Owners continuously chase the intangible goal of building a better business. But how can you begin working toward that goal to produce real results? You can start by developing and implementing an effective performance playbook.
A performance playbook will encourage employees to become the best, while also building teamwork, promoting open and honest communication, and shaping a winning attitude. And as a result, you’ll not only build both a better team and a better place to work, but also see positive change reflected in your bottom line.
Appreciate Your Team’s Differences
There is a better way to build your construction business with the players you have. You have the opportunity to motivate them, focus everyone on the same page, and work together like a winning team with common goals, drive and enthusiasm. Successful leaders know their people are all different. They realize their players aren’t always motivated by the same reasons. People have different life experiences, backgrounds, beliefs, needs, goals and personal pressures on their minds. Most people don’t think the way you do. Not everyone will work the same way you do, either. And just because you pay employees a respectable wage doesn’t mean they’re going to work their tails off for you. To produce results, players must want to perform — and may need more reasons than just a job and a paycheck.
They don’t want dead-end jobs without advancement options or a clear future. They want personal growth opportunities and continuous learning. They want to participate in major decisions and be included and committed to the future of the business. As their coach and mentor, it’s your job mentor to discover each player’s differences and help them to achieve their goals. Only then can reach your business goals — with their invested interest in the company’s success.
Make Yourself a Leader Worth Following
To motivate your workforce, you’ve got to give them reason enough to be motivated. It’s simple: people are motivated for their own reasons, not yours. You can’t expect others to immediately understand your passion for customers, or quality work, or the desire to make a profit. They have to want to follow your vision and achieve your goals based on their own reasoning. Ask yourself: “What makes people want to follow me?”
Leaders must influence and encourage actions. Players must make the choice to act in support of a leader’s vision. You provide directives, and they decide when and if they’ll take them, often mostly based on their own needs, accountabilities, responsibilities and incentives.
Every employee requires two things: money and happiness. Above-market pay is a great start, but happiness is the result of being motivated and appreciated while: working in an enjoyable, friendly and respectable environment; engaging in consistent learning and future growth opportunities; and receiving encouragement and continuous feedback.
These efforts are supported by an exciting vision, inspirational and innovative leadership, continuous motivation, clear and open communication, coaching and mentoring and giving top players full and unquestioned responsibility.
Set Clear Expectations
People need to know exactly what you want them to do and what results you expect them to achieve. Weak managers assume people understand what’s required, so they may not take the time to spell out their expectations and then don’t hold people accountable for achieving the desired results.
The norm is to impatiently tell people once how to do things, assume they understand and then expect them to do it perfectly within an unknown deadline and budget. People must understand exactly what you want, and the specific end results and deadlines before you can expect them to perform. And make sure they understand what their individual targets are, what’s acceptable and what’s not, the consequences for not achieving results, and the rewards for a job well done. Players need to clearly understand the big picture and how they individually fit into the puzzle.
Care About Your Team
People need to know you care about them as individuals and you appreciate them as employees and contributors to the company’s success. Players want to know you care about them, their development, goals, family and future. Consider keeping a “team member profile” about each employee and their lives — include their name, family, schools, hobbies, sports, interests, goals, challenges, contributions, etc., and any observations that might help to indicate to them that you’re listening and you care.
To improve a player’s performance, you must be able to provide recognition, praise and appreciation for a job well done. Without sharing feedback or expressions of thanks, employees will backslide on their enthusiasm and eventually start to produce poor results. People want and need consistent feedback and positive reinforcement. Effective leaders give out praise weekly to everyone in their sphere of influence. Try phrases like, “I appreciate you,” and, “Thanks for a great job.” Add a simple chart to their profile to ensure you regularly recognize everyone. Offer this type of positive feedback in both one-on-one settings and larger group environments.