If you’re running a business with a team of employees, you want to make sure they’re maximising their productivity. We’ve been working closely with businesses of all sizes for many years, and during that time we’ve noticed the things which successful companies do, which sets them apart from the rest.
1. Vision & Mission Statements
A Vision and Mission Statement are one of the first things in business you need to create.
I believe these need to be documented and positioned on a wall in your business for all customers, suppliers and team members to see.
A Mission Statement defines the company’s business, its objectives and its approach to reach those objectives. A Vision Statement describes the desired future position of the company. Elements of Mission and Vision Statements are often combined to provide a statement of the company’s purposes, goals and values. However, sometimes the two terms are used interchangeably.
2. Weekly, Monthly and Annual Goals
Your goals need to be weekly, monthly, quarterly and annual, whatever works and fits in best with your business model.
Goals Need to be Achievable and Measurable
Your targets need to make your goals achievable and measurable. Don’t make them so easy that you can all just breeze through them and achieve them easily. They need to be achievable, and also stretch the team, to keep them focused so they can achieve the goals. This then gives them an awesome sense of feeling when they actually do achieve their goals. So make sure the goals are achievable and measurable, but they kind of need to be stretched a little bit to achieve them as well.
Set Goals for Financial, Milestones and Attitude
Make your goals financial, about work ethic, about attitude, and about milestones. Depending on the business you are in, you will have different milestones to achieve. Certainly, set out those milestones as goal for each team member depending on what area of your business they work in, and give encouragement and support to help them achieve these.
- Attitude – We need our team to have an awesome attitude, so set some goals around the mind-set and around the attitude that you would like your team to have.
- Work ethic – We want them all to be committed and dedicated teams so set some goals around work ethic. Make it really clear with what you expect and how things should be.
- Financial – If you have a sales team, then obviously, you need to set them some financial goals as well, so they can push forward and work towards them.
3. Share Them with the Team
Once you get all of these on paper, you need to share them with the team and get them on-board with what you want to do. When you’re passionate about this and when you have a plan to move everybody forward, you will be so surprised at how they’ll embrace this, when they know what to do, when they know what they’re aiming for, and they will really push forward with you.
So the ACTION for the first step is if you don’t have a vision and a mission statement, create one. Print them out, laminate them and put them up in the office wherever your customers, suppliers and team are going to see and read them, just to remind them what the goal is, what the attitude is, where you want to go, and what your company aspires to be. Make sure everybody is on-board with that.
4. Get Help from a HR Expert
This eliminates a lot of problems down the track if you get this bit right.
Why do you need a HR company on board? Because HR is becoming more and more of a minefield, and difficult to keep up with all the new laws and regulations.
With the help of a good HR person, you will be up to date and not susceptible to any kind of workplace claims against you for something that you just didn’t know.
Fairwork does not recognise ignorance as an excuse.
To recruit right, think about what you want from your team in terms or attitude, skills and work ethic.
You want them to have an awesome attitude, don’t you?
You want them to have a “Yes, we can do this. Yes, we’ll find a way. Yes, let’s make it happen” kind of an attitude.
So that is something that you absolutely have to look for in your recruiting program.
You need to design some questions around getting an answer that you’re looking for that would let this potential employee display what their attitude might be.
An example of a question might be something like scenario – “You finish work at 5 o’clock. It’s 4:30 in the afternoon. A customer phones and they need to come in, or they need you to do something for them ASAP which is going to take you well past the finishing time. What do you do?”
Just listen to what they say they will do, and pay attention to their body language when you ask the questions and when they answer.
Depending on what business you’re in, this could be a totally different scenario, but you get the idea?
That is the kind of questions that you want to ask them just to find out where their mind-set is at and what they would do.
This answer, if honest, will let you determine they basic attitude and commitment to their work.
Again, you always want your team to be accountable. We don’t play the blame game anywhere, especially at work.
We need the team to be accountable and again, you need to be asking some questions around accountability in your interview process, to see where their mind-set is at.
We talk about mind-set a lot, but mind-set is a huge thing when it comes to how the other team are going to respond to this new team member, how this new person is going to fit in with the other team and how they’re all going to blend, and work together as a solid team.
So, accountability is huge.
7. Work Ethic
We all have a set of working hours for our team, and we want our team work their set hours, and we want them to have great work ethic.
I sometimes go into businesses and see team members that are looking busy, but when you actually pay attention, and see what they’re doing, they’re not that busy. T We need someone who has a great work ethic, who doesn’t need to be told every single step of the day, every single thing that they have to do.
We need them to be able to think for themselves, know what their job is and just go ahead and get it done and, when they finish this, move on to something else and get it done.
We don’t want to be employing staff who, the minute they get a little a sniffle, they’re taking a sick day, for example.
So, work ethic is a huge thing and again, you can ask some questions around that just to give you a little bit of an idea, of how strong a work ethic they have.
8. Skill & Experience
Obviously, you will only be interviewing people that have the experience and skills in the position that you’re offering them.
This is so obvious, it’s a no brainer, right?
But let me tell you that they can have all the skills and all the experience that they need to do the job, but without the attitude, without the accountability and without the work ethic, they will just infect your team with the same kind of thinking, which will really hurt your business.
And once this kind of culture is in your business, it can be very difficult to turn it around, but it can be done, with a little pain along the way, as you introduce everything we have been talking about today so far.
So, your team need to have those three things as well as the obvious skills and experience they actually need to complete the job description that you’re offering them.
So, none of these is super easy to implement, and with everything that happens in the workplace today, you’re probably going to need a little bit of help from an HR company just to make sure that the questions that you’re asking all follow the interviewing guidelines.
THE ACTION FOR THAT IS GET A RECRUITMENT PLAN AND A QUESTIONNAIRE READY for your interviewing process for new team members.
Partner up with a great HR Company, (We have a couple of great HR Companies we can refer you to) and get something in place.
9. Encourage Positive Ideas
You want to get together for a team meeting on a regular basis, and, depending on your business, that might every morning, or It might be twice a week or once a week.
Certainly, you would want to do it at least once a week, and don’t stretch it out any longer than this.
Get together, talk about what’s happened the week before. Talk about what’s happening in the week coming up.
Maybe talk about some things that may have fallen over the week before. Why they did they fall over? How can we do them better, so we do have a repeat of what went wrong?
Get input from your team. They’re the people on the ground. They’re the people doing it. They will have ideas around how we can make this better, but you need to provide an environment where they feel happy and confident and they know that their ideas are going to be received and considered.
Encourage those ideas from the team. Kick those ideas around with everyone else. Get everyone else’s input, what might work, what are the possible downside of putting this new process in place? What’s the upside of putting this new process in place, and how are we going to implement it?
Work out a plan with them and how to implement it and who is responsible to implement it.
Implement it, put in progress for a month and revisit it.
Test and measure it, and make any changes you need to make it work better.
This will be empowering for your business and for your team members.
Give the team an environment where they feel comfortable to put their ideas forward. It makes them feel like they’re part of your business and part of your working family, and you will reap the rewards.
10. Have a Clear Set of Rules
Now, this is a really interesting one.
I say have a clear set of rules, guidelines and boundaries, and then, let them play inside the boundaries.
I like to use an analogy like a football field or a netball court, just for example.
There are boundaries within the field or boundaries on the court and rules.
So, the team know the rules and the boundaries and they understand the rules of the game.
Then, let them play inside the boundaries.
So, you want everyone to have the same boundaries, and the same playing field, but let them be creative inside that.
They then don’t feel restricted by the rules and afraid to do anything to step out of the box.
They can make decisions without having to go to you for absolutely everything.
One thing that I always say when you’ve created this, and you’re allowing your team to play inside the boundaries, is whenever making decisions for your business, they need to ask themselves
- Is this decision Ethical?
- 2.Is it right for the customer?
- Is it right for the company?
- And is this decision right for me?
We want to have a win-win environment for everybody.
So if they ask themselves those questions and the answer’s yes, then let them go for it. If they have any kind of doubt at all, then they need to go to a superior or you and just chat it out a little bit before they then go back to the customer with the decision.
This is a really empowering position to give your team.
ACTION STEP – CREATE AND DOCUMENT THE RULES AND THE BOUNDARIES AND THEN GIVE THEM THE FREEDOM TO PLAY INSIDE IT. They will love it and they will feel empowered and unrestricted which is what you want because some of your team can be so creative and have some great ideas. You don’t want them to be afraid to put them forward to you and to play with those when it can benefit your business really well.
If you want your team to behave like a winning team, you better make sure they look like a winning team. All teams are identified by a uniform.
Think of any of your favorite sports team.
Whether it is your favorite football team, netball, cricket, or any kind of team at all.
You can easily identify them by their uniform, by their club colours, by their club logo. Whatever, the case, they are all identified by their colours and by their uniform. A professional, comfortable, and practical uniform is super important.
If we go into the corporate world, for example, look at your airlines.
Look at team Qantas.
Look at team Virgin.
They all have a uniform.
They can certainly vary slightly, but they all look a team in uniform, even when one lady may be wearing a dress and a scarf and she’s standing beside a gentleman in a shirt and pants and maybe a tie who’s also standing beside another lady in a skirt, a shirt, and a scarf. They all tie in together by styling, colour and coordinating clothing and logo.
Your team will feel united, and as part of a professional team, they will work strongly together in a much more positive manner.
12. Stylish, Practical & Comfortable
Your uniforms have to be practical for the job that they’re doing. So, if you’re in a business and you may have an admin team and you may have a warehouse team, and you may have sales team; the uniforms for each section may be different, so they are practical for the job description, but they all tie together by colour, and logo.
For example; if you’re in Childcare, you’ll have your admin team and then you’ll have your Childcare providers, and you’ll have your support workers. Their uniforms need to all tie together but they need to be practical and comfortable for what purpose, for what job they’re doing. So you really need to make sure that their uniforms are practical and comfortable.
The other thing that we need to make sure about is that we offer a few different styles, that all tie together and they’re going to fit and work well for your tiny little size 4 people and then also for your fuller figured people. We need to have something that’s going to work for everyone and that, is super, super important.
This is such a simple thing it seems so obvious, but this will absolutely help change the attitude of your team. It will give them a sense of unity and pride within your business and represent your business in the most professional way.
ACTION PLAN – TO PROVIDE A PRACTICAL, COMFORTABLE AND GREAT-LOOKING UNIFORM TO HELP ENHANCE A POSITIVE AND UNITED TEAM ENVIROMENT.
13. Set a Rewards and Recognition Program
Everybody loves to be recognised for the hard work, and the great stuff they do, and there is nothing more deflating for a team member when they are so committed, they are working hard all the time to be there best for your company, and they don’t get recognized for it.
It is especially important for your team to be recognized amongst their work peers.
So, set a Rewards and Recognition program.
Set them out as part of your company goals.
Remember, setting your company goals is your first step, so set out a rewards and recognition section within there.
14. How to Reward your Team
What do you reward people for?
Again, depending your business or industry, you reward them for milestones.
If you have a sales team then obviously they are going to have financial milestones. Reward them for that.
15. Reward Them for Productivity
They might be 80% more productive this month than what they were last month. They might not be as advance as you would like them yet, but you can totally see all the work that they have been doing.
Reward the productivity. Give them a reason to keep kicking on the next month and keep going.
You know what? Again, Attitude is a really big thing.
If you can see someone who maybe holds back and doesn’t put any ideas forward or maybe holds back and yeah, they’re kind of workable but they don’t have a great attitude and you can slowly start to see them turning around, compliment them on it. Tell them how great they’re doing. Tell them how proud you are. Tell them that you can see the change, and they will just love that, continue to forge forward.
So recognize all of those things. Recognize hard work.
Every business has those people who will always come in early, that’ll work through their lunch break, that’ll stay late to get something finished and out the door before they leave.
Reward them for that kind of commitment and dedication.
If you’ve got people who are doing that, they are your biggest asset and long as they’ve got the right attitude and getting recognition for all the do, they will continue to help you build your business.
16. Make your Rewards Something That They Will Want to Win
I would personalize this when you are working out who you’re going to reward for this month. I would personalize it and give them something that you know that they love that everyone else knows that they love and everyone would love to be able to win a reward that they would love as well.
This inspires everybody else to do a bit better and to get that award next month. Look, it might just be an “employee of the month” award.
It could just be something as simple as that.
But if you have a business and you have a few different areas in that business, and you have team members in different areas of that business who are really going great guns, then reward them.
It doesn’t have to be just one “employee of the month.” It could be employee of the month in different areas and the reward could be for their hard work, commitment, productivity, and attitude.
It could be for making their sales milestones and earning some bonuses. It could be for any of those but think about your rewards. Make them personal that you know that that person will love and that everybody is going to go “Well, what do I need to do to get there next time?”
You’ll even find that some of them will come to you and go, “You know what? I would really love to get that award. What can I do to put me in a better place to get it?”
You can then work through with them, where they’re working, what they can improve on, and you know what, If they’re doing that, next month, and they’ve really stepped up, you’re going to reward them.
Of course, you’re going to reward them.
Make sure that those rewards are done in front of the whole group so that person is getting the absolute recognition from all of their work peers and that is just something that they feel so grateful for and it so inspires the rest of the team to get that done.
YOUR ACTION PLAN IS TO CREATE A REWARDS AND A RECOGNITION PROGRAM AND DOCUMENT IT ALL.