Two weeks ago we kicked off the LEAP Team Performance Turnaround Bootcamp with a German Class of Frontline People Managers. Their first training was around what type of manager they are, based on their individual Kolbe A Index and a Leadership Assessment Questionnaire the guys had to fill in.
It was interesting to hear that some of the team were unsure about their Leadership Style, however, even if you are not clear what your style is – the fact that you are open to explore it, is already more than many other people managers do. Because, here it is not one glove fits all. You need to find the style that supports your Kolbe A Index and allows you to work in your zone of genius!
But this is not all! Once you settle on your style, the work begins! We covered planning in the second workshop and guess what…I don’t have enough hours in the day to do all that I am asked to do…. That’s what we heard! Sounds familiar? It’s not really a surprise to me, because most of the people managers I speak with do not have enough hours in the day. And – because they all work frantically in the ‘Urgent and Important’ quadrant they burn out.
There are many good videos on YouTube explaining this principle – and you are welcome to download our Priority Matrix, the link is below. But I want to draw your attention to the correlation of using your management style and planning your time wisely!
You see – in order for you to be successful – your team needs to achieve their key performance indicators! Would you agree? So – if you don’t allow time to work with your team, the team can not achieve their KPI’s, you can not report the numbers you need to report, hence your career advancement is somewhat jeopardised!
Now remember last week, in episode 43 we spoke about treating your operational area as if it was your own business. I invite you to put that “business owner” hat on. Do you know what activities you need so that your team can perform? Most People Managers come up with a long list of what would need to be in place! From daily reporting to pre-populated business review templates. From more effective meetings to capping the meeting time at 45 minutes. Etc, etc.
So – If I asked you what the single most important activity would be? What would be your answer? You probably will say – ohh I need to coach my team – but I do not have time for that.We all feel at times that we are swamped, spinning our plates the best we can and hope that none of the plates falls off.The flip side however is – a winning team needs attention! Every Single Day! As Operational Leaders you need to deliver results. And there is one principle I would like you to follow through: Conversation!
Conversations create results! Every single day.
15 minutes of conversation will allow you to
a) address your underperforming team members consistently and lovingly.
b) help your middle of the road people to keep doing what they are doing – we need them!
c) encourage your top performers to maybe take something off of your plate that helps them to progress in their careers.
Let me take you through three scenarios of 15min conversations with your teams:
- Address your underperforming team members consistently and lovingly. Of course I’d love it if you had an hour each week to work with your underperforming team members following the coaching methodology that supports your leadership style best. Reality however is, that we don’t have that amount of time!
You could however spend 15min each day with your underperforming team members. Either individually or in a small group and discuss areas that need improving. Believe me – if you do this every day – you will see the needle moving in the right direction!
- Help your middle of the road people doing what they are doing best – consistently.
Look – not everyone wants career progression! Not everybody is out there to be the highest performer each week or month. Your role in a 15min conversation is to find out what the steady-eddy in the team values most. It could be family time. It could be leaving bang on time. It could be shifts that suit them. Go and find this out! And allow them their personal values once in a while. They will be so grateful. And will continue to deliver for you – consistently!
I had a team member, a lovely man, fluent in English and in Dutch. He performed well for me. He was never sick, always on time. When I needed to find a Dutch speaking Teamleader – of course I thought of Johnny. And I approached him, asked him to apply. He shifted somewhat uncomfortably from one leg to the other… and then said: “Marianne – I love my agent role! I love speaking with customers, solving their problems and going home at 5pm to spend time with my children. I do not want to become a team leader” Just let this sink in!
- Encourage your top performing team members to take something off your plate! There are members in our teams that are exceptionally good at tasks that we are not that good at. When you spend 15min with your top performers, find their zone of genius and then let them do something in their zone of genius for you – you will find that they will be delighted.
They will do the job in half the time you would have done it, and they will go back to their day job – energised – ready to smash their personal target – yet again.
The key to these 3x 15min conversations is – to do them consistently! Every single day! If you plan your day – which the guys just learned last week – it is wise to plan today to whom you are going to speak tomorrow.
Now – let me tell you – I still get objections to scheduling 15min conversations to create results. Such as – I do need to gather all my performance data first thing in the morning. Really? Is this your job? In my books – it isn’t! In the 21 century we have Power BI giving us all the reporting under the sun. If you don’t have this – go and let your Ops Director know.
And there are these endless client meetings. I can’t tell you how often I left a meeting wondering what has actually been achieved in the 60 to 90 minutes. If that is you – again – speak up. Tell your line manager. Client meetings are important – but they are not urgent! You can schedule these meetings – once a week / month / quarter. If you have a crisis – by all.
Another objection I hear a lot is “I need to adjust the shifts” – really? What does your Workforce Management team do? What does your realtime manager do? You see I’m giving you some tough love here. If you don’t speak up then nothing will ever change.
Let me tell you another hack. Block the last hour of your shift – I call this my Power Hour! Look – we all have ‘Stuff” that needs finishing, an email that needs sending, a dental appointment that needs booking. If you block out the last hour of your working day – so that nobody – and I mean this – nobody can book a meeting into your diary – then you carve out 60 minutes where you can catch up. And where you plan your 15min conversations for tomorrow!
Now – if you and your team want to be part of the next Team Performance Turnaround Bootcamp – please join the waiting list – you find the link below. We are planning to run another cohort in January 2021!
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