What's Going Well?
Yesterday was one of my favorite days of the year. At first glance it might
seem a bit strange to you since it’s a random day that lands about
halfway between Thanksgiving and Christmas, but to the lovely Christy
and I, it’s an incredibly important day because December 12 is the
day we both said, “I do” and became husband and wife in a
remote location in beautiful Maui six years ago.
Anytime we have anniversaries, birthdays, or monumental days that we pay attention to like New Years Eve, it gives us all a chance for reflection, and the opportunity arises to take a good hard look at what’s going well, and what we’d like to improve in the near future.
Why don’t we utilize this strategy more in our own businesses?
Earlier this week I taught my Service Sales Success School for the great people of Service Roundtable in frozen Dallas, TX. As you probably know, I spend a lot of time working with technicians to improve their processes, confidence, customers service, and ultimately, overall results. Technicians are incredible people. They have tremendous hearts. They want to do the right thing. In fact, I wrote a column for PM magazine last year entitled, “Technicians are the Salt of the Earth”. If you missed it, I encourage you to check it out online.
I’ll say it again, technicians want to do the right thing, but they need guidance. They need training. They need to be told what they’re results are and how they can improve…but they also need you to celebrate their wins and effective results with them. As business owners and top leaders, we’re always chasing the next sale, the next level of profit, and the next improvement to our companies. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that. However, we have to remember to celebrate what’s going well along the way.
What’s going well in your company today? What have you been exceptionally good at over the last couple months? As we look at taking on 2014 and you reflect on the past year, what were you really effective at in 2013? We need to get clarity on these things we thrive at so we can maximize our opportunities with what we’re really good at. Then, and only then, we’ll want to look forward to what we can improve upon.
Our conditioning tells us to unconsciously take for granted what we’re doing well because we expect great results. I totally believe we should expect great results, but we still need to look at what we’re good at because OUR TEAM needs to hear about our successes, not just our challenges.
We’ve all heard the old management adage, “You can’t manage what you don’t measure.” We all know this to be true, and yet, many of our tracking systems are archaic at best. If we are measuring specific technician results, sometimes we don’t share them with the team member, unless the results need to be improved. I had a technician in my class this week ask me why his boss won’t share the numbers with the technicians. How am I supposed to answer that? The honest truth is, I have NO clue why he wouldn’t share individual results with the technicians.
People want to know where they stand. The only way we can improve a result is when we know exactly where we are right NOW and then decide what it will take to improve to a new level. If I don’t know where I stand today, I won’t know if I improve, so what’s the point?
Begin with looking at and celebrating what you’re doing well first, and then move on to areas of improvement. Your culture will improve, your results will improve, and your team member retention will improve.