Five ways to keep your team accountable and grow your business

When growing your business, creating a culture of accountability and continuous improvement is vital. Here are 5 ways to keep your team accountable and grow your business.

One. Find a safe way to give and receive feedback and constructive criticism

At the induction of every new employee, a discussion should take place on how you will provide constructive feedback and how they can provide feedback to you. This can’t be just a passing comment, you need to be very clear about the feedback process and coach them on best practices.

A great method for this was developed by Netflix. Their radical honesty policy states that as soon as you see something that can be improved, the individual providing the feedback should approach the person 1-1 and as quickly as possible. Feedback should be given positively and any potential solutions put forward.

By encouraging your team to provide direct feedback, you earn the license to do the same and if done correctly it is received more positively as the expectations were set from day one. If you have an existing team, set up a training session followed by an edict that the policy is to begin immediately after that session.

Providing and receiving feedback in a safe and encouraging environment is the best way to identify problems and fix them as quickly as possible. People who don’t receive feedback well should not be welcome on your team, nobody is the finished article and personal improvement is a character trait you should insist on.

Two. Lead from the front

You can’t expect to keep others accountable unless you keep yourself accountable first. Share times that you made mistakes, be vulnerable and give people the license to make mistakes and learn from them quickly.

For those earlier in their management careers, you may find it confronting and uncomfortable at first but if done correctly it will be one of the most important improvements you make for your business.

Three. Measure everything

If you don’t know what each team member did yesterday, last week, or last month, how can you know if they are performing today? Become a student of your numbers and test and learn.

Once you have established your goals, zero in on your key metrics and build reports and dashboards. This required your team to keep track of their tasks digitally, whether that is through a CRM system, ERP system, or project management software.

Find technology that suits your business and is easy to use. In fact, use technology as much as possible to automate the gathering of data and make it easily accessible and digestible. Start small, and then build out the systems over time.

Four.  Check-in regularly and structure your weekly 1-1’s

If you have implemented the technology correctly you shouldn’t need to ask your team to waste hours creating reports. They should all be accessible with a click of a button. Go through the key metrics and make sure they are not all focused on revenue or the end goal.

Measure the tasks and activity that gets you to the goal, as well as the goal itself. For example, if you are managing sales consultants, you would of course look at sales, revenue and conversions. But you should also measure calls, demos/client meetings, tasks completed, emails sent, and other activity metrics.

By measuring and discussing these weekly you will learn what Is and isn’t working and then make the necessary changes for gradual improvement which over time makes a meaningful difference.

Five. Focus your KPIs and communication on what is most important to the business

What you discuss the most with your team is what they will focus on. So be very clear on what you want to achieve and then focus on those items in all of your team meetings, 1-1’s, and regular check-ins.

For example, if reducing client churn is important to your business, put a focus on customer service metrics and add them as an agenda item in your regular team meetings and 1-1s. Discuss churn and customer service regularly and ask your team for ideas on how to reduce it.

Finally, and probably most importantly, whenever you set KPIs or bonus structures, remember they are powerful and create behaviours in your team. Make sure to focus them on the most important parts of the business.

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