I’d like to share a little bit about how you can get more out of your team. I’ll start with a question. What’s the difference between giving somebody on your team, a crisp $100 bill or just pure, authentic praise? In some cases, there’s no difference at all. People on our team crave recognition, they want to be recognized for the little things they’re doing, right? I’m going to share a couple of scenarios that might be helpful to you.
I met a gentleman years past and we sat down to chat. He was telling me about how his team had no accountability. They didn’t show up. They couldn’t even come close to representing his brand as he did. So of course, like any good coach, I started asking him some questions. My first question was: “I’m curious, do you have a vision, a mission, and a culture articulated? So, your team knows the purpose of your organization, the rules of engagement, and the type of expectations they need to show up?” And his answer of course was no. I said, well, if there’s no purpose and vision of the organization, how do they know what they’re doing and what they’re representing, or even what’s the purpose of their work? He nodded his head a little bit at this, but I had more to share.
The second question was: “If you heard somebody on your team making a call and they sounded great on the phone…Do you ever just walk out and say, you know, Jonathan, I was listening to you on the phone with that client, and that was awesome? I am so fortunate to have someone like you on my team. Thank you very much for being part of my organization and keep up the great work.” Pat him on the back, go back to the office.
How long does that take? Less than a minute. I asked him, “Do you do that?” His answer of course was no. Then I asked him, now, let me ask you this. If you heard Jonathan on the phone and he messed up bad, are you going to let him know? He goes, oh, of course, I’m going to let him know immediately. That stuff cannot happen. Hmm. Interesting.
I asked him, “So your team has no accountability? Your alternative is to fire them all and hire new people. Is that correct?” “Yes.” “Yet they have no idea of the purpose or vision or direction of your organization. What they stand for. If they do something right, you don’t acknowledge them. If they do something wrong, you’re all over their case. And your alternative is to fire them all and hire a whole new team?” And I just shut up. He leaned back in his chair, and his head started to nod. He had a pencil in his hand, and he threw it up in the air saying, “It’s not my team!”
I said, “I’m sorry, what?” “It’s not my team. It’s me.” He got up and got to work. Fortunately, since then, this gentleman is very successful. His organization is doing extremely well. And they’re one of the best in the business.
Another scenario of how you can get the best out of your team. I had a client who was frustrated with the fact that he had certain incentives for salespeople. And there was only one person that was really taking part in this. And he was frustrated because everyone else wasn’t. So, I asked, I said, well, what’s the incentive? He goes, “Well, every time they make this certain sale, they get an extra $10 bonus.” I said, “How do you pay ’em?” “Well, I just put in their paycheck at the end of the month.”
No, no, no, no, no, no, no. That’s not how we do it. I said, “At your morning meeting on Monday, try something else.” So, I asked how much money do you owe this person? He goes, “I owe her a hundred dollars. She has a hundred dollars coming from her to her. She’s made 10 transactions. Everyone else hasn’t made any.” I said, “Perfect. Get five crisp $20 bills. Make sure wherever she is sitting, you are on the opposite side of the table where everyone else is in the middle. Talk about the incentives. Talk about Sally over there. She did a great job. I believe Sally, you have a hundred dollars coming to you. Take the five twenties and count ’em on the table, 20, 40, 60, 80 a hundred. Take that stack, hand it to one of the other employees and ask, ‘Could you do me a favor and pass this down to Sally.’ Those other people had to touch that money and hand it over to her.”
The following week, when we had our conversation and coaching call, he said at work like gold. Suddenly, everybody else is stepping up. This is how we leverage the little things we can do differently to get people’s attention. Number one, take ownership of really being aware of the little things people are doing right so that you can praise in and give them recognition. Yes, at certain times we need to confront our employees about what they need doing wrong, but remember the pump and dump. This is what you’re doing great and thank you very much for being part of the team. If we could work on this, you will be an absolute superstar. Do I have your commitment? Yes? Awesome. Go get ’em.
The second thing is, if you have some type of incentive program, just don’t pay them extra on their paycheck. Use that program. Don’t get frustrated with the ones that are not participating, praise the ones that are, but praise them in front of the ones that are not to get their attention indirectly. Because trust me, the following week, all of a sudden, those folks that had to take that money and hand it down the table will be stepping up because they want to take that money and put it in their pocket, not Sally’s pocket. So hopefully these two little tips will help you be a better leader to encourage your team, praise your team and have them step up to do more so they can get better results than you can get better results and your company can grow.
COACH MICHAEL DILL is an Award-Winning Certified Business Coach, global speaker, and published author. He is a proud Action Coach Franchise partner as well as the President of Power & Ice Wealth Creation a strategic leadership company that works with business owners, leaders, teams, and entrepreneurs to both develop a systematized and structured organization while accelerating their mindset, efficiencies, and effectiveness to grow both personally and professionally to achieve extraordinary results. He brings more than 40 years of business and entrepreneurial experience in his leadership, team training, and mentoring practice. Businesscoachmichaeldill.com