I have coached a number of companies whereby management is doing everything right– clear vision, core values, mission statement, USP (Unique Sales Proposition), and have clearly branded themselves in their respective market. The problem is the team members have not bought into these changes. So, what is the problem?
The foundation for getting your employees to take ownership in the Strategic Plan, is to give them a game worth playing. Please keep in mind that your business certainly is not a game, but nonetheless you must create an environment where people are given the expectation and the understanding that only their personal best is allowed to support the team effort.
It is no longer just a matter of properly motivating and inspiring your people; every game worth playing has to have rules that are designed to help everyone win. So, what are the rules of your game? Does everyone know what the rules are? How do you get everyone to buy into the rules of the game?
Without the preparation of clearly defined roles and responsibilities, the rules of the game are never clearly defined. What ultimately happens is that employees make up their own rules, many times not aligned with Strategic Plan. This leads to mismanagement and further miscommunication, and that is a recipe for disaster. What are the necessary steps to avoid the chaos?
Managers and employees establish clear agreements for the expectation about the work that is to be done, the quality of the work, and how and when it is to be done. Within the body of these agreements are the Roles and Responsibilities, Accountabilities, Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s), the Systems, and the Work Flow.
Unless these items are clearly defined and clearly documented, you are left managing by abdication. By establishing an environment of Management by Agreement, only then are the standards fully communicated and documented.
Any and all changes in the Roles and Responsibilities and the Mapped Procedures, occur only after there is mutual agreement between the manager and employee. Agreement needs to be reached about anything that might deviate from the expected results, work, and standards.
By having an agreement, employees take full responsibility for performing the work and achieving the results as agreed upon. The managers are accountable for providing the employee with the necessary resources, tools, guidance and training to achieving the work.
The employee and the manager are accountable for immediate notification for any and all changes or exceptions to the established agreements.
Managers can assume the work is being done as agreed upon, unless notified by the employee. To avoid micro-management of the employees, a mindset change needs to happen to allow employees the space to do their job, with the understanding they know what is expected of them, when it is expected and how it is expected.
Schedule regular ‘huddles’ with the employee and manager to communicate and update the progress of the work and the KPI’s. By regular communication, testing and measuring, only then can you confirm that you are on track with the plan.
7- No Exceptions
Failure to notify each other of changes, exceptions, or missed due dates is unacceptable. Period. Your management strategy can only be effective if you are willing to hold your employees and your managers accountable for their agreements, and if you are willing to hold yourself accountable to those agreements.
Relationships built on trust are developed as managers and employees keep their commitments and successful results are achieved. Trust is an ideal to live by, without trust your management strategy cannot work. Find a way to implement these Rules of the Game, and make them rules that you live by in your business. You will find that you start taking huge strides toward consistency in your business and predictable results. You will also go a long way toward creating a company culture that people are attracted to and fulfilled by.
Problems with getting your employees buy-in? Just contact me for a free 2 hour consultation.