Just talking to our employees may be one of the most powerful levers to improving business performance.
I have been involved in countless process and results improvement projects over the years and have noticed a specific trend. We often make the problems more complex than they need to be and, as a result, overlook one of most obvious solutions – simply discussing the problem with our team members.
This is SO important because I have proof that a simple conversation between a leader and a team member happening just one time is enough to drive lasting improvement in results.
We often assume that the reason for the lack of behavior is bigger than it is. We list our causes (or excuses) such as: The technology is too difficult to use. The employees need more training. Continuing with option A is easier than moving to option B.
However, our employees may only need a reminder and/or reinforcement from leadership that the process in question is important. They likely get a flood of requests and updates and need to know that the process is not the flavor of the month– it is a department priority, it is not optional and that there is a WIFM (what’s in it for me).
This informal chat could happen in a one on one, a mid-year performance check in or even a team meeting. It could be in person or on the phone. It does not need to be complex, fancy or take lots of time to prepare.
The key requirements are that we do communicate it and that it’s done in a way that is clear and genuine.
Just talking to our employees may be one of the most powerful levers to improving business performance. As leaders, are we driving and modeling this behavior?