Have you ever felt frustrated with your staff?
You know the scene, you give them yet another “pep talk” on hitting their goals, and when they get up and leave the room you sigh and think, “What’s the point? It never works.”
I used to feel frustrated too! But fortunately, I haven’t felt that way for a very long time. How did I change it? Over the last 20 years I have been running businesses, and building on my education. I got my MBA, and have spent/continue to spend tens of thousands of dollars on leadership education every year; I have read hundreds of books on the topic. I consider myself a leadership expert but I will never stop learning, and neither should you.
Why am I telling you all of this? Not to brag, but to make sure you understand that LEADERSHIP is THE biggest missing piece in business. Your staff aren’t performing well? LEADERSHIP. Your numbers suck? LEADERSHIP. Your team seems unhappy or unmotivated? LEADERSHIP.
I know this might sound a bit harsh, but it’s actually EMPOWERING your staff. You can influence everything and everyone in your business with your LEADERSHIP.
So obviously this is a big topic. In fact, I’m writing a BOOK on it because it’s such a big topic! For this article however, let’s focus specifically on that unmotivated, under-performing employee who just left your office.
You will find your solution when you answer this question as honestly and in as much detail as possible:
What can you do better, as a leader, to facilitate this employee’s engagement and performance?
Trust me, there is at least one thing every time. Usually, there are several things.
Here are some ideas:
- Make sure they feel safe and cared for.
- Make sure they feel valued.
- Make sure they trust you.
- Make sure their role (job description) and goals (KPIs) are clear.
- Make sure they believe they can achieve their goals.
- Make sure they think it’s “worth it” to achieve their goals.
- Make sure they think their goals are important in the company.
- Make sure they know how meaningful their role is to the company.
- Make sure they know the reward they will receive (tangible, intangible, a raise, gift cards, praise or promotion) when they consistently hit their goals.
- Make sure they like you. That’s right. If they don’t like you, you’re in big trouble.
- Ask them questions! All the time! Ask them about all of the above. Ask them how they think they could improve. Ask them what you can do to help them hit their goals. Ask them if they think their goals are good goals. Ask them how they feel about their job and their goals.
Remember, questions are your superpower as a leader.
Then listen, and I mean really LISTEN; my definition of listening is to listen with the possibility of having your mind changed.
So here’s the key takeaway: You can change EVERYTHING for your team, yourself, and your customers, by being a better leader. Leadership is EVERYTHING. Good luck with that employee! You can do this!
With gratitude and admiration for your willingness to improve.
Kelli-Rae Tamaki, MBA
*Remember: Business can be better™ and it should be!
**If you need more help with your leadership, please check out the Business Accelerator Program where our clients are all becoming amazing leaders, as well as mastering their financial and marketing skills!
***Feel free to share this advice with a business owner who needs it.