You work 12 hours a day on your business, you are constantly thinking about ways to improve things, you find it hard to switch off at weekends and getting a new client is cause for huge celebration. So why don’t your team seem to give a sh*t?
Firstly, if that sounds like you it might be worth checking out my blog post about being a good boss to yourself!
This is a common problem though. The business owner will always be passionately involved in business development, progress and quality, and they are often at a loss as to how to get their team to care as much as they do.
The truth is that of course nobody working in your business will ever care about it as much as you do. It is unfair to expect that of them. You can bring from them the dedication and commitment that you need though, in these two ways:
Be clear about your expectations
Be clear about rewards and consequences
I am going to talk about rewards and consequences in a later blog post. Today, let’s look at expectations.
It might be painfully obvious to you that somebody should just do their best, all of the time, strive to get it right and never settle for less. That is because you are an ambitious, driven individual – that is why you set up your own business! Your team members will have their own priorities and ambitions though, their own things that motivate them. They will also have their own views on what “best” looks like. To ensure that they are working in a way that works for your business you need to be clear on:
The business values
What good customer service looks like
What you want to avoid
What they should do if they have a problem
What is unacceptable
For my team at Clear Day, they know that our business values are calm, clarity, confidence, focus and progress. They know that good customer services looks like bringing calm to a client’s day, making them feel confident in our ability to solve their problems, and clearing their day so that they can make progress in their business.
I tell all of my team members that we want to avoid taking panic and chaos to the client. We might amongst ourselves have a bit of a flap about timescales, get frustrated at tech, lose the plot when schools close again…the client does not need any of that in their day. Those things are for us to deal with.
If they have a problem my team know to come to me rather than putting that problem into the client’s lap. As for unacceptable I am very clear on that: tell me upfront if there is an issue, we can always deal with it. The one thing I do not want is to get to the end of the day and discover that something has not been done on time because there was an issue and a team member did not tell me about it.
Do you provide this kind of clarity to your team? If not, how do they know how to do a good job for you? Most people want to do their best, but if they don’t know what “best” looks like that is an impossible challenge.
What is obvious to you is not obvious to other people, particularly when they have their own lives and incomes to worry about.
No matter how small your team, make sure that your expectations are recorded somewhere so that they are clear. Even if it’s a starred message in your What’s App group! Give people the opportunity to do their best for you by telling them what best looks like.
When they meet or exceed those expectations? Remember to say thank you.
Coach and Director of Clear Day