Updated: Sep 15
One of the key questions that many leaders ask themselves is 'how can I help my team perform better?' You may even find it one of the most frustrating aspects about managing others.
I’m picturing the scene; you have your one to one session and talk about the same stats; give them the same advice and it’s still happening month on month. It might even be that they are achieving target and come across as having no real drive to excel or exceed targets.
At the Modern Mind Group, we know this is down to empowerment and mindset. You may have heard others say “happy people sell” this is true. How you make your team feel will equal their performance. Also having an electrifying, motivated, engaged team culture can help you produce results that go way beyond the budget. That is something worth striving for as it will also change the lives of your people.
Here’s some practical advice on how to empower your team –
Find Out What Motivates Them
Don’t spend any more time guessing! If you do not know the answer based on each individual person, it’s time to find out. Some want title, some want a bigger house, some want to get married, some want to be recognised and there are many more. I understand that you may ask the question and they don’t really know. Set them a challenge to find out. When you help your team to think and dream bigger, the magic will begin.
Build Their Confidence
They need to hear what they do well at. We often go through life holding on to what we failed at. It’s part of our survival mechanism to prepare us for the next time. The challenge is we remember the not so nice feeling that came along with that previous event and it can cause us to not feel so confident next time. Remind them of the great things that they have achieved and that they do well. We can take them for granted. This works across the whole organisation and at any level.
Understand the Comfort Zone
Understand it and know the magic happens outside of it. Insecurity, lack of confidence, fear of failure, just getting by and settling for less are all within the comfort zone. Beyond the comfort zone is the fear zone, here is where your team will need reassurance confidence building. The next stage is the learning zone – the learning zone is where you can coach them and give feedback on improvement. Then there is the growth zone, the exciting area with new confident performance, you see them excel and it becomes the new normal.
Needs Analysis and Training
Your team have different needs as well as gaps in their skills and knowledge. Maybe the barrier to improved performance is in finding out what area they require improvement and then provide or give access to training so that they can improve their skills. There are so many ways they can take their personal development, books, audio, podcasts, courses, workshops, seminars, classroom training or eLearning. Help them to understand the gaps in their skills and then work with them to provide a personal training plan that works for them and will get their buy in.
There is nothing that kills performance and trust more than unfairness. If one person is always offered the overtime, if one person is given more leads than the other, if one person is pulled up for lateness whilst the rest of the team are not, it send a mixed message. What are the rules of your team engagement? If you set the rules and then allow others to break them there is going to be low performance because they will not trust you or what you say. Unfairness in working teams is also a contributing factor to burnout.
If you want better performance and a more empowered team, spend time with them. Show them you care about what you are asking them to achieve by coaching them. Coaching can sit alongside the goal setting and review sessions you have. It helps to drive accountability and gives them advice that they can implement straight away. Once this is taken on board and achieved it gives an opportunity to acknowledge it, show some appreciation and make them feel fantastic. When coaching always remember to tell them what they do well as well as what to improve on. No one likes a poke in the eye!
Give Them the Power to Decide
Our people come into the company so enthusiastic and motivated to do a great job. Then over time it can feel like they don’t have the power to help influence change. Give them a voice, ask their opinion. Give them the power to decide. There may be 6 things that they can start to improve on. Ask them to pick two that they are going to implement straight away. Your goal setting sessions should not be a dictator download. Yes praise and give guidance, although when setting the actual goals or measurement for success, involve them and see the results change. Power to your people!
This is the last point and one that is often forgotten, so I wanted to make it stand out. If you are agreeing goals and commitments, what happens when they are not achieved? We were pushed into this life; we did not hatch and peck our way out of a shell… ha! It’s why many people that want to lose weight get a personal trainer, or business leaders get a business coach because we know the power of accountability. Someone that is going to follow up on what was agreed in the last session. You may trust your team although accountability is not about trust it is about commitment to the aligned objectives. Accountability delivered the right way will change the overall performance of the business; it can be a positive stress factor to motivation.
So, with this knowledge you can use it to empower a team to success. New ways of working will bring about the new results that you crave.
“If you keep doing what you’ve always done, you’ll only get what you’ve always got.”
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