Always implement a 90 day probationary period to: measure performance and production, determine “right fit” for your team/organization and to establish clear expectations and correct work-flow habits.
Keep an employee journal to mark performance needs and issues, as well as, customer kudos & other wins. If you’re fairly new to the management gig, know that your Human Resources Director/Manager will require documentation before you can A.) let someone go, even if they aren’t hitting production or performance expectations or B.) increase commissions, salary or bonuses. Documentation is KING!
Conduct performance reviews with your entire team. Have them set goals and revisit these goals with them on a monthly or quarterly basis. Avoid taking on the burden of their ability or inability to meet expectations. Share ideas, best practices, bring in top industry speakers, mentors, coaches, etc., but in the end, the old saying remains true..”You can lead a horse to water…”
b>Communicate expectations and set clear boundaries. It’s not good enough to simply have a talk with your employee. You must ensure that they understand what is being asked of them. You must be explicit with what needs to change, improve, etc. State deadlines for those improvements and follow-up to check on progress. Immediately after the meeting with your employee, always follow up with an email restating your expectations and agreements.
Stop giving away all of your attention and energy to the “resistors.” Remember the 20/50/30 rule. 20% of the people are “change-friendly.” 50% are your fence-sitters. 30% are the resistors. The “resistors” are antagonistic toward change and often do everything to derail your efforts. Who do you think is your loudest, squeaky wheel? DON’T give ’em the grease. This will only exacerbate their behavior and the problems. Look to win over the 50%, but give your greatest attention, kudos and support to the 20%.
Over communicate, especially in the wake of organizational or system changes.
Know when to let go. If you have a team member who is not meeting your company’s expectations and standards or who may be resisting change, behaving in an insubordinate manner and/or generally has a poor attitude, these things don’t mean that the person is “bad.” It simply means they are unhappy and are likely in desperate need of change for their own sake. You’re not helping them or you by letting them slide by. Know that by releasing them, you will be giving them the opportunity to find a place where they CAN be the star that they really wish and hope to be, and at the same time, you are creating space to allow the “star” that’s right for your team, to find you.
Make sure that your praise is fitting to the personality of your employee. Don’t drag an introvert into a conference room full of people and extol their virtues. They are more likely to appreciate a lunch one- on-one with you or a sincere ten minute conversation in your office.
Remember that all eyes are on YOU. Do not share your personal issues. Do not drag your bad temper from this morning’s spat with your spouse into work with you. Do not blame Corporate for all of your team’s problems. Do not compare one employee to another, EVER.
Be a constant source of hope for your team. As a Leader it is your duty to always keep the light on the path to hope, shining. The real truth is that even in the face of dilemmas, roadblocks, chaos, controversies, and challenges, your employees will look for “hope.” If they can’t find it in you, they will inevitably search for a new Leader someplace else.
Victoria Del Frate is a Business Coach working one-on-one, specifically with Mortgage Professionals. She is the Owner of I CAN Coaching Company http://www.icancoaching.net and creator of I CAN Plan, a mortgage-specific business planning web-tool. http://icanplan.biz. Victoria has successfully coached dozens of mortgage professionals whose needs have ranged from systems implementation, business plan development, marketing, lead generation, team building and customer service platform improvements to accountability, time management and life balance concerns.