How do I know what my team is really doing when most of the time they’re not under my direct supervision? What can I do to make sure my team delivers on my expectations consistently? These are two very common questions we regularly hear from our business coaching clients.
So when things don’t go well in the field, the integrity of your brand is tarnished. Your company’s reputation must be protected and, as the old saying goes, one bad apple CAN spoil the whole bunch. You must ensure your team delivers the legendary service you promise to customers at each and every opportunity.
Here are 10 ways to help you feel more confident your team delivers top quality products and services:
Clearly Defined Expectations. It’s impossible for your team to hit a target they can’t see. If you expectations regarding the delivery of your product and service, clearly define it in writing. If not written down, you can’t consistently teach team members your ways and hold them accountable to delivering what you expect.
Demonstrate Trust and Confidence. When people know that you believe in them, they’re more likely to try to live up to your expectations. Prove to them that they have your trust and full confidence in their abilities to get the job done. Use positive affirmations regularly. Say things like, “I know you can do it,” or “I trust you,” to encourage your team.
Hire the Right People. Untrustworthy and disobedient people are not that hard to identify. When people don’t do what they say they’re going to do (like pay their bills on time) or be obedient to clearly defined rules (like driving the speed limit) they probably won’t follow your rules, either. Do your homework. Make sure you intentionally and methodically hire the right people and swiftly “de-hire” any wrong people you already have.
Initial Training. When your expectations are clearly defined, it’s easy to develop a training program that assures each team member knows how to perform the task. Don’t assume that new hires know how to do what you want done. Make sure you perform initial training that supports the way you want things done so you’ll be less likely to be disappointed with the results.
Observation/Application of Learning. The best way to know if the training got through is to practice with and test your students. Have them demonstrate their new skills right in front of you or have them teach another person how to do it while you observe. This will help them better understand the subject and provide increased confidence in their own skills.
Use Technology. With today’s technology, there’s no reason that you shouldn’t know exactly where your “production vehicles” (service vans, installation trucks and sales vehicles) are located. You have a huge investment in vehicles, fuel, tools, equipment, and inventory. You need to protect and manage your assets by paying close attention to when and how they’re used because your team can’t do their job without them.
Trust, But Verify. While you trust your team to do what’s right all the time, failures can and will occur. (You do hire humans, right?) Be sure to have procedures in place to identify exceptions to your quality standards and take immediate corrective action when problems arise. Use the failures as opportunities to positively coach your team to higher levels of performance.
Measure, Don’t Guess. This is the very foundation of performance-based service. Since our number one goal is happy customers who pay their bills and refer us to more work, the best way to measure our performance is to ask our customers this simple question: “On a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being ‘Most Likely’, how likely are you to recommend us to a friend or family member?” (Visit http://www.netpromoter.com/why-net-promoter/know for more information.)
On-going Training. You can’t rely on initial training alone to be successful. Bad habits and shortcuts tend to creep into your team’s performance as time goes on, so you need to have a plan for continuing education and re-education. Failing to plan for this critical step will lead to disappointing results that are completely avoidable with on-going training.
Personal and Team Rewards. People love to be rewarded for their efforts. Design reward systems for both personal excellence and exceptional team performance. Don’t neglect team rewards – in football, even the winning team’s players who never played a down in the Super Bowl receive a Championship ring!
Even though you can’t ride along and monitor the performance of each and every team member in your business, these 10 processes will help you feel more confident that your team is delivering the top quality products and services your customers deserve.
Need additional help implementing any of these ideas? Email firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll be glad to share some experience and ideas.