Successful Small Business Entrepreneur. *Skill Set: Team leader (over 50 employees). Creative Strategic Problem Solver. Growth through positive motivation of staff and creative problem solving of growth related issues (both: Too Much growth and Too Little growth) I consistently find creative ways to address people and motivation issues. "I can't be bothered to help people who can't be bothered to help themselves". Call me only if you are prepared to do the work. Let me help you take the step from solopreneur business owner to a successful team leader. I have a B.A. in Psychology and am familiar with installing operating systems as well as using leadership tools to develop a strong Leadership Teamf. My motto is Clarity = Freedom (create clarity for your team and you will experience Freedom as a business owner)
First ask yourself: "Have I clearly defined our company's culture with a set of written Core Values?"
If the answer is no, then do that first. (create a document)
Next list everyone's name on a spreadsheet and have a column for each cultural core value.
Rate each employee as a:
1- typically does not display this Core Value
2- sometimes displays this Core Value (but typically not when under pressure)
3- usually displays this Core Value
Ask each employee to rate themselves and to rate you. (You do the same for each of them). Then have one on one meetings, and be clear that you are having them with everyone and that everyone has opportunity for growth, including yourself.
When you meet with this individual follow this pattern:
1) This is what I am experiencing
Provide one or two examples. Remember this has nothing to do with Task Execution...most employees who are a poor cultural fit will revert to listing of the task lists that they are good at executing. Remind them that this has nothing to do with Task Execution, something you are pleased with. But the position at the company is equal parts Task Execution + Core Value Alignment. Today you are only speaking about Core Value Alignment.
2) This is my contribution to the problem
This is probably not a new problem. Your contribution may simply be that you have noticed this issue for awhile and failed to address it. Apologize for not communicating it sooner because if you had then this could already be resolved by now. Let the employee know that from this point forward you are completely committed to helping them achieve Core Value Alignment
3) Tell the employee what is at stake.
If core value alignment isn't important to them, then it isn't the right fit to continue working here. You will really miss the abilities they have brought to the table but since that is only half of the equation then you both will need to move forward. You believe that someone with their abilities can be a tremendous asset to the company if Core Value alignment is achieved.
4) Tell the employee how you will help them resolve this
-"I am asking for this to be better, and I am going to hold you to a pretty high standard so that over the next 4 weeks you can completely align with our company Core Values. Are you ok with that?"
-"I get the feeling this is Solvable (or Not)"
-"I get the feeling that this is a change that you need to make and not me, is that accurate?"
-"I do not want to force you into anything. If you choose to work towards aligning yourself with our company's Core Values then I want to support your plan. I want you to share with me a 1 page plan that outlines areas within the Core Values that need your attention and states a plan for growth"
*NEXT set a timeline: "I would like to support you in getting this started right away, would next monday be too soon to have this written out..ok can we agree on next wednesday then? Perfect, I will look forward to meeting with you next wednesday to review your plan" (THEY OWN IT!! very important)
5) Ask for feedback!
"Please share with me your thoughts and opinions regarding what we have spoken about today, I AM Listening"
*SEEK TO UNDERSTAND instead of just telling him/her everything..do Not seek to be understood.
-"Why do you think you have given this impression?"
-"Do you think there is anything you do that might make someone feel like you didn't value this Core Value?"
THERE WILL BE PUSHBACK: Hardworking employees who lack Core Value alignment will pushback hard with how effective and good they are. IT IS IMPORTANT to acknowledge that they: Are an important employee, they do make a big contribution. But tell them that "You are measuring in terms of results, but I am speaking in terms of values"
I have had this conversation 4 times. 2 times the person saved their own job and are Still employed by my company. 2 times the person came to the conclusion that they did not fit our company any more. There was a strong paper trail, and the separation was clearly based on Values instead of Results...which can help you support your reasons for firing should there be any repercussions.
ALWAYS: seek to honor the good things that have occurred as a result of their employment
NEVER: say that this is really hard for you, that is a selfish statement, this is their time to grieve the loss of a job. It is not comforting even though that is the intention of your comment.
I really hope this helps!! It is a hard step to go through but doing this well can have a positive effect on every other employee on your team. Since they each had a meeting with you as well...it underlines the importance of Core Value (Cultural) alignment and unifies the team.
This is a great question. I have built teams for the past 9 years and now consistently employ 50 people. I have used this quote for many years "Clarity = Freedom", it's just a weird coincidence that it is the name of this website!
I believe that the most important thing in developing a team is to create clarity for them...let them know Exactly what it means to be successful working for you. Create Measurables that define their success. These work best as weekly requirements but can also be monthly, quarterly and annual. Once they have complete clarity in what it takes to be successful, then they will have the freedom to execute decisions that help them reach those goals and you will begin to experience freedom from the day to day "IN the business" brush fires that occur and be able to spend more time working "ON the business".
I would suggest reading these two books: "Traction" and "Rocket Fuel" (both by Gino Wickman, also available on Audiobook from Amazon). Another great daily boost is EOFire.com (a 20 minute podcast which includes a daily interview of a successful entrepreneur as well as a suggestions for a great online tool/resource and a book recommendation).
I hope this helps!!
In my companies I define a team as my in house leadership (I refer to them in all group communications as the LT or Leadership Team).
My Personal Network is the collection of contacts and connections that I use to develop my business (Either through mentorship, advice or social/business connections)
Our Company Network is our collective group of contacts and connections shared by the Leadership Team.