Business consultant Steve Billingham outlines how to get members of staff as passionate about your business as you are...
Delivering your client proposition consistently and profitably relies heavily on what is probably your most important resource... your people.
Getting the best from your people in terms of ‘discretionary effort' requires you to create a compelling vision of the type of business you are trying to create, that staff can understand and buy in to.
You also need to be crystal clear about the standards of performance you expect (accountability), have in place an appropriate performance management framework and develop a range of effective reward and recognition strategies.
As Jim Collins says in his book Good to Great: Why some companies make the leap...and others don't, the best-performing businesses are those who ensure they have the right people on the bus and that each person is sitting in the right seat.
Here are a few (OK, 16!) questions to get you thinking about whether your team is really firing on all cylinders and what you might be able to do to start to increase their level of engagement and performance:
Have you got a clear vision of the kind of business you are trying to create?
Have you taken the time to explain your vision to all your staff?
Are your business goals for the current year visible to everyone?
Does each role have a clear job description?
Does that job description clarify what core competencies are expected and what good performance looks like?
Does everyone understand the way in which their role supports and relates to every other role?
Does everyone have clear agreed personal performance and development objectives?
How often is employee performance reviewed? (Annually is "too long between drinks" and I would recommend formal quarterly performance reviews with informal monthly one to ones).
Is unacceptable performance or behaviour dealt with in a timely (when it happens) and consistent way?
Do all staff participate in an incentive or bonus scheme?
Do your incentive schemes reward individual or team performance, or a combination?
To what extent is remuneration linked to performance?
To what extent is the reward for business owners and staff linked to an increase in wealth for clients (or positive client outcomes/feedback)?
Are your best performers frustrated that the poor performance of others isn't being addressed?
How rigorous is your recruitment process? Are core competencies tested?
How many of your staff are "going through the motions" (Gomo's as they are referred to by Sam Parker)
I have come across many advisory business owners who are frustrated that their people don't share their passion for excellence and customer service.
Providing clarity of vision, clear objectives and expectations of performance and incentives linked to individual contribution and team performance are just some of the keys required to unlock the potential of your people.
Steve Billingham is owner and director of Steve Billingham Consulting. Visit his website HERE or email him HERE.
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