Why do company and store standards get compromised?
Do some team members just not care about maintaining store quality or is it that they simply aren’t aware of the standards in the first place?
More importantly, how do you determine whether it’s one cause or another?
The answer is simpler than many organizations make it seem: just ask questions––the right questions.
Separating under-performers from the under-informed
When dealing with performance management for a team, being able to teach others to teach others is one of the most valuable skills you can have. In my management experience, showing teams how to pick apart issues like these meant coaching them on how to ask the right questions to maintain store compliance when these issues arise.
When low-performing employees start affecting productivity and compliance, managers have to assess the situation to determine whether the individual should be helped, or if it’s simply a case where he or she does not fit with the role they’re in.
Depending on the cause behind the issues they’re having, you’ll either have to ask some important questions or listen carefully to what they have to say.
Empowering teams by sharing knowledge and insights
If it’s clear the problem stems from a lack of knowledge, ask questions to determine whether something is getting skipped over in training or if the expectations aren’t being communicated in a way staff can clearly understand.
When employees express apathy towards their roles and responsibilities, don’t let feelings of dismissiveness or frustration block you from what matters most: why they don’t care.
Can we help someone who simply doesn’t know?
Empowerment naturally flows from sharing knowledge, and empowerment is key to generating confidence amongst your team.
While confidence is a key when building great teams, it’s important to note a clear difference between confidence and arrogance.
Confidence implies you know what you’re doing whereas arrogance is simply telling people you can do it well. Sometimes these can be confused and contribute to a misdiagnosis.
Empowering your teams with information is the best way to generate the confidence they need to be effective decision makers.
Can we help team members who don’t care?
I happen to believe that this is more difficult than people think. It can take an awful lot of time to work individuals who would rather be somewhere else––time that could be better spent with those on the team who actually do care; people with the potential to be future leaders.
With this in mind, focusing your time and energy on those who are willing to put forth the effort to improve their work and develop within your team should be your primary goal as a manager when standards aren’t being met.
Since spending the time necessary to bring staff up to speed can be a full time job on it’s own, companies are increasingly turning to new tools and systems that can empower team members without forcing managers to do it themselves.