When the list is longer than the time you have, it’s easy to sacrifice some important things just to get through the day. For the small business owner, communication with your team is one of those things that can get lost.
It takes time to convey your dream and your standards for taking care of clients. And some of us truly believe that no one can do it better than we can. Well, it’s probably true for certain areas of your business but not all of it. If you’re awesome at sales but you do all of your own administrative work, chances are there’s an administrative wiz right under your nose.
You need a team and if you have a team, they need some management.
Teams Cannot Train And Manage Themselves
Even the smartest group requires clear standards and leadership (and micro-managing is not the same thing as leadership). Managing your people takes time on the front end, but it creates momentum on the back end.
With a well-chosen and well-trained team you can move faster, be in more places at once and serve more people. It’s like a new computer — it takes time to set it up, to transfer your data and to learn how to use the new features, but once it’s ready to go, you can NOT imagine handling business without it.
Management boils down to one basic standard.
Make It Hard For Your Team to Mess Up Or Miss Out
You want your people to get the message and take action. It’s not about “I told you so” or a litany of “what’s wrong with those people.” It’s about results.
To get the desired outcome, leave a trail that reinforces your core message. Tell your team what you expect from them in multiple formats. Say it in the initial training/orientation. Reinforce it in the ongoing staff meetings by role playing and other hands on experiences. Use well placed signs around the property or well timed emails to your team. This allows you to use visuals to reinforce your message.
And then follow it all up with consistent consequences and rewards.
Give Your Team A Reason To Care As Much As You Do
This requires some brainstorming up front (with your leaders, mentors and management experts). Find the kind of rewards that gets the response you want.
Finally, monitor the impact. You can’t just delegate and assume it’s done, you have to inspect the work. For the busy small business owner who tends to forget, put a reminder in your smart phone – 3 hours, 3 days, 3 weeks later a little note pops up reminding you to ask for the sample that Mark created (or was supposed to create).
Two Things Are At Work Here
Each team member has a responsibility as well as the space and opportunity to excel without being micro-managed. They also have a check and balance and a deadline.
Teamwork Photo via Shutterstock