KPIs should include not only the technical aspects of their role, but also categories such as customer service, admin and systems, WHS, and team membership.

Most business owners hire for skills but fire for behaviour. Have you ever employed a brilliant technician who despite their great technical skills was terrible at customer service, who your other team members didn’t like, or who rarely completed time sheets or followed systems?

Ensuring each team member knows the expectation of them in each of these categories means that you can manage them up or out based on any area of their performance.

Download our e-book “How To Get A Great Team Culture: Bringing Out The Best In Your Team” 

Leadership, teamwork, employees

 

Keeping standards high
How to ensure they stay on track

When you set guidelines for your team by providing a team culture statement, position descriptions and KPIs, you’ll find that your team members either rise to the challenge or deselect themselves.

It’s not unusual for a few changes to occur in your team when standards are raised and enforced.

This is a positive step forward, as now you can recruit new people who will perform from the outset according to your high standards and expectations.

To ensure continued excellence, you can then:

  • Maintain standards using regular communication
  • Give feedback to adjust or encourage performance
  • Coach your team members to improve their performance, and
  • Delegate effectively to grow your employees’ abilities.

Find out how by downloading our e-book: The 4 Essential Habits of Effective Managers.

 

Is It Time To Get The Employees You Deserve?
Yellow Coaching will help
Yellow Coaching assists established businesses and organisations of every size to improve their team culture, business efficiency, effectiveness, and profitability.

We do this through business coaching, executive mentoring, team training, and workshops for owners and staff at all levels within organisations.

We’ve helped hundreds of businesses improve their profitability, provide outstanding customer service, and get happier and more productive employees.

Want to take your business from good to great? Get in touch to see if you’re eligible for a free 90 minute consultation. We look forward to hearing from you.

Andrew Masi & Julianne Schwenke

Why You Don’t Want Satisfied Customers

7 Reasons to Improve Your Customer Service in 2017

Matthew had an anniversary surprise for his wife – a limousine trip to the city, dinner at a fancy restaurant, and a night in a suite at a 5-star hotel. He had planned it for weeks, and was excited to spoil her with a special weekend away.

A week later we ran into them and asked her how it was. “It was satisfactory” she said. When she saw us exchange puzzled glances, she explained, “I was satisfied with the food, the room and the service.”

customer service

Now exactly the response Matt was hoping for!

And the restaurant and hotel probably wouldn’t be too happy with her feedback either.

Now of course this is a metaphor, and hopefully any thoughtful person would at least act more excited about such a kind gesture from their spouse.

But let’s relate this to business for a moment. You started your business to romance your customers and provide them with something special, right? A quality product, outstanding service, and enough ‘wow’ factor to keep them coming back and telling all their friends.

Most business owners start out excited to provide something exemplary, and to delight their customers.

But somewhere along the way they get jaded. Customer complaints trickle in despite their best efforts, and it seems some customers are just never happy. Their energy and effort slips, and so does the level of customer service. And when team members see the business owner feeling defeated, they also drop their standards.

Sound familiar?

Even if you haven’t given up completely, you may be thinking that if your customers are satisfied that’s all you can hope for. But wouldn’t you rather have delighted customers?

We believe that if you want a successful business, it’s not only desirable, but essential that you focus on customer service.

Here are 7 reasons to focus on improving the customer service your business provides in 2017…

Untitled

1. People have a lot of choice

Unless you have a truly unique product or service, or are the only provider in your region, people will have other options. If you don’t give them the level of customer service they want, someone else will. You might remember the Soup Nazi from Seinfeld and think that if your product is good enough, people will come regardless! Rarely is a product that incredible (and if you have one, you’ll know about it).

2. Word gets around

We’ve heard that a dissatisfied customer will tell between 9 and 15 people about their experience. That’s in person. Now with online communication they could reach 2000 or even 200,000 easily. If you don’t believe us, read about American restaurant chain Applebees’ social media crisis.

This example also shows how important your online response to customer service complaints is – you want to calm the storm, not fuel the fire!

customer service

3. When you do it right, it’s free advertising

Happy customers don’t spread the word as far and wide as unhappy ones, but word still gets around. It’s human nature to ask people for recommendations, as we don’t want to make a mistake when choosing from several options. How often have you asked a friend what butcher they go to, their favourite restaurant, or how a movie was? Social proof is the psychological concept of trusting what others say and wanting to go with majority opinion (and people believe what others say about your business far more than what your advertising says!).

4. Happy customers are less sensitive to price increases

One mistake businesses can make is increasing prices without first considering if their customers are happy. As their customers leave in droves, they hear “you give us an ordinary product and bad service, and now you want to charge us more for it?” When customers love what you offer they will be more likely to stick with you when inevitable price rises occur.

5. You outplay your competition

While we don’t advocate a business strategy based solely on crushing your competitors, we do encourage you to be the absolute best you can be. When you continually improve your levels of customer service, your customers will be less likely to shop elsewhere.

6. It meets two fundamental human needs

Anthony Robbins talks about the six needs that drive human behaviour. Two of these are the need for significance and contribution. By giving great customer service, you contribute to the happiness of your customer and the success of the business. You are also likely to feel significant when your customer, employer or P&L is grateful for your efforts! We believe the majority of customer complaints occur when the customer does not feel valued or heard. Great customer service makes people feel important to you, meeting their need for significance.

7. Because it’s what we’re designed to do …

This quote from Winston Churchill sums it up:

customer service

And Albert Einstein said, “The high destiny of the individual is to serve rather than to rule.” Who are we to argue with a genuis?

– Andrew Masi & Julianne Schwenke