How do you feel when someone tells you what a “fantastic job, you’re awesome, the team appreciates your contribution?” If you are like most people, you would want more of those comments. We all crave feedback about ourselves. Why? Humans tend to be obsessed with themselves. Our thoughts tend to be dominated with ourselves and how we are perceived by others. The little voice inside our heads is entirely focused on one character.
Set up a coaching and feedback system that maximizes the individual’s opportunity to develop and aligns with what humans want, INFORMATION and FEEDBACK about themselves and their performance. They have the right to know how they are performing each day and a great leader creates that environment.
Win by design!
Process vs. Random
Build a system, cadence and rhythm that does the heavy lifting. Department daily huddles on yesterday’s performance are great options. Where did we win? Where did we fall short and why? It could be the most impactful five minutes per day any department manager spends with their teams. Giving these daily huddle meetings a name, dedicated standing time along with an expectation will give it purpose and life. Win by design on the front end.
Sorry, annual performance reviews suck. Who wants to wait an entire year to discover how they are performing? Would you get excited only getting feedback once a year on your performance? The timelier the feedback loop is on performance the better. Monthly is ok, weekly is better, and daily is best. Celebrate a teammate’s strong performance in front of their peers. It’s a great way to get someone to duplicate their behaviors that led to the strong performance. Say “thank you” and give them a shout out in front of the entire department. Those gestures are free and go a long way to the person on the receiving end.
Scoreboard: Facts vs. feeling, what does the scoreboard say?
What does the scoreboard say? Remove “gut” feelings and replace them with facts. Every role should have a metric. If you’re challenged by determining what the compelling metric should be, think harder. What are the most important deliverables from the role that will benefit the team? Examples: measure technicians’ - accurate templates; lead installers – happy customer; salesperson – achieve sales goal.
Enroll or hire a scorekeeper. Their number one primary job is to make sure the scoreboard is updated accurately and posted daily at the agreed upon location. The people must know how they are going to be measured and they deserve to know how they are performing compared to the goal. Every person should be able to answer these questions, “Did I win today and how do I know?”
Show them how to win in their roles. Tell them how they will be graded. Invest the time and effort into the person. I love the methodology of I do it, we do it, you do it. I will show you how to perform to achieve the desired results. We will do it together. Then, the expectation is you can perform on your own. Constructive coaching is usually best one on one without the fear or embarrassment of peers. The leader’s role is to help them identify the necessary skills and behaviors that need to develop. The more direct and “real” the feedback; the more likely growth and development will occur for the student. If the teacher demonstrates the commitment of time, effort and willingness to pour into the student, the student will reciprocate times 10. The more honest and direct you can be with someone, the quicker you will make progress. If someone is falling short in the role, it’s usually one of two things. They don’t know “how” to do it, or they don’t “care” enough. The leader’s job is to help them determine which of the two is the root cause of underperformance.
Celebrate the wins. Celebrate by letting the individual know they are winning. Tell them, “great job” in front of a group. Tell them you’re proud of the results they are producing. This encouragement is a very powerful force that generates engagement. It is virtually free, and the ROI is extremely high.