INDIANAPOLIS — During this pandemic, we've all been facing different kinds of challenges. In the business world, it can be tough for managers to keep employees on the same path. We recently talked with Garrett Mintz, founder of "Ambition in Motion." He helps companies improve their work culture.
From Garrett Mintz:
There are many reasons to want to increase the performance and productivity of your team. Whether you believe your team isn’t operating at their peak capacity and should step it up, or your company’s survival demands greater output, it is normal to work towards this goal.
The plans and decisions you make towards improving team performance have massive effects on just how successful you can be in driving long-term improvements for your team.
I have seen many companies simply increase quotas without bothering to explain the company’s needs to some of the most important stakeholders: the team tasked with the work! This methodology for increasing performance does tend to improve productivity for some people, but it also breeds resentment from the team forced into this new situation. Eventually, those that can’t (or won’t) meet this new threshold typically end up leaving the company with a bad taste in their mouth (voluntarily or not).
Essentially, these short-sighted methods for increasing performance achieve short-term results by sacrificing long-term growth. The cost of finding and replacing an employee is exorbitant and can be unsustainable, especially when considering the cost of training new employees. Even worse is the long-term drag on engagement and work satisfaction that builds up in the remaining team members that used to enjoy coming to work. They can quickly grow frustrated with the situation: the workload has increased, but nobody is willing to give them a reason to be invested in the process. With a work environment like that, why would anyone recommend working at this company?
You might be thinking to yourself “If I can’t increase quotas or performance metrics, how am I supposed to increase team performance?”
The answer is that you CAN increase quotas and performance metrics, but the key is explaining why and the stakes that are involved so your team can become invested in the plan.
This requires an extensive amount of vulnerability as it means pulling back the curtain on the concerns that you have as a leader in your company. You may think that sharing your concerns and the stakes at hand might stress people out and lead them to quit or question your leadership, but that simply isn’t the case.
if you want to increase your team performance, share with them the stress you as a leader are facing, what stakes are at hand for everyone (not just yourself or just them), and what measurable outcome goal needs to be hit. Don’t just give orders and demand perfection, instead, ask them how they can help you get there.
When you are vulnerable with your people and empower them to be innovative, they will reward you with increased performance while feeling a greater sense of ownership in the company. Strong company culture and employee engagement can move mountains in the face of adversity.