In our last post, we discussed Step 1 in the 5 Steps to Building a High Performing Team. If you’ve successfully resolved Step 1, you’ve embraced your role of manager and are working to overcome the common obstacles inherent in the role, including knowing the differences between power, control and influence. With that in place, you can move on to Step 2, which is to engage your employees.
Six key outcomes you should achieve in Step 2:
First, you need the right positions on your team. ‘Right positions’ means that your team is structured for success. Do you have the team structure and resources, aka positions, that you need for success now, and a year from now? Many managers would say no. In some cases, you will have to determine what doesn’t get done or juggle responsibilities between employees and even yourself.
A second outcome is that there should be complete clarity on the responsibilities and expected results from each position. Ideally, your employee would write his or her own position plan that would have the 5-8 most important responsibilities and specific expected results for each responsibility. Position plans would be shared across the team so there’s no confusion with who does what. That sharing is the third outcome.
The position plan also helps set the stage for the fourth outcome, which is for you to sit down with each employee and discuss their position and the accompanying responsibilities and expected results.
This is where the rubber hits the road in employee engagement. One of the biggest drivers of employee disengagement is the lack of clarity around responsibilities and expectations. You should have a discussion with your employee on their actual results versus their expected results. Ideally, you would listen more than you talk in this ‘discussion’ since it is, after all, their role. And, you would agree on the level of support you’ll provide to help them achieve their expected results. Each of your employees will have different needs and, if you can help meet those needs so they’re successful, their engagement will go way up.
There may be a fifth outcome in that you may conclude, based on your review of the position plan with the employee, that the employee is not a good fit for the role. If you actually have a ‘discussion’, the employee may reach that same conclusion and you can work with him or her to discuss a transition into another role or even exiting your team.
If you are a manager for even short period of time, you will probably need to hire somebody. A sixth outcome is that, using the well-defined position plan, you hire a top performer when you do hire. There are no easy shortcuts. Hiring a top performer takes work. We recommend that you use a performance-based hiring process, which entails hiring a top performer based on his or her past performance.
If you achieve all these outcomes from Step 2 and you carry forward what you learned in Step 1, you will be well on your way to building your high performing team. In our next post, which will be released in January, we’ll move on to Step 3, building commitment and accountability to the team and the business.
You can also read more about the five steps in our book, The Successful Manager’s Roadmap, which is now available on Amazon at http://bit.ly/SuccessfulManagersRoadmap.
The book is written as a fictional story of one manager’s journey through the 5 steps. He has both a huge business challenge and a dysfunctional team. You may find you have some of the same challenges as our manager, Jeremy, and you may find his solutions will work for you and your team too.