Often what we think is the problem, is not the real problem. Does this make sense?
I’ll put it another way. Have you ever slammed a door in anger? For the 99 per cent of us whose answer is ‘Yes’, a follow-up question. “Did slamming the door fix the problem?”
When I was about 14, Mum asked me, “What’s wrong sweetheart?” I replied angrily “Everyone is giving me the shits?” She said lovingly, “Oh sweetheart; everyone can’t be wrong.” Whack! She was telling me that those on my list weren’t the actual source of my frustrations.”
When we experience workplace frustrations, we tend to blame others (co-workers, bosses, suppliers, staff) and not the actual source of the conflict.
The actual source will be and should be considered in this order:
What do you want to fix/improve/achieve?
When taking on a new client we conduct an in-depth needs/aspirations analysis. Part of that analysis is asking management and staff, “What would you like our help to fix, improve or achieve?” Here are some typical responses.
To help our clients address these issues we review and improve their business structures and resources before blaming anyone’s competency or commitment.
How to achieve a behavioural change
A a few years ago, we worked with a major fuel company aiming to increase sales and margins. The client asked us to design a sales training course. In effect they were telling us that their under achievement in sales and margin was due to their competency.
We didn’t provide sales training, because the problem was not competency based.
We restructured their quote template (resource), turning it into a proposal template. The salespeople could only complete their new proposal once the client answered specific questions that did not relate to price.
The questions were:
I’m just going to have to tell him again!
But what if we have the right structures and resource and there are still problems? Good question. The, “I’m just going to have to tell him again!” comment came from a very experienced manager. It related to a staff member not completing his machinery pre-startup checklist despite having the resources and understanding the process.
We asked the staff member to explain what he should do prior to starting up any machinery. Instead of us telling him, he told us. He knew exactly what he should do.
We then asked, “What do you think the outcome will be if you do not follow agreed standards/expectations?” He said, “I’ll be out of a job?” He nailed it. We said “Yes. Is that what you want?” And he said “No”. His commitment improved!
Slam the right door in the right order
All the frustrations that are within our control or influence to fix will be due to one of the four root causes listed above. Start with the structures first, then resources, then competencies and lastly, commitment.
Another of my key mum/son conversations went something like this:
Mum: “Neville, the second saddest day of my life was when you moved out of home.”
Me: “Ahh…what was the saddest day of your life, Mum?”
Mum: “When you moved back.” And then she showed me the door.
Sometimes we are left with no other alternative but the door.
1. Conduct an annual business review
In your team, you and your colleagues would all agree that there are gaps between what they are actually doing and what they feel that the team should be doing in the areas of:
2. Develop a business improvement plan
Meet with your team to develop solutions. Reducing the gaps – conflict – will be dependent on improving your team’s:
3. Assign improvement solutions to each team member
Assign ‘new’ roles and responsibilities to each team member. If necessary, adjust team members’ position description and document any changes in their performance review template.
4. Conduct monthly review and improvement meetings.
Provide monthly feedback to the team on the its progress in achieving KPI’s, to celebrate success to challenge and to reinforce. Ensure that each team member reports on their areas of responsibility. Include in each team members report “What I’m struggling with is…” this ensures that conflict is tabled and dealt with each month, and “Who I’d like to thank for making my job easier is…” This helps develop cooperative and supportive relationships and those who aren’t being ‘thanked’ will start to feel some healthy peer group pressure.
5. Conduct staff performance reviews
You want to ensure that each staff member has aligned their behaviours to their new structures, resources, competencies and commitments as outlined in the team’s business improvement plan.
6. Regular maintenance chats
Conduct regular maintenance chats with team members to see how they’re going and to find out if they need any extra support. Encourage them to bring up any concerns, frustrations, ideas and successes at your team’s monthly meetings.
Conducting regular maintenance chats with staff provides an opportunity for you to deal with the conflict issues before they take hold.
I remember a particular maintenance chat I had with a client’s staff member; it went something like this;
Me: “Sam, how much of an effort are you putting in here, give me a percentage out of 100.”
Sam: “Ah…I don’t know.”
Me: “Sam, have a guess.” No one guesses wrong.
Sam: “Oh, I’d say around 70%” Good guess.
Me: ‘Sam is the boss paying you 100% of your wage or only 70% of it?”
Sam: ‘That’s’ not fair.”
Me: “Glad you agree, Sam. Where do you want to make the adjustment?”
7. Up skill your team in conflict resolution
Often, we don’t deal with conflict because we don’t have the words or process to ensure that we don’t make the situation worse. Improving your team’s competencies in conflict resolution would be more valuable to your business than sending them to a sales and margin improvement training course. (Unless it’s one of our courses).
So, to summarise
Small problem. Small fix. Small cost. Big problem. Big fix. Big cost.
Bad pushes out good. Those in your team who put in more do so because they care more. The last thing you want is to have those who care more think “Why should I bother, if they don’t care why should I?”
If you’d like to know what your gaps are free of cost and obligation, go to our services page to complete our Business Audit. And remember; eyebrows up when dealing with conflict!
Can you imagine if our farming clients sprayed for weeds only once they see the weeds from the road? Farmers and agros get out of their vehicles and inspect the crops, looking down and in between the productive plants for the plants that lowers yield, because - bad pushes out good.
Wait, better still, let’s apply some pre-emergence strategies so we don’t have to deal with the weeds when they have already impacted on the productive plants!
Poorly managed conflict - weeds everywhere - is the biggest internal threat to your business’ bottom line. Yet, many businesses do not have any formality around early identification, or pre-emergence conflict management strategies. We wait until everyone can see it from the road.
As we have discussed in previous articles:
• Conflict is an inevitable constant of our daily work lives. If it’s inevitable, then we need to be good at managing it.
• All workplace conflict will have a root cause, which will be due to one of, or a combination of poor, or inadequate:
1) Structures – policies, procedures, values, standards etc.
2) Resources – Information, technology, capital, people, stock, equipment etc.
3) Competencies (especially leadership competencies) – skills and knowledge; knowing what to do and how to do.
4) Commitment – Ambition and attitude; our want to do.
Over next few monthly articles we will put the business case for developing and implementing a staff morale, client satisfaction and bottom-line boosting (your crops) Proactive or Pre-emergence Conflict Management Structures (PCMS).
So first up, let’s expand our view of conflict.
Conflict: Can be both good and bad.
Some daily workplace examples of conflict escalation are, not returning phone calls, withholding information, not participating in team meetings, talking about others performances behind their backs, leaving a dirty cup in the sink when the sign just above the sink screams, “Clean your dishes…your mother does not work here!!”
The right conflict, healthy arguments over differing ideas in an environment of mutual respect stimulates both personal and business growth, not weed growth.
Conflict when managed early can be fun, stimulating, invigorating and renewing.
The difference between constructive and destructive conflict is largely determined by the quality of your businesses proactive conflict management structures. If your business has no formal structures, it will have informal ones. The informal ones will be based on an individual manager’s conflict management skills.
Conflict isn’t a bottle of red wine.
Unlike a nice bottle of red, conflict rarely gets better with age.
The complexity of dealing with conflict can be confronting and frightening. Fright is for flight, or avoidance. We don’t want to make things worse. We don’t want to upset someone.
In preparation for this article we surveyed 34 ag business managers. The results:
• Over the last 6 months 70 per cent said that they should have had twice as many crucial conversations than they actually had.
• Over 60 per cent said that their business did not have any formal conflict management structures.
• The most common reason for avoiding the conflict was the fear of making the situation worse…which of course often makes the situation worse.
No surprise here. None of us like to have difficult conversions, but it’s a necessity if we’re to have a healthy crop.
The cost of badly managed conflict.
Research indicates that mismanaged conflict (waiting too long to spray the paddock) wastes nearly 10 per cent of working hours. (J. A. Cram and R. K. Williams - The cost of conflict in the workplace).
Conflict accounts for over 70 per cent of involuntary departures from a business. And that it can cost up to 100 percent of an employee’s wage to replace that employee. Other costs – weeds - can include:
• Increased absenteeism.
• Productivity reduction through increased presenteeism; staff are at work but are disengaged.
• Compensation claims – bullying, stress, wrongful dismissal and legal costs.
• Recruitment costs.
• Brand damage.
• Theft and stock damage.
• Poor health outcomes.
Better personal health outcomes? Yes. A client and a reformed avoider said his blood pressure had now reduced to healthy levels.
Would you like to a copy?
Email us if you’d like our one-page PCMS rec summary and scoring guide email us. What score, out of 100, will be give your business’ PCMS?
And remember, a weed reduces the productivity of all the healthy plants around it. Bad pushes out good.
In next month’s blog we will discuss the components of a P.C.M.S. Until then keep your eyebrows up.
My first exposure to a management role came at the expense of my current manager (awkward!!) who was being removed due to staff complaining about his bullying type behaviour.
As he tossed his company car keys in my general direction (fuel gauge on empty) he said “Good-luck mate…no matter what you do for them they will never be happy”
Righto, so now what do I do? I had no formal training, there was no induction and in the blink of an eye I was a manager. What is my role? When I arrive on Monday as the ‘new’ branch manager, what are my peers going to expect from me? Everyone seemed happy with my appointment, but was that about me or about the exit of our former leader?
One lesson I learnt very quickly was the heightened level of expectation attached to a title. Now that I am the manager, staff expected me to have all the answers.
I spent my first few weeks steadying the ship, trying to keep things normal and talking with staff about their individual concerns, responsibilities, and expectations. However, I was still unsure on the actual purpose of my role. Am I expected to be a manager, or a leader, or both? Are the staff here to serve me, or am I here to serve them?
I remembered attending a sales training course and learnt how important it is to treat customers on how they want to be treated, not how you want to be treated. So, I decided to adopt this approach and started treating staff like a customer by validating their expectations and providing solutions that supported their needs. Happy staff are productive staff (never a truer word spoken), and building a level of trust and respect with your staff is critical for leaders wanting to influence positive outcomes.
Managers manage tasks, people follow leaders.
Sometimes it may seem tough holding onto good employees, but it really shouldn’t be because most of the simple mistake’s managers make are easily avoided. If you fail to keep your best staff engaged…you won’t be able to keep your best staff.
People leave managers, not jobs.
Here are some leadership suggestions on how to give yourself every chance of retaining your best employees.
· Don't make up stupid rules as a lazy attempt to maintain order. Confront the issues, find the root cause of the problem and deal with the straws.
· Don't treat everyone the same or your best employees will believe no matter how well they perform they’ll just be treated the same as those who do nothing more than turn up.
· Never avoid conflict or tolerate poor performance. If you choose to ignore poor behaviour you are choosing to create cynicism and distrust which drags everyone else down, especially your best staff.
· Always recognise accomplishments (no matter how small) and never underrate the power of a simple pat on the back.
· Care about your people. Check-in regularly, empathise with those going through tough times and work with your staff in a way that shows you genuinely care.
· Share the big picture. Your best staff will care about their work, and what they do each day must have a purpose. When they don’t know your purpose, they’ll find one somewhere else.
· Help staff develop their passion. Providing opportunities to pursue passion improves productivity and job satisfaction. Studies reveal that people pursuing passions at work experience a euphoric state of mind 5 times more productive than normal.
· Make it fun to be at work. If people aren’t having fun at work, you’re doing it wrong. When work becomes fun staff will not only perform better, they will stick around for longer hours and have a longer career.
Managing people can be simple…but never easy.
‘If your workplace culture were a dog, what breed would it be?’
A few years ago, an executive of one of the four big banks was asked what he thought organisational culture meant. He gave the same answer that a Supreme Court judge once gave when attempting to define pornography: “I can’t define it, but I know it when I see it.”
Culture is demonstrated by the ideas, customs, rituals, stories, social behaviour, norms and standards of a group of people.
But back to the question, ‘If your workplace culture were a dog, what breed would it be?’ Hopefully you’ve picked a fun, energetic and friendly breed that you can trust and not a breed that bites or creates mess or doesn’t come when it’s called or defecates on…well, you get the picture.
When working with clients we often see a set of values that the business supposedly stands for, framed on walls throughout the premises. I recall in one business, ‘Honesty’ was one of six core values.
I asked the management team if they had, in the past few days, lied to a client or colleague, and just like you and me they all had. And, based on the staff engagement survey we conducted, their six core values were just words on a wall.
(Research in this area suggests that on average we tell at least four lies a day. And, furthermore, if we were 100 percent honest with 100 percent of people we interact with, none of us would be in a relationship!)
Setting agreed and realistic values is important to help a group become a team that delivers consentient and predictable value to team members and clients. This creates trust. What determines a team’s culture is not what that team stands for. Culture is set by what the team won’t stand for.
A cast study: an ag business had several branches and just over 100 staff. This business’s pain point was not sales -it was efficiency and profitability. Staff reported that they each undertook seven hours of rework each week. This business was going broke being busy!
Part of our improvement intervention was discussing and setting agreed structures, which included setting values. We also asked them what type of dog they liked.
The values staff agreed on were;
Any gaps between what you team is actually doing/behaving and what everyone believes the team should be doing, will be due to inadequate:
The first team members to undertake a peer review were managers. Resentment and cynicism results from managers not demonstrating the behaviours they expect of others.
We can’t demand what we don’t demonstrate.
We also made rework an agenda item in their new weekly toolbox meetings. In addition, everyone had to report on the amount of rework they did for the month at each monthly meeting. When discussing the root cause of the rework they asked themselves, “Is the rework due to poor structures, resources, competencies or commitment?”
As a result, collaboration and cooperation improved, which in turn reduced internally generated rework by 80 percent. Their dog turned from an out of control mutt to a fun, energetic, friendly, predictable and loyal dog.
So back to the question, what type of dog is your business?
Are the values at your workplace just words?
Do you measure alignment and give feedback?
Setting values is the easy part of the process. Getting alignment is the challenging part. If you don’t model, measure, provide feedback and challenge, then don’t bother going through the expense of setting values because they’ll end up being just words on a wall.
“Let’s go back and eyebrow-f**k ol’ mate” This was a plan hatched by two attendees of a course we conducted for a client in NSW.
Ol’ mate was a cranky truck driver that delivered product to the two conspirator’s stores, and eyebrows had been a crucial part of the course.
During this course, we discussed how to develop and maintain a healthy, happy and engaging work environment by avoiding the Parent/Child leadership style.
When talking to others – kids, colleagues, partners – with our eyebrows down we can come across as a stern, judgmental parent talking to a child.
Workplaces that have a parent-to-child or top-down dynamic can be a work environment where:
Moods are contagious
When a leader sneezes their team can catch a cold, or the coronavirus. (I hope you didn't run out of toilet paper). I remember when my youngest son called to ask me what time I was going to be home, he was 18 at the time and had just crashed my ute. (I loved that ute!) I told him the time I was going to be home and he then said “Dad, we need to have a chat, and can you promise to keep your eyebrows up?” Sometimes it’s hard to keep our eyebrows up!
But back to the two conspirator’s and their plan to eyebrow-f**k their ol’ mate.
When dealing with the grumpy, eyebrows-down truck driver they did so with their eyebrows up. They greeted him by name and looked pleased to see him. After a week they reported that the truck driver was arriving to their store on time and greeting them with his eyebrows up too!
Eyebrows play a significant role in communication. Take a look around your workplace. Who has their eyebrows up and who’s are down?
It's not just managers who are work environment mood setters; staff are too. We owe our work colleagues our best efforts; w should not leave those with whom we interact with frowns on their face.
Adult / Adult workplaces
The approach to work design in which the boss sets the goals and workers toe the line is called technocratic (parent/child). It has been the traditional approach to work design, and it has been marked by poor motivation, low productivity, and high levels of rework.
An alternative approach is socio-technical work design (adult/adult). The key difference is collaborative participation in goal setting and problem solving. Studies have shown that the greater degree of participation, the better the process works.
Socio-technical work design builds and maintains motivation, improves productivity, reduces rework and creates a culture of cooperative relationships.
When a work colleague has their eyebrows down - looks annoyed, frustrated, stressed - we could ask, "Bob, you look annoyed. Is everything okay? Is there something I could help you with?" This is a supportive way of ensuring bad moods don't spread through the entire team.
How’s that working for you?
It doesn't always work though. Some years ago, when playing golf, I gave the eyebrows-up tip to an angry, eyebrows-down playing partner. I didn’t know he was a police officer.
A few months later, travelling between Swan Hill and Kerang, I was pulled over for speeding by guess who? Yes, the golf-playing copper. He recognised me and said with his eyebrows up, “How’s the eyebrows-up tip working for your now Sunshine?” We both laughed. He let me off with a warning. Phew!
Keeping our eyebrows up
Keeping our eyebrows up in stressful situations helps us remain cognisant of how we’re feeling, which helps in keeping our emotions in check. This in turn helps create healthier, less stressful environments at work and at home.
When we asked a client to keep his eyebrows up when dealing with staff he said, "I'm going to have to tattoo the bastards up"
Let us know if you need a referral to a tattooist.
I’m writing this article on my patio looking around our now weed free, trees trimmed, nothing out of place back yard, which apparently is only just the start!
Our lives have changed. Our priorities have changed. Our world has changed. Bloody COVID-19 and stage three restrictions and Brenda’s list! (The list goes from here to August!)
When change is forced upon us and is outside of our control. Cope or Mope?
In general, coping strategies fall into two categories; problem focused coping and emotion focused coping. Both have its strengths and weaknesses, and both are suited to particular situations.
Problem focused coping
With problem focused coping we change or eliminate the stressors. This approach works when we can control or influence the stressors e.g. too much stock on hand or too many overdue debtors, which is more than one. We change a business input - structures, resources, competencies, commitment - to change a business outcome. Stressors lessened or eliminated.
Emotional focused coping
This approach is for the stressors we can’t change or influence. What can we do when we feel that we can’t do anything? In reality stressors that are outside of our control - e.g. COVID-19, droughts, floods, short supply of seed and glyphosate, can get us down (mope) but we can also do things that keep our moods and our eyebrows up.
Four emotional health boosters
Jessica Watson on the 18th of October 2009, aged just 16 sailed out of Sydney harbour to sail around the world...on her own! In a recent article she said that she accepted that she would feel lonely and that this acceptance made coping with isolation easier. In business nothing changes until we confront and accept the reality of our situation.
Think: ‘How can we profit/benefit from this?” This focuses on what we could gain from the loss.
2: Constructive Thinking - What are our gains from the loss?
My back yard looks better. I’m not even for an instant suggesting the loss of free movement, seeing grandchildren, work ceasing, being stood down is anywhere near equal to having a better looking back yard. But it can be a silver lining. Going on a holiday comes at a cost – air fares, accommodation, adult children coming along and not putting their hands in their pocket for a damn thing - but then there are gains from taking a holiday too.
Moods can follow actions. Do something good and we generally feel good. Exercise increases the serotonin levels in the brain which helps regulate anxiety, happiness, and mood. Low levels of serotonin have been associated with depression.
In his seminal book, Broken Years, Australian history professor Bill Gammage wrote about the use of humour by the Australian soldiers in the 1st world war. He retold a story of a group of Aussie diggers trying to extract one of their mates from a boggy bomb crater. After several attempts to pull him out of the bog using a rope, one of the rescuers said, “Barney, you’re too deep in the mud, mate. Is there anything you can do your end to help us?” Barney’s deadpan reply, “Do you think it would help if I take my feet out of the stirrups?”
We can still find joy in our worlds even in the direst of situations, if we just look for it. If you’re doing more moping than coping please reach out to a health professional or call Lifeline 13 11 14, or give me a call, it will get me out of the back yard.
PS: This is Brenda – if Neville did a bit in the garden each weekend and not play so much golf, he wouldn’t have a list!
Both sides of the fence
If inventory management was a tug o’ war, who do you think is winning the battle? Resellers or Suppliers?
Who owns the order book, who owns the end user and who owns the brand? Did you ever stop to think that we might be battling each other for the same territory?
Resellers and suppliers are both under constant pressure to:
Sometimes we forget to acknowledge that we both want the same thing. Coming from a reseller background I am guilty of blaming suppliers for loading me up with too much stock even though I approved the order.
“They made me buy more just to get it at a competitive price”
”I didn’t understand the conference deal and I now am stuck with it”
“The seasonal conditions changed, and they won’t take it back”
As resellers, we often set an agenda for our suppliers that only reflects the outcomes we want to achieve. We fail to recognise how far the rubber band can stretch before it breaks.
By aligning our agendas, everyone in the supply chain will win when we acknowledge each other’s needs and expectations.
In my previous life in reseller land we implemented a code of conduct to outline how we wanted the supplier’s sales reps to engage with our business. This is an effective method to build meaningful, long-lasting and productive relationships. We won, the supplier won, and our clients won too. Winners all round.
As a reseller we are the client in this relationship, but we should constantly remind ourselves of what we dislike most about our clients when they place unreasonable demands on us to meet their expectations.
Code of Conduct
Here are some examples on how a supplier can add further value to their retail client relationships.
Annual Performance Reviews
What would happen if you introduced annual ‘relationship’ reviews on each other?
Reseller: “What would you like us to START doing and STOP doing to ensure our support of your brand grows?”
Supplier: “What would you like us to START doing and STOP doing to ensure your support of our brand grows?”
The achievement of meeting each other’s goals will be made so much easier when your agendas become aligned.
Working with each other to plan and forecast seasonal requirements and to agree on a robust inventory protection plan that suits both parties is a vital piece of the puzzle that provides your reseller with confidence and comfort around increasing their level of support for your brand.
I can recall two examples involving an ‘A’ grade supplier rep and a ‘D’ grade supplier rep.
The ‘A’ grader treated us with respect, met our needs and modelled our supplier code of conduct. His brand was not the cheapest but his commitment to support our business sold the product. Our purchases and sales increased due to the level of after-sales support he provided our clients.
The ‘D’ grader was appropriately classified due to his stubbornness in not acknowledging us as his client and openly viewing our business as a necessary evil to get his product to the end user market.
The ‘A’ grade rep became our business partner and the ‘D’ grade rep remained as an unsuccessful product peddler.
It doesn’t have to be a tug o’ war. Put the rope down and respect both sides of the fence.
How to stop the Buddy’s, Chiefs, Champs and Mates (your clients) being asked if they’ve been fixed-up.
We all know that we never get a second chance to make a good first impression. As part of an assignment to increase sales and margins with an agribusiness, we conducted mystery shopping surveys and documented over 30 different client greetings!
Two of my favorites were: “G’day mate, have you been fixed-up yet? My sense of humour is not always funny so I refrained from replying, “No, but my wife’s been on my back about getting it done.” The other memorable greeting was, “Hey Chief, do you need a hand?” This may have been an appropriate greeting if I was wearing a head dress made of feathers.
The promotional (or communication) mix is one of the four P’s of marketing: Product, Price, Place, Promotion. When prompting and selling consumer or retail products, the order of importance is:
However, when promoting and selling the majority of agricultural products, which is business-to-business selling, the order of importance is:
Best Practice: remember and use client's names
The first step in establishing a relationship with another person is to remember and use their name or accepted nickname. If though, a client rides into your store on a horse, wearing a head dress made of feathers, then you could call him Chief.
The benefit of setting personal selling standards
Reason #1: Improve outputs by improving inputs.
As general rule, improving business outputs – gross profit, sales, client satisfaction, low levels of rework etc. – is dependent on improving business inputs in sales. We have helped clients improve sales and margins by agreeing on and implementing sales improvement and margin protection standards, policies and procedures (inputs).
Reason #2: Not everyone is the same and the majority of clients would rather we use their names and not call them mate!
When it comes to dealing with clients you should just treat them how you want to be treated. Right? No, wrong. Not everyone is like you. You wouldn’t develop a marking plan based on a random sample of one survey, would you?
We encountered a sales person in a rural supplies store who was discounting most of their sales. He explained that he was just treating clients how he wanted to be treated when he went shopping!
Set personal selling standards.
You could meet with your team to discuss and agree on standards for:
What you could do with the personal selling standards once staff have signed off on them:
So then Chief...all the best in setting personal selling standards for your team and stopping the 'Buddy', 'Darls', 'Mates' and your clients being asked if they've been fixed up!
It takes a bit of work to transform a motley group of individuals into a well-oiled team, but the result is worth it!
We’ve all heard the saying, “working on the business, not in it”.
Reflecting on what we do and making adjustments is a natural, innate part of being human. From the moment we stood upright and left the cave we have looked for ways to make the difficult easier. That’s why a woman invented the wheel.
But what about you and your team? Do you have any formal continual improvement processes in place?
Formalising and properly structuring your team’s continual improvement processes means you’re putting in place the mechanisms to work on your business.
Step 1: Agreed team structures
I once asked a manager when discussing the business outcomes he wanted to achieve, “I understand that you have goals for your team…but are they your goals, or their goals?”
Teams must have an agreed understanding and acceptance of:
If we don’t have agreed goals and processes, then against what do we measure team performance?
The team goals you and your team could set might include:
Step 2: Team accountability
The team goals then form your monthly meeting agenda. Reporting on team progress in achieving team goals creates team accountability.
Conducting regular team meetings where team members support each other does not just contribute to a healthy bottom line, it also contributes to team member health as well. Social connectedness and social support through being part of a supportive, caring team creates positive personal health outcomes.
Step 3: Individual team member accountability
Team goals are then broken or cascaded down into individual team member position descriptions, and critically, team member report templates (accountability). At each monthly meeting, each team member provides a report on their progress in achieving their individual goals which contribute to team success.
A manager once complained about a staff member’s performance, particularly in regard to punctuality and not completing weekly stocktakes and product orders. So, we included these outcomes in the staff members report template. They reported on their punctuality and how they were going with the weekly stocktakes and product orders.
This was not punitive; we did this in a supportive manner. When they reported on improvement, the team celebrated the improvement.
Individual report items could include:
Everyone works on the business
Collaborative problem-solving works on your business and has a positive impact on staff morale and wellbeing.
When we follow this process, it creates the circumstances and mechanisms for a group to transit to a team by developing team members small group social skills, problem solving, conflict resolution, listening, challenging, clarifying, etc.
Research reveals that teams:
And remember, there is no ‘i’ in team, and to quote Bart Simpson, there’s no ‘u’ either.