This is an excerpt from my Accelerate To Team Success book. It is a quick-start, self-help book for the owners of small businesses who have made that leap from doing everything themselves to hiring a team. Learn how to manage your team using the experience of someone who’s been there and come out the other side! Dip in and out to find out how to do something you’re facing today, or read in a logical order from start to finish. This book covers how to build the right team, how to manage that team effectively and how to plan for the future. It includes plenty of examples using the 3 ‘stars of the show’ to help explain the ‘why’ and illustrate the ‘how’. Learn how to develop self awareness.
It’s always good to know how you’re doing and there are several ways you can find out. In this section I’ll briefly explain what 360-degree reviews are, and how you can use them to find out how your behaviour impacts others. I’ll then introduce less formal ways to get feedback from your employees on how the company’s processes are working.
The next two chapters will look at Exit Interviews – what you can learn about your company when someone leaves, and Employee Engagement surveys – how you can find out how engaged your employees are and what impact this will have on your business.
When Ally took over the Accounting and More business, she was confident she could manage the team. As she said to herself, “They’re just people. How hard can it be?” She had inherited her team, and the team were used to working in a certain way that had developed over time by working with the previous owner.
Ally was very excited about taking over the company, and had lots of ideas. Within the first week she had rolled out four new processes and was eager to see how these changes would improve the way the company ran. What she hadn’t bargained for was the sudden change in mood that followed. She saw a sudden drop in motivation and enthusiasm on the part of the team. She wasn’t sure what to do, but in the end, after getting external advice, she realized that people – on the whole – don’t like change, and she hadn’t asked any of them anything before she made significant changes.
She made time to talk to each member of the team – one-to-one – to find out more about them as individuals. She also used these meetings to ask for their perspective on how things were done in this company, including asking for information about areas they thought could be improved, and asking them for any ideas they had for what these improvements might look like. She also let them know that she was not trying to change everything overnight, and apologized if that’s how they felt. She explained how enthusiastic she was about the opportunities for growing the business, and that she would need the help of each member of the team to do that.
She received a lot of feedback from this exercise, and it became clear that although some suggestions from the team were close to what she was trying to achieve with the changes she was already making, there were a couple of areas where she’d actually misunderstood how things were working, by working with the team they were able to come up with better ways to improve things that worked for everyone. She also learnt a lot about each team member which helped her learn how to communicate with them individually and as a group, which was to make her life much easier over time.
Feedback About You – 360 degree Review
If you think you’re doing a great job, have fantastic communication skills and are tuned in to people’s feelings, you’re unlikely to change anything you’re doing, but what if you’re wrong? Maybe other people think you have poor communication skills; they’re never sure what you want, it’s not clear when you need a job done by and you have no clue when they’re frustrated, upset or stressed. If you don’t realize and don’t change, you might lose staff, customers, and/or suppliers. Most people won’t come and tell you what they really think, they’ll just quietly disappear so they no longer need to work for, or with you. Even if you notice people are disappearing from your life, if you don’t know what’s put them off, it will be difficult to fix it.
Feedback About The Business
If you think your business is running efficiently and smoothly, that all your processes are effective and nothing needs to change, you’re likely to think all you have to do is stand at the helm watching the view go by while your ship sails forward. But if you’re wrong, and other people you work with, particularly your employees and customers, who are following the processes that are in place, feel they’re wasting time, duplicating effort, or it’s too hard to communicate with you, you’re missing a great opportunity to find out what could be done better, more efficiently and more effectively.
Want to read more of Accelerate To Team Success?
To read more and find out how you can develop awareness – that’s awareness of yourself and awareness around how your business is working – simply order a copy of Accelerate To Team Success now! Email me and let me know what you think
Sign up for one of our workshops to put the tips in the book into practice and gain awareness.
About the Author:
Dr Nikki Faulkner founded Mulberry Bush Consulting to work with business leaders and their teams to make the 'People' side of their business as effective as possible. Mulberry Bush Consulting's specialty is helping small businesses who are new to having employees and helping businesses who are growing rapidly and increasing their employee-base at a rate that is creating a significant challenge.
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