Things EVERY Employee Should Learn from You

StrategyDriven Management and Leadership Article | Productivity | Things EVERY Employee Should Learn from YouIf you want to be an effective business owner and manager, then you really do need to take your employees under your wing. There are numerous things that your staff need to know above and beyond their job role and any associated skills they need to do that job well.

If you want to get the most out of your employees, which will boost your business to untold levels, here are some things every employee should learn from you as soon as possible after they are hired:

Exactly Why They Were Hired

Okay, so your average employee is going to have a rough idea of why they were hired; usually it’s because they meet the criteria and have the skills that you need for the role, but is that the only reason you hired them? Chances are you chose your employee very carefully and not just because they have experience in email marketing or customer service.

If you also hired your employee because they were extremely confident, you found their academic background to be very impressive or you were blown away by the creativity they showed in their application, tell them! Why? Quite simply because it will do wonders for their self-esteem and show them that you truly value them.

When employees feel that they are appreciated, they tend to be more loyal to the company, happier in their work, and best of all for you, more productive too. You don’t have to go all out to flatter them, but if they impressed you in some way, do let them know!

StrategyDriven Management and Leadership Article | Productivity | Things EVERY Employee Should Learn from YouHow to Be Safe in the Workplace

In this day and age, you simply cannot hire someone new without teaching them how to be safe working in your business. Of course, although you should give them the basics, it may be a tad unrealistic for you to train them in all of the ways of health and safety. So, it makes sense for you to get an expert in to teach behavior-based safety, one to show how to use equipment safely and maybe even an occupational therapist to teach the health side of things, but YOU need to ensure that all of this information is in place to be learned as soon as possible. Fail to do this and you could have a serious problem on your hands.

How Clients Should be Treated

You wouldn’t have a business without your customers and clients who pay good money for the products/services you provide, so it really cannot be overstated just how important it is for you to teach your employees exactly how you expect them to treat your clients. You really need to lay out how they should be spoken to, looked after and related to if you want your business to succeed. If you can model the behavior you want to see when dealing with clients and employees, it is more likely to stick, so be a good boss, rather than one who is to be feared.

Teach them well and they will do amazing things for you!

How to Motivate Your Sales Team: 7 Tested and Proven Strategies

StrategyDriven Marketing and Sales Article | How to Motivate Your Sales Team: 7 Tested and Proven StrategiesSales is the core of the business and the team behind it drives the company’s growth and success. They are responsible for the 2 most important things in a business: customers and revenue.

Every business owner or executive should acknowledge the critical role of the sales team in the organization. They should be always motivated, developed, and inspired for them to consistently perform.

Here are proven strategies to make your sales team successful:

1. Establish trust

Trust is a fundamental core value of every organization. The business can’t run effectively without it. Teams can’t work together without trusting each other. That’s why it’s important for a leader to establish full trust across the organization.

Offering full trust to your sales team goes two ways:

  • You will need to win their trust completely
  • You will need to give them your trust 100%

Establishing full trust with your sales team starts with setting the correct and honest expectations. You need to be clear about the following:

  • What’s their objective/purpose in the business?
  • What do you expect them to deliver and in what time schedule?
  • What are their targets?
  • How will you measure their success?
  • How are you going to reward them?

The second step is to let them do their job as salespeople. Lastly, you’ll have to deliver your part of the bargain, which is to consistently work with them to achieve their targets, review their performance and give them their due rewards.

2. Give them visibility to the strategy

Part of what drives the sales team to deliver their optimum performance is to give them visibility of the company’s strategy. It is important that they know where the company is heading and what’s their part in it.

Moreover, enable your sales team to be equipped as they help steer the company’s strategy. You will need to provide them access to metrics, statistics, analytics and every piece of data about the company. This information will help them forecast their output in a timely manner aligned with the company strategy.

3. Establish SMART goals

SMART stands for:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Realistic and
  • Time-bound

This is a basic methodology for goal setting. It is critical to establish smart goals with your sales team in order for them to know what are you expecting from them.

Work with your sales team to agree on a defined daily, weekly, monthly and/or annual sales objectives. The key is to have a limited number of objectives or goals that are aligned with the company strategy. Then, enable with them tools that will help them track their goals against their performance.

4. Put in place an effective reward system

Sales teams are driven by rewards. They perform more when they know what they’re getting in return. That said, it is highly critical to put an effective reward system to keep your sales team inspired. For example, come up with an enticing commission agreement and/or sales incentives.

Some of the key elements of an effective reward system are the following:

  • A specific result or quota that will let them earn the rewards
  • A clear process of how the reward will be earned
  • Timeline of when they can earn and/or when the reward will be given
  • Ability for the individual to choose the type of reward they want to receive

Enabling your sales team to choose the type of reward they want will keep them excited. Start by sending out a survey to every individual so you’ll know what their expected reward is.

StrategyDriven Marketing and Sales Article | How to Motivate Your Sales Team: 7 Tested and Proven Strategies5. Make your sales team fall in love with the company

This is rather difficult but once successfully pulled off, you’ll have the best succession plan in the company. Moving your sales team away from the employee mindset and offering them the idea of being ‘company owners’ is critical.

Get them involved in building the company’s mission, vision and core values. Steer them away from being stimulated by their paycheck and let them become passionate about their contribution to the company. This may or may not work with all the individuals in your sales team but at least you’ll know who among them is truly involved.

6. Allow them to be flexible and proactive

Your sales team doesn’t become sales rock stars overnight. That said, allow them to be flexible enough in achieving their targets. It will require you to provide consistent guidance and follow through with their output.

On top of that, encourage your sales team to be proactive in all areas. Let them explore new angles and come up with out-of-the-box ideas. Moreover, encourage them to freely present these ideas and implement them.

7. Provide them with opportunities and growth

It is critical to provide your sales team with enough opportunities for growth. This will keep them stimulated knowing the fact that they know where they’re going if they become successful in the company. Keep in mind that a salesperson wouldn’t want to be a salesperson forever.

Putting a clear development and growth plan for the sales individuals is one of the required duties of a leader. There should be a clear and defined path for a salesperson to go to the next level in the organizational structure.

Conclusion

Motivating your sales team is a top priority. It requires diligent thought process and involvement with the team. Moreover, upgrading their performance will require time, consistency and commitment. These effective and tested strategies can help you build a successful sales team that’s always inspired and motivated. These should be an integral part of the core priorities of the company.

Silo Mentality: The Bane of Most Teams

StrategyDriven Management and Leadership Article | TeamworkOne of the biggest frustrations expressed by business leaders of teams is the ‘silo mentality.’ This mentality allows people to work in separate silos or independent units with only cursory regard for other units or team members. It is characterized by a “just let me do my job and get results” attitude, with little recognition for the power of working synergistically and collaboratively to obtain superior overall results. A team of silos does not engender a positive working atmosphere. By default, everyone ends up being in it for their own skin. This atmosphere occasionally becomes toxic. Fundamentally, silo mentality precludes the building of a High Performance Team.

Many leaders blame themselves for not getting their teams more engaged. Take heart! The default behavior of team members will by nature be siloed, until you do the work. Teams don’t become strong, cohesive units without effort; it takes perseverance, with a clear stated intention to become a true team.

How do move teams from a collection of individuals, to a true team? The first thing is to measure the team or understand its “Team Quotient” or “TQ”. We created this concept of TQ, which diagnoses the team’s strengths and development opportunities and arrive at a collective score. Once the team knows its Team Quotient, it can then align around specific remedies. The very act of measuring and aligning puts team consciousness in motion.

Next the team needs a clear direction, vision or mission. We are not talking about the company vision, rather the team vision here. The company vision is often too broad to be compelling for the team at hand. On the other hand the team vision will galvanize the team into action and pull it towards its goals. The vision should be something that can only be realized through the efforts of the entire team. It should be specific, tangible, and then broken down into meaningful goals.

To move from silo mentality to high performance, the team needs a payoff. This is why, fun, challenge and celebration are so important. A Swiss client and I were heavily into some feedback exercises during a TQ-team offsite when I sensed it was time for a break. Upon returning to the conference room, I suggested to the team that we should have some fun. Most readily agreed, however Heinz, one of the leaders, raised his hand and promptly admonished, “Fun? How can we have fun? This is business!” It was inconceivable to him that a leadership team could have fun together. Yet it is this very enjoyment of working and being together which provides the juice to move to high performance.

One reason why teams stay siloed is that there is no reward or recognition for showing up as a team. One of the most powerful tools in your team arsenal is recognition. When team members recognize each other during meetings, the atmosphere begins to shift. People feel more willing to contribute and show up; the attention is sometimes all it takes. I often coach my clients to instead of just reacting to what others say, acknowledge or recognize the points they have made. This may be expressed in simple remarks such as: “interesting point…”, “what Mary said makes me think of….”, “on your idea of…”. When simple, frequent recognition becomes a habit, the entire mood of the team shifts. Team meetings become interesting and rewarding.

It’s easy to get away with silo mentality because team members do not naturally collaborate. It takes effort, energy and time. A few years back, I coached a national pharmaceutical team with distinct geographies. The leader created meaningful projects requiring both geographic and functional representation. Leaders who create collaborative activities, projects etc., and build in collaboration as a part of the team experience and requirements, find that the silo mentality starts to fade. The success of those projects could only be realized through collaboration. Once team members collaborate, they feel proud of their collective work, wanting to talk about it and be recognized for it. The very act of collaboration moves team members out of their silos.

Ultimately, to shift out of silos, you’ll want to create a compelling team identity. Strong Identity is a by-product of being able to relate to and feel good about the team, what it stands for, and the success it creates, as well as the relationships and camaraderie experienced by its members. Essentially, teams need something to be proud of and strive towards. This creates a palpable ‘buzz’ about the team. Everyone wants to be part of a winning team with the sense of Identity that ensues. Identity is strengthened by observing rituals to keep the momentum. Rituals can be included in regular meetings such as reflections on team behaviors, recognition, celebration, icebreakers, or other activities for example team lunches, drinks, trips, outings etc. Effectively anything that moves the team forward with a sense of identity can be a useful ritual.

Remember, your goal is to move people from a collection of individuals to a High Performance Team. Work on the following to get there: measure your Team Quotient, determine your vision, build in fun and celebration, engage in recognition, create projects requiring collaboration, and build identity. If you spend just six months focusing your team on these areas, your silos will gradually dissolve and transform into a new team consciousness.

Remember, leaders are only as good as the teams they build.


About the Author

StrategyDriven Expert Contributor | Douglas R. Gerber | Author of Team QuotientDouglas R. Gerber is Founder and CEO of Focus One, a consulting firm that helps leaders create High Performance Teams. Throughout his 23 years as a corporate executive, Douglas developed a reputation for building successful teams. He has personally worked with leaders from over 70 companies to develop their own winning Teams. Drawing from his own extensive background and 10 years of research, Douglas innovated the concept of “Team Quotient” (TQ). He is a thought leader in the area of team transformation and author of Team Quotient: How to Build High Performance Leadership Teams that Win Every Time.

The former Vice President of PepsiCo Greater China, Douglas is an IAF (International Association of Facilitators) Certified Professional Facilitator, and an ICF (International Coach Federation) Professional Certified Coach. To learn more about Douglas, visit: https://www.douglasgerber.com/

Enhance Leadership Qualities Of Managers At Work

StrategyDriven Management and Leadership Article | Leadership QualitiesAt the managerial position, leadership qualities are extremely essential because managers are in charge of building and leading a good team. Managing a team and making them work towards a common goal, comes with a lot of challenges and these challenges require good leadership skills to overcome.

While some people are born with great leadership skills, they still need training on how to showcase and execute these skills. So, it becomes very important to have regular training for managers at work, to keep their leadership skills fresh and growing. Workplace is a dynamic space, so it’s important that managers are given regular training to enhance their leadership qualities from time to time.

Here are some activities which can be conducted to enhance leadership qualities at work.

1. Resistance Dealing Workshops

Companies should organise workshops by professionals who can throw light on how to tackle resistance at workplace, whether it’s from clients or team members. Managers should be trained how to keep their calm and handle conversations that might be uncomfortable and resistive in nature.

2. Team Building Activities

There are plenty of team building games and activities that can help managers enhance their leadership skills. Organisations should conduct regular corporate events and activities that will get the entire team together for some fun games and activities, which will not only help build a good team, but also help leaders play their role better.

3. Recognition and Appreciation

How should leaders decide which employee deserves recognition and appreciation? Managers should be trained on how to recognise and reward talent and appreciate their employees for their hard work. Managers should be asked to give recognition and rewards to an employee at regular intervals, so that they can understand their team better and push them to do better, hence playing the role of motivating leaders.

4. Creativity Workshops

This is a great exercise for teams and their leaders. Creativity always makes way for better ideas at work. Everybody needs a push to get their creativity flowing. Conducting workshops, games and activities that would stimulate creativity can help leaders and their teams in enhancing their creativity and increasing their work productivity.

5. Sharing Tips

The best way to get new tips on effective leadership is to hear it straight from other leaders. Conduct a forum where leaders of different teams get together and share their leadership experiences. They can share instances of tough leadership challenges and decisions. This would give insight and helpful tips to other managers of the same organisation on how to deal with similar situations.

6. Coaching

There are many coaches who are experts in leadership building. Bringing in a leadership coach for some one-on-one lessons in leadership can give managers some great teachings about leadership. This will also give managers the chance to discuss specific instances of leadership with their coaches and enhance their skills.

7. Dreams Of The Leaders

Leaders spend most of their professional lives making the dreams of their employees come true, forgetting that they have dreams too, buried under the pile of emails. Companies should encourage leaders to dream of their growth too. This would boost their confidence, motivate them to do better and grow. Companies should hold events where they discuss and motivate the leaders of the organisation to dream big and work towards their personal and professional future.

Conclusion

It’s important to motivate team members to work together and work better, similarly it’s important to motivate team leaders to lead better and lead more. Leaders need to grow as well to build better and lead bigger teams. This is extremely important for companies that want their leaders to progress and grow in their company. Investing in leadership skills of managers will ensure better teams which will ultimately lead to better work productivity.

Do You Have The Right Leadership Qualities?

Are you planning to start a new business during the next few months? Would you like to make sure you have what it takes to succeed? Then take a minute or two to consider some of the information on this page and make sure you understand the most crucial leadership qualities you will require. If you don’t have them at the moment; now is the best time to improve your skills.

Communication skills

If you struggle to communicate with your employees or clients; you will never reach your full potential in the business world. Communication is vital, and you need to make sure you can explain your ideas and highlight concepts in a way that others grasp quickly.

Problem-solving skills

You are going to encounter many problems and stumbling blocks in the business world. Success lies in your ability to solve those issues and overcome anything that blocks your path. If you aren’t the best problem-solver right now; you need to work on that ability.

Project management skills

As an entrepreneur; it is vital that you plan working practices that ensure your employees become as productive as possible. Maybe you would benefit from taking a project management course or something similar before you push ahead?

Now you know about some of the most critical leadership qualifies for entrepreneurs; you can begin to improve your skills and make sure you get everything right with your new venture. Regardless of the nature of your business idea, the same rules will apply. Take a look at the infographic for more tips.


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