Has there ever been a time when your team or organization was underperforming? When results just weren’t up to your expectations and progress was a struggle? I’ve been there before and have felt the frustration that comes from trying to find solutions for improvement.
In moments like these I’ve tried a lot of different tactics to jumpstart performance. I’ve introduced new programs, implemented changes to current practices, developed new systems, tweaked marketing efforts, reached out for help from peers and colleagues, and I have even looked to the competition to try and learn some things from them. Though many of these methods have helped, the one thing that has saved me time and time again has been increasing my efforts around taking good care of my people.
Now when I say taking good care of my people, I don’t mean giving a raise, paying a bonus, or offering more benefits—at least not in isolation. What I am referring to is providing more clarity to what is most important to your business or team, staying consistent with your attitude and behaviors, celebrating even the small wins or signs of progress, and showing true gratitude and respect toward others.
If you are like me, focusing on the wellbeing of my team members when times are tough is not a natural inclination. Often, when things aren’t going well I do just the opposite. I become more demanding and short tempered. I micromanage more. However, when I behave in this way, rather than helping my cause, I end up shooting myself in the foot.
So when times are tough and performance is lacking, this is your clue that you need to turn your attention back to taking great care of your people. I’ve found that during the most difficult times, working to enhance the experience of my people is always the most effective way to improve outcomes.