How often have you heard that your employees are your most valuable asset? How often have you felt that your employees were the biggest source of stress in your life? Let’s focus on the first question and see what we find. Recruiting practices aside, let’s consider the folks that are a part of your staff.
Making good things happen for other people
I believe you will find, when the good things happen, it is often because you as a manager or leader are doing the right things, providing the right stimuli, congratulating a job well done and admonishing when clear expectations are not met. Our responsibility as manager is not just to manage paper and process, more importantly your job is to truly lead those who follow you; to expect more of them than they expect of themselves and show them how to achieve the goals you share. Give them clear goals, then help them read the map so they can find their way. When our people fail, how much of their failure is our fault? When they are wildly successful, how much credit can we take?
A great place to start is with a very simple question…Do your people know what you expect of them? In many cases we find that one of the most common reasons for underperforming staff members is they don’t know what we expect of them. This can be the case even when the manager is perceived as a good communicator. Sure they may have pretty good job descriptions, an employee handbook or even some form of written goals, but, do they really know and understand what the minimum acceptable standard of performance is. Do they understand you must be able to get X result?
Consider providing your employees with clearly defined minimum expectations. This can be translated into “in order to work here, you must achieve this standard.” Then build their goals and objectives based on what you will accept, add in a reasonable goal or objective and a stretch goal. Provide these standards and goals in writing, coach them on it every day, check their progress every day, challenge them when they need encouragement and cheer every little success they achieve. When we as managers provide a clearly defined level of performance expectations, most employees will do everything they can to meet the goal.
Most employees want to succeed; very few people ever plan their careers with the end result of being a failure. It is well understood to move up the ladder they must achieve a level of success in their daily activities. Those who do not share this type of desire or thought process… well that’s a different story and maybe we’ll address that at another time.
Questions to ask yourself
Did I provide a written action plan?
Did I teach my employees to expect more from themselves?
Did I provide clear directions for every task?
Did I provide one on one coaching in a consistent fashion?
Did I provide a positive work environment?
Did I provide strong leadership?
Did I hold them accountable for their goals and objectives?
Did I make myself available when they needed my help?
Did I treat everyone fairly?
If you can honestly answer yes to every one of these questions, then you are or at least will be a good leader and enjoy many successes in your career. If not, why not start today, make your life easier and make good things happen for other people.
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Rob is President and Founder of Fixed Performance Inc. which he began over 15 years ago. His passion for customer care and helping others has assisted hundreds of dealerships with their fixed operations performance. His common sense coaching and training lifts people up as individuals and team members. With over 30 years of dealership management experience, he understands and respects the daily challenges of fixed operations. Placing a strong value in people and best practice processes always provide growth. His articles have been published regularly in national publications and weekly newsletters are read by thousands.