Employees fail because their organizations lack structure and systems to support the structure.
If you expect nothing from your team, nothing is exactly what you as a leader will get. I have written before about building a system that is a human machine.
You have to communicate what you expect from employees; it is so important. Why is it important?
Example: So you hired a social media manager. You hired this person because they know social media. Great . . . but . . . You don’t tell your social media manager what you want to promote about your company. You don’t tell your employee the things you love and the things you hate when people post/tweet/insta/share. Heck you don’t even tell this person how many hours you expect him or her to dedicate to social media. Did you also want them to help around the shop? “Well, yeah, wouldn’t someone just jump in and help?”
No, no, no, and no.
Even when you hire an expert you need to tell them what you expect. You must be clear, and state plainly what you want, whether you hire for entry-level positions, or people that need new training because of the unique nature of your business.
You must take the time to explain your goals to your employees and new hires.
Here is what a business needs to establish proper structure:
1) A conduct/behavior manual:
You need to have work hours set down in writing and how people are to log those work hours. You need to explain in general whether a uniform is required, or appropriate dress attire for your business. You need to have a personal phone call, cell phone, social media, and computer for personal use policy. HINT: THIS CAN BE A SIMPLE NO PHONES, NO PERSONAL COMPUTER USE WITHOUT PERMISSION.
2) A how-to manual:
Have some place that employees can consult about how to do the important/main activities that drive your business. Answering phones, processing orders–just have it written down.
3) A wages, raises, commission, tips, and discount explainer
If there are perks, explain them plainly and who has access to those perks, and when. Explain specifically when raises are evaluated and the criteria/ expectations for a raise.
4) A real way for employees to provide ideas, submit complaints. Some of the best ideas and suggestions will come from your employees that are working with your clients and potential clients day-in and day-out. Have a box or an email address where employees can provide this information in a way that you can sincerely process and consider.
People are not mind readers, and you are not a mind reader. Clearly state your goals, expectations, and systems. Give them the guidelines and they can decide if the job is for them, and if it is the job for them, how to excel and exceed your expectations.
Originally Published June 18, 2015