Does your team handle your customers in the same way you would? Do they sell your products better or at least as well? Do they look for ways to make the business better? As the owner, your passion and commitment are often unmatched by others in the company. But it doesn’t mean they can’t perform as well or even better than you.
But it starts with the belief that they can! Too often, owners assume employees simply don’t care as much as they do. Possible, but maybe they just don’t know what you want or how to do it. So if you want your team to perform like you, be the leader and do these three things:
Set clear expectations. You have a vision of what you want your business to be and hopefully goals to help you get there. Don’t keep them to yourself. Share them with everyone in your company – especially the frontline employees and those who make things happen behind the scenes. Help them understand how each one of them plays a role in making the business a success.
Invest in training. Helping others develop new skills and knowledge is one of the best things you can do for your people and your business. It’s no surprise that great leaders are also great teachers. Take the time to share your expertise. Whether it’s technical skills, business knowledge or customer understanding, be a mentor to your staff. In areas of personal weakness, look to others inside or outside your company to fill the gap. When learning and development are priorities, everyone wins.
Empower your people with systems. Systems allow average people to do great work. They help people deliver consistent quality and service that customers expect. Documented systems make training and decision-making easier and more effective. And most important, they provide a method for others to look for and find ways to do things better. Think innovation!
7 Tips For Creating Systems
Keep them simple. A documented system, for any task in your business, should be easy for someone else to replicate. If it’s too complex, then keep working! When is it truly simple? When someone else unfamiliar with the task can complete it using only what you have documented in the system.
Write systems that make money or reduce risk. You are not in the business of creating manuals, so only create a system if it simplifies a task, improves quality, speeds up a service or improves profit. This will keep you focused. The trick is to start small and let it grow with time.
Make sure the systems are used. As you create systems, build a method to monitor to ensure the systems are used. Changing the culture of your company takes time and there will be failures. Even when the culture has changed, it needs maintenance. A monitoring system will do this for you.
Insure they are accessible to those who need them. Not every team member needs to use every system. Your master manual (online or in a binder) should contain all your systems, but individual team members should have copies of those that involve them. This makes it easy when someone is filling in or when training a new team member.
Get the team involved. Who better to help document the systems than the people who are currently doing the tasks. Of course, the team can also help you improve the current systems by identifying what’s not working and any redundancy that exists.
Define team roles and responsibilities. Unfortunately, it is normal for team members to disagree on what needs doing and how to best do it. Team members need to know their role and how it affects the overall results. Clear written and agreed upon roles (job descriptions) will go a long way to accomplish this. So start here.
Take it one step at a time. Documenting the systems in your business may seem overwhelming. Don’t try to do them all at once. Document one or two systems, implement them and monitor the results. Once you are satisfied, move on to the next one.
Get Serious About Systems
If you are serious about leveraging your business with systems but struggle with where to start and how to do it, then check out my Ultimate Systems and Procedures Guide. Designed specifically for small business owners, my step-by-step guide with templates and examples, makes it easy to do it yourself.