A while back I was working with a business owner that had a rather large challenge with employee retention. The practice actually had a turnover rate 120%+ over a two-year period. As we sat down and started to talk, he shared his frustrations of how his team had no accountability or ownership within the organization.
I simply started to ask questions like, do you have a Vision, Mission and Culture in place? Do you have position agreements in place for all your staff? Do you follow a strict 90-day review process? Do you run weekly meetings? The answer to all these questions were repeatedly, no! I went as far to ask do you even speak to them at all. His answer was, “Not really as I’m just afraid they’re just going to ask me for more money.” Wow, talk about a disconnect from the pulse of the organization and the team.
While working together and over time we implemented all the steps of building a Synergistic Dream Team. However, before we really got started, I gave him a little piece of homework to do. The exercise was for him to write down all of the people that left and why they left. In addition, write down what you could have done better and what you will or no longer do in the future as so it doesn’t happen again. This exercise was for him to actually own this challenge and understand that it was not them as it was him that created this dilemma.
We started the process by running a behavioral assessment on the owner then on all of the staff. We defined his organization chart to get clear on all the key players. We with the help of the entire team, created a vision, mission and culture of the organization. We implemented weekly meetings to bring everyone into the fold and to increase communication.
Most importantly we implemented Step 5 of Building a Synergistic Dream Team of which is the creation and positioning of Position Agreements along with a strict 90-day review process.
The creation of Position Agreements will define all the roles, responsibilities and expectations for each of the staff. This document will be reviewed, signed and retained by both parties. Position agreements defines to each member of your team what they need to do, how they need to do it, when they need to do it, without waiting for you to approve it!
The Position Agreements will also give you a guideline to cover during your 90-day reviews. These reviews are where you discuss how they have performed, what they have done well, where they may need improvement and most importantly how you can help them.
This entire process creates the structure to address one of the 6 human needs of being the need for Growth. This process will Increases Accountability, Ownership and Employee Retention. It will also help you in the Identification of your key players that will help run the business for you!
To get back to the story of my client. After we put everything in place. His entire behavior shifted to that more of a leader. He spent more time out of his office with the team as opposed to the prior habit of hiding in his office with the door closed. His team stepped up as they were all along waiting for the structure of accountability to be put in place. His retention dramatically improved and the respect of his team grew as well.
If you are reading this and want to create a Synergistic Dream Team in your organization, follow the prior steps of 1 – 4 of my blogs and be sure to check in next week for the final step.