Tools to Improve Employee Performance
Two reasons why your people under-perform and four ways to fix that problem
Lesson 6: Bottom-Line
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Most leaders like to think that they're pretty good at focusing on the Bottom-line and getting their people to do likewise.
But I beg to differ! Generally when I go into any team for the first time, I like to ask people (and they can be managers or front- line team members) two questions.
And these two questions quickly tell me the depth of focus on the bottom line.
The first question is: "What are your organization's top three goals this year and how are you tracking against them?"
1. What results are we meant to deliver and how is that measured
Now, in 70-80% of organizations, people will say something like, "Well, we did set some goals at the start of the year, but I can't quite remember what they were and I'm not sure how we're performing.
This is a sure sign that the business is filled with people and leaders who have a Worker focus and the business is likely to be getting good, but not great results.
Not only that, you'll generally find that there are interdepartmental in fights as people aren't pulling together to a common cause.
However, in a high-performance company, team members will know their top three goals and how they're tracking as a team.
No stumbling, no uncertainty!
Rockstar leaders ensure their team members clearly know the answer to the question, what results are we meant to deliver and how is that measured?
Every single team member is crystal clear about what the overarching goals are for the company for that year, and have their personal goals that support the company's goals and most crucially how they tracking collectively and individually against those goals. It never fails to amaze me how many companies just don't do a good job of this.
They set goals, but they don't focus enough on them.
And let me illustrate with an example of why this is so crucial to team member motivation.
Would You Play If You Couldn't See How You're Going?
Imagine I take you down to the local bowling alley and you've never heard of bowling before.
I set you up to play, but I don't tell you how you'll know if you've been successful.
I don't give you a target to strive for and even worse,
Every time the bowling ball gets halfway down the lane, I pull down a big curtain so that you can't see how many pins have dropped, you don't know whether the ball went straight down the lane or trickled off to the left or off to the right, And two things will happen fast.
- 1You won't improve because you don't know what you need to do to improve, and
- 2You'll probably get bored and stop playing or trying
Could you imagine wanting to stay there for a few hours aimlessly throwing a ball down the lane with no feedback and no target?
We are innately competitive race and want to continuously improve.
Every day of the week, people are down at sporting events, chasing down goals, getting measured against how they're performing. Trying to win that gold medal or championship.
People love the thrill of the chase, the thrill of competing against themselves or others. The thrill of improving.
If you haven't set up the conditions for you and your team to feel those thrills, you are shutting down some of your emotional touch points, you're likely getting lackluster performance.
People are motivated to achieve things they can see, touch, and measure. This is why it is so important to set goals, track and measure performance regularly.
2. Build Business Acumen
The second question I ask, when I go into an organisation, a test around Business Acumen.
The question is: If you had an unexpected expense of $75,000, let's say you had to hire an additional team member, how much in additional revenue would you have to raise to cover that cost and keep your profits at the same level?
Now, more often than not in Contributor or Professional Performer organizations, I get a blank stare, as if I'm speaking a foreign language and that type of response is often from the leadership team as it is from front line team members.
Whereas Rockstars, while they may not have the answer at their fingertips, they'll certainly know the implications of that question and be able to discuss with me how they are managing the costs that they're responsible for. The reason they can do this is because they've built capability around business acumen.
They've been taught how to make good business decisions and understand the consequences of the daily choices they are making to the bottom line. Which brings me to the third key, which is well rounded, capable individuals.
3. Well-rounded capable individuals
Most organizations are pretty good at developing people's technical skills, but they aren't so crash hot at developing people's social and business skills.
Developing your people's social and business skills means you'll end up with less drama, fewer time draining conflicts, and higher productivity and profits.
When your people are well rounded, they come up with more creative solutions.
They'll have a higher commitment to stay and perform and they'll have the capability to drive your bottom line into Superstar status.
And the fourth element we'll look at in terms of Bottom- line is Rewarded Performance.
4. Rewarded Performance
Once you've set clear expectations and standards and results and measures are established, you must let people know they are getting it right and they are rewarded for doing so.
The Reward and Recognition system for both individuals and teams must be crystal clear and people see it as fair.
While pay may not be the driving influence as to why Rockstars are attracted to and stay in your company, they do expect to be rewarded well and fairly.
So your reward and recognition systems must support this.
So when you get your Bottom-line systems and processes right, you shift people from Workers to, you guessed it, Business Partners.
So, I wonder which of the 4Bs you are leading exceptionally well within your team, and which needs some work?
Because leaving out one of the elements can lead to outcomes you may not want.
Believing & Belonging = Discretionary Effort
For example, when you do a great job of building Believing and Belonging, you get a load of Discretionary Effort.
People are working hard and putting in the hours and putting in a ton of effort.
Unfortunately, they probably aren't delivering exceptional results because they are missing Behaving and Bottom-line.
I worked with a company who sat very much in this space. Loads of Believing and Belonging. Great people, doing good work ... who regrettably, we're almost going out of business, because they didn't have alignment in terms of the behaviors needed to drive the results they wanted.
There was a lot of chaos throughout the company and the only people focused on the Bottom-line were the CEO and Financial Manager. Causing huge stress for these two, but everyone else was happily oblivious to how close to crisis they were. Good people who nearly went from Good to Gone.
And if we hadn't been able to turn this around for them, it would have been a tragedy as this is a business that is having a profound impact on their community.
So, while discretionary effort is an important component, it's certainly not going to deliver high-performance results in and of itself.
Believing and Behaving = Engagement
Next, if you've built substantial Believing in the organization and you've done a great job with your Behaving systems, you're going to get Engagement.
You hear a lot of consultants banging on about the need for engagement. And it's true, you can't do high-performance without engagement. But engagement isn't the endgame.
Take away that focus on the Bottom-line and that sense of Belonging, and you've got a bunch of people filled with good intent, doing what is asked of them, but they're often working against each other.
As well, the results can be somewhat haphazard because they haven't built business acumen. They are like our Pub Bands trying hard, but not getting above the line in terms of delivering performance excellence.
Behaving and Bottom-Line = Competence
Okay, so if your team is doing a stellar job of creating and using the systems that focus on Behaving and the Bottom-line, well, you're going to get competence.
Unhappily, if you're leading up this sort of team, it's often a fairly miserable atmosphere to be in. Oftentimes in teams like this you see high turnover rates and niggly industrial relations issues.
And while your people are competent, they won't go the extra mile they won't look out for and support each other, like they would if you've built more Believing and Belonging.
Belonging and Bottom-Line = Co-operation
When you're strong in Belonging and Bottom-line, you'll get a lot of Co-operation.
You'll have people liking each other and like working together to get stuff done and deliver results, but you're likely to have a lot of people with a "Have-to" attitude.
So, you'll be missing a lot of that discretionary effort and engagement that is needed to boost your performance from results to exceptional results.
And when we get all 4Bs working in harmony ... that's our sweet spot. This is where you're going to get Rockstar, or hopefully even Superstar, performance.
What type of leader are you?
The crucial question here is what type of leader are you? Think back to your best and worst leader test we did at the start of this training.
Where would your team members rate you? And is that good enough?
Because there are four levels at which you can lead ... the Body, Head, Heart and Soul.
Hostages or Coerced Performers they see people as bodies who are easily replaced and resources to be used. They create a miserable work experience for everyone.
Contributor/Charmer (Professional Performer)/(Pub Band)
Our Contributors/Professional Performers and Charmers/Pub Bands, are more Head type leaders. They use their leadership role for career money status, family and security reasons.
These are the types of leaders who say things like "I really don't have enough time to spend coaching and leading my people. I'm so busy with the thousands of things on my To Do list."
In other words, they're meeting their goals and delivering results. Frantically busy, probably stressed, and if they take the time to look at their life, they're probably feeling frustrated and unfulfilled.
When they look back at their working life, they may wonder, "Is that it?"
No doubt they're working hard, but you have to wonder if they've put their success ladder up against the right building?
At a deeper level ... at more of a heart level. We have our Rockstar leaders.
This type of leader is doing everything the Contributors and Charmers do, and is focused on being the best and bringing others with them.
They take great pride in building a great team and having an impact.
This is the type of leader whom people look back on and think, "Yes, that was a good leader to work with, that was a good place to work."
But down here, at the core of who we are as humans, is the leader who transforms. This is the leader who, when you look back on your life is toward the top of the list of people who have had the most powerful positive impact on your life.
This is the leader who is asking, "What are we capable of?"
How do I transform myself? Transform my people? Transform my company? Transform our community? This is the type of leader who is making a meaningful use of their time on this planet,
Our time here is precious
You're going to spend somewhere between 50 and 160,000 hours at work in your lifetime.
So, whether you like it or not, your working life is a big part of the legacy you leave behind. Not only your legacy as a business professional ... but also to your family and community ... Because people leave work and go home and very few people are able to completely switch off their emotional state between the time they leave work and arrive home.
What is YOUR leadership legacy?
As a leader, you have in your hands the ability to make your own and the lives of the people who report to you, (and their families) remarkable or miserable, no matter the type of work you and they are doing.
Because here's the thing: I believe that everyone deserves to work with a leader who transforms: who positively transforms themselves, their people, their company and ultimately the community they live in.
People deserve a leader who is on a mission to ensure their people say things like:
Is that what you'd like your people to say about the experience of working with you? If so, I invite you to join me.
I invite you to join me ...
You see, I'm on a mission to inspire 20,000 leaders, within the next five years, to be transformational superstar leaders who can inspire and guide others to come to this depth of leadership as well.
Where will you be in five years time?
A Superstar leader using your potential and inspiring the same in others? Discovering what we're capable of? Transforming businesses and the individuals in them?
Or maybe a Rockstar leader? Achieving goals and having an impact?
Maybe you'll be a Professional Performer leader. Trying to keep secure your career, your status and your family? Or maybe a Pub Band leader. Trying to keep everyone happy, but having a limited impact.
And I'm going to suggest you won't be a Hostage leader because you wouldn't have made it this far in the program!
Be warned: The reality is, if you're anything less than a Rockstar, you may be placing yourself in danger.
Remember the Good to Gone companies? Your leadership career is no different.
Become a part of the Make A Dent Rockstar Leadership Community
Now, there are two ways you can work with me.
I run a group coaching program or work with people one on one.
In the group program we get together each week online and use the power of group to bounce ideas off each other. Together we'll grow your confidence as you become a 4Bs Rockstar leader.
Each week, you'll Learn, Plan, Do and Reflect. You invest time with myself and your fellow like minded leaders. Discussing what's worked and what didn't. Together, we keep you focused on being a transformational leader, making a fabulous use of your and your people's time on this planet.
And, if you want to accelerate your results then you may want to work with me one- on- one.
So, if you're ready to be one of the 20,000 transformational leaders in my community, Ready to lead in a more powerful way.
to transform your own and your people's lives. I'd love to have a conversation with you about that.
Use the link below to indicate your interest and figure out which option is the best for you right now.
If it's a fit for us to work together, I look forward to welcoming you into the Make A Dent community.
And if we aren't a good fit or the timing isn't quite right for you, that's fine too! Congratulations on investing this time in yourself and your growth. I'm looking forward to being a part of your support team.
This is Shelley saying goodbye for now ... Until we come together again to help you transform.
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