employee engagement

The Most Important Part of Accountability

08 Jul
by Bridget DiCello

Your team is not being held accountable if they are not the ones doing the talking.

I followed up.

I asked them if they did it.

I told them they needed to get it done.

Still, they didn’t do it.

 

Let’s revise that scenario.

You: Mike, it’s important to make those sales calls. What are your targets for this week?

Mike: 20 calls per day, 5 appointments set this week.

You: Great, touch base with me before you leave on Friday, hand me a copy of your sales report and let me know how you did. Will you be in the office on Friday afternoon?

Mike: I have a golf game with our largest prospect in the afternoon.

You: Okay, come see me before you leave for that game.

On Friday at 11:15am, Mike stops by your office.

Mike: Just leaving for that game. Here is my sales report.

You: Tell me about your week, and how you did on your goals.

Mike: Mike tells you about some of the calls he made, and talks through the challenging calls. I just got too busy to make more calls. I was out much of the week at events.

You: How many calls did you make each day? Mike responds. And how many appointments did you set? Mike responds. And, what did you accomplish at the events?

Mike: I met some people I think could be good prospects.

You: Great, tell me about them. Mike responds. So what will you do differently next week to fit in your calls each day?

Mike: I might have to make them in the morning.

You: Good idea, what time will you arrive in order to do that? Mike responds. Based on how the calls you made this week, what else could you do differently next week? Mike responds. Okay, sounds like a plan. Touch base with me before you leave next Friday, hand me a copy of your sales report and let me know how you did. Will you be in the office next Friday afternoon?

The sales example above is about a struggling sales person who needs accountability to perform the basic sales activities. He would be perfectly happy to take your criticism and consternation as he sits quietly and listens because it requires no energy on his part. But, we have to get him engaged and talking if we expect him to do anything differently. This same conversation could occur due to a lack of performance in operations, customer service, finance or marketing. Accountability must include the employee’s participation in the conversation where they are thinking about what they will do and do differently.

 

Enthusiasm is not Engagement

05 May
by Bridget DiCello

If your team members are nodding their heads as you speak, and appear to clearly understand what you are saying with their response, “Yes, I understand,” you are very possibly on the road to doing it all yourself.

If you want to get someone to engage, which typically means that they are taking initiative, getting things done, coming up with ideas and playing a key role in reaching goals, you must get them talking and taking action.

There is a definite difference between enthusiasm and engagement. Enthusiasm can be displayed nonverbally, and with words of little substance – and can be a great trait to display at many times in the workplace. However, enthusiasm often includes you speaking and being the center of attention in order to share that excitement and movement and on its own does not get anything done.

Get them to talk. People think, engage and learn when they are talking, not when you ‘explain it again.’ As a leader, you may feel you need to have all the answers and come into a conversation prepared to address a team member’s challenges and objections. When really, what you need to walk into the conversation with is:

1. a clear picture of what you are trying to achieve, coupled with your expertise and experience

2. a strong desire to understand their view of the situation

3. a genuine interest in determining where the holes are in their picture, and

4. a determination to get them talking about the situation to hear their fears, beliefs and planned approach.

Get them to act. Often the first step is the hardest to determine and to take. When you think someone knows what to do, and how to get started, take a moment to test their understanding in a supportive way. You may ask, “What is the first step? What do you think will be the most difficult part? When will you have that first step done?” Then, schedule a time to check in on progress. A definite deadline for the first step will ensure the ball gets rolling, and once it does, it often easier to keep rolling, especially with your assistance as necessary and accountability to agreed upon actions.

Be enthusiastic! And be determined to drive real engagement with the way you engage your team members in conversation where they are thinking, talkingn getting prepared to act and taking action.