Episode 51 – 7 Powerful Things to do Today to Turn Your Employees into a Great Team
Turn Your Team into Your Greatest Asset
In today’s episode: We discuss the steps you can take to develop your team into one of the greatest. We all can have a Superstar, but do you have what it takes to build a fantastic team. One where you would be proud to be their leader?
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Episode 51 – 7 Powerful Things to do Today to Turn Your Employees into a Great Team
The Local Small Business Coach Podcast
Turn Your Team into Your Greatest Asset
Today I want to talk about your team. Whether you are a business of 1, 25 or 125, your single biggest leverage point in your small business is the folks you surround yourself with. Strong, successful leaders through the ages have realized that they were only as successful as the team they surrounded themselves with.
They brag about their teams and how they couldn’t have done it without them. What’s interesting is, they give all the credit to their team even though they are the ones that built this amazing group of people. The best leaders understand there is no way to achieve great success without these folks.
When you step back and look at your team, your employees, your team members, whatever you happen to call them, what do you see? Are they a cohesive unit? Are they all on the same page? Do they give you 100% and believe in your vision? Or…
Do they give you headaches? Do they tick off your customers or clients? Are they constantly gossiping or fighting like kids? Do they make a lot of mistakes? Do you sometimes just wish you could start over and start from scratch?
For most of you, your folks might fall somewhere in between. You might have a superstar and another you could easily lose tomorrow and not miss. The remaining members of your team will usually fall somewhere in between the superstar and the dead weight
We All Have Superstars
Listen, it is easy to have a superstar. Most teams have one. Normally a superstar comes to you already a Rockstar who is going to rock it no matter where they work. They are the easy ones. But can you create a team of Rockstar’s? I think you can.
I use to say that on any given day, someone else’s team might be me when putting our superstars head to head, but I would kick their teams butt if we went team against team. I found great pride in having one of the best teams out there no matter what role I was in.
It isn’t easy, but it is doable if you believe in your heart that you do have one and you work hard to continually work at moving them all up.
Don’t be average. You want a team that is focused and marching in the same direction. You want a team that is kicking butt and taking names. You want a team that you can brag about and tell others they are the key to your success. It is a wonderful feeling.
But what does it take to create a great team? Let’s take a few minutes and discuss 7 things you can start doing today to elevate your team to one you can be proud of.
Hire the Best!
Hiring the best people is critical to your business. Sure, I know it seems as if it is easier than it really is. I realize that it is very tough to find great people. I’ll even let you in on a little secret. Although I have hired thousands of people through the years, I actually hate the process. Let’s face it, you have to speak to a lot of duds along the way. But I also realized early in my career that when I settled for someone, it almost always bit me in the butt. How about you?
While it is very tough to find great talent. You must find people who want to be there and who want to do well. While it feels like searching for a unicorn, I’m telling you, the reality is, those people do exist. The mistake that you’re making is assuming they’re sitting around waiting for you to come into their life. Good people have jobs. Talented people are already employed. Your goal is to find the ones that aren’t happy where they’re at today and would love the opportunity to build something better with you.
By seeking for talent every day, you are bound to come across some great opportunities. For example, let’s say you stop for lunch at your local McDonald’s. And while there you meet a kid with the most fantastic attitude. They are positive, upbeat and providing fantastic service to everyone that comes in. So strike up a conversation with them. Find out what their goals are, what their dreams are. Go there a couple of days a week and start to build a relationship. Then when the time is right, work on seeing if they will join your team.
You have to think outside of the box. You have to constantly be looking for talent everywhere you go. You might not get them the first time you ask, but trust me, the minute they start to feel unappreciated where they’re at or their financial situation changes they will give you a call. Your goal is to always stay top of mind for them. Secondly and most importantly, be prepared to make the commitment when they are ready to make that leap.
Don’t think you have space on your team? No money left to give? Odds are you easily are carrying some dead weight at any given time. By just holding them accountable, they might just move on. Or even better, once you start to hold them accountable they raise their game and now you have an even better team that starts to pay for the extra person. NEVER not hire a great person when you have the opportunity to hire one. Performance manage out the weak ones after you hire. You might just find that their performance goes up and your sales and profits do and the person ends up paying for themselves.
Now That You Hired Them, for God’s Sakes… Train Them!
I bet at some point in your career, someone threw you to the wolves on your first day on the job. If you were lucky, someone spent 5 to 10 minutes to tell you how to do some of your job duties. How did that make you feel? Probably like you were clueless and wondering if you would be fired before you could figure the job out.
Yet we do it over and over with people all the time. And then we wonder why they have bad habits or don’t do things correctly. We are the problem as their leader. We are failing them, not that they are failing us!
You must have a strong on-boarding system to train people the right way. Not only in their jobs but to also go over their expectations. Expectations on customer service, expectations on commitment, expectations on everything that is important to you and your company. You can’t expect them to know what you want if you don’t tell them. More importantly if you don’t show them.
You must have an ongoing training program to keep the momentum going. Help get them to the next level. Remember, much of our growth comes from hands-on doing. It is important as a leader that you correct and adjust as needed to keep them propelling forward. Make sure you align them with either yourself or one of your top performing employees. Don’t let them develop poor habits early, you will never break them.
Value Their Opinions and Their Ideas
Okay you have hired the best and you have trained them on expectations, now it is time that you trust their thoughts, their ideas, and their suggestions. It will show them that you respect them.
Will they always have great ideas? No. Will they always be right? Heck no. But I guarantee you, the confidence that you instill in them will continue to build these skills and help them grow, develop and improve. By allowing them to make mistakes, they will learn to come to you with a solution vs just pointing out the problems.
The more they feel connected to the mission and to the goals, the more they will strive to be the best for you, your company, and your customers.
When you think back to working for others I will guarantee you the people you respected the most are the ones that let you have a voice and listened to your ideas. They never made you feel foolish even when you were in left field. You want to give that same respect to your team. Who knows, they might just come up with some great ideas you never thought of!
Your Business Does Not Need to be a Secret.
Our natural instinct is to hide our business and financial goals from our employees. The reason we do this is, well, let’s face it, we don’t want them to know what we make. Is it really any of their business?
The reality is, by not sharing, you could be hurting your business more than you think.
Now I’m not saying to share every little detail. However, there are so some no-brainer items that you should be sharing. For example, if your goal is to do $200,000 in sales this year they should know that. They should know that to get there, this month’s goal is to accomplish $18,000 or whatever it might be. They need to know what they’re shooting for. Give them something to get excited about achieving.
Now, you do probably need to help teach them that $18,000 does not mean $18,000 in profit. This is a great opportunity to teach them about expenses and the costs of doing business. To let them know that it might cost you $10,000 just to do that $18,000.
For example, when I had my brick and mortar business, we had 12 by 12 tiles throughout. I had a team of teenagers and young adults. Many of which, this was their first paying job. So I would tell them to stand on one of the squares. Just stand there. Then I would ask them, “What if I told you that one square costs me $40 every month? And that it was before I paid anything else besides the lease. Including them!”.
You should have seen their eyes.
I would then break down what it took to make that $40 profit just on that one square so I could pay the rent. It was amazing to watch how much more care they took in not only driving sales but also in not destroying product or by ensuring the importance of add on sales. They began to care about what hurt that $40 Square. Did they occasionally ask about the square footage so they could do the math? Yea, but the few that did meant they were starting to think bigger than just that little square. Sounds like a win to me!
So ensure they know the goals and the vision of what you are trying to create.
People Like Achievements & Want Skin in the Game
Think about how popular video games, Facebook games and the other games we play on our cell phones have become. For ages people have loved games. They love not only winning but they love achieving stuff! If you don’t believe me, just ask anyone who plays video games how much they like leveling up?
We’d like to achieve things because deep down we like to make things happen! So you want to find ways to help create goals and achievements that benefit your business and your customers and employees. . Put some skin in the game for them. Promise them lunch if they hit certain goals. Give a yearly bonus if you hit certain sales goals.
I hear people say “I can’t afford that”. I’m here to tell you that without goals you might do $170,000. You can’t tell me that if your team kicks it in and hits $200,000 that you can’t include something in it for them. I’m pretty sure a $30,000 bump is worth something to celebrate!
Stop Running an Adult Daycare
One of the biggest things you need to change in your business immediately, is to realize that you don’t have to settle for people that do not make your team stronger. While it might be difficult to find good people, settling for weak people can actually hurt your business more than being shorthanded.
I used to have a saying whenever people on my team were acting childish and immature. I use to say “I didn’t like babysitting as a teenager I sure the hell don’t want to babysit adults.” That usually got their attention. I even said it to the teenagers that worked for me later. Except for them, I had to add “If you want to be treated like an adult, start acting like one.”
Now, I would smile as I said it and they knew that since I encouraged fun in the work place, they had obviously crossed a line and this was my gentle reminder to get back to work.
For some of you, that might sound harsh, but the reality is, you have a business to run and you need folks that want to be there. You want people that want to create and build something right alongside you. Sometimes they just need help identifying the difference of fun in the workplace vs not accomplishing what is expected. They need to know when they have crossed the line.
Which brings us to the final piece to creating a great team…
Creating a Great Team By Having Fun with Your Team
I know it sounds funny, giving a lecture on not running a daycare then flipping it to say make sure you are having some fun. The difference is, you want a team that can enjoy work, smile, have a good time and yet still accomplish the goals and tasks needed.
Remember, we want to build a group of folks that are a cohesive unit. One that enjoys working together. You don’t want them always pointing fingers at each other and how terrible they are to work with. Nor do you want them pointing the finger at you saying you are all work and only care about one thing. And it isn’t them.
Think about it, if they don’t think you care about them, why would they care about you? Let alone your customers.
Talk to them. Ask them about their day, their family. Be sincere. Smile and tell them you appreciate them. Have some pizza parties, do something for their birthdays and encourage team celebrations. Don’t be afraid to show them the lighter side of you. It will help them understand and respect the more serious side when it comes out.
You Are the Common Denominator to Having a Great Team
In conclusion, it is important that you realize that in all of these 7 of these tips, the common denominator to having a great team – is you. Your employees only become a team when you become the glue that binds them together. You are the key to them working together and being on the same page. As I mentioned at the beginning of this episode, great leaders have known for years that in order for them to achieve the highest success they needed an entire team behind them. They know they are one person and can only do so much. But with an army of great people behind them, they could conquer the world.
So, will you step back and evaluate your team? Do you have a bunch of employees or do you have this cohesive unit marching in the same direction and achieving amazing goals? Do they feel appreciated? Do they feel they have a voice? Do they know what the vision is?
Have you been settling for anyone who could fog up a mirror or are you ensuring you are finding the best people you can? Are you training them to be the best they can be?
If no is the answer to any of these questions, then stop what you’re doing and put together a plan to start converting your employees into one awesome team!
Remember, have fun, be kind, be tough, yet be fair. Always treat them with respect and let them keep their dignity. They will truly give all they have to you, your business and your customers.
And as we wrap up this episode I want you to know, that I realize being a local small business owner can be a lonely gig at times. But you don’t have to do it alone. Just know, I’m always here for you.
By the way, If you like what we are taking about, then make sure to subscribe to the podcast so you don’t miss an episode, if you love the podcast and what we are talking about, then please leave a 5 star review so other local small business owners know this is a podcast that they can’t miss.
And don’t forget to visit the website at LocalSmallBusinessCoach.com to leave your question for me to possibly answer on the podcast in the future. You can leave it via the Speakpipe button or just shoot me an email.
Meanwhile, I wish you the best in your business and remember: Great Customer Service, coupled with Great business practices will set you on the path to Great Profits!
Bye for now…..
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Two Great Books to Help You With Your Small Business:
Highly Recommend all Local Small Business Owners Read the eMyth by Micheal Gerber. You will learn some critical things about running your business.
The second book is one I wrote based off a popular example I always use when folks are trying to understand their role as a leader with their people. Check it out.
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