Business owners face many challenges, from attracting new customers to maintaining profitability. Building high-performing teams is another. Many business owners want to get more out of their teams but simply don’t know how to. They don’t have clarity on performance. They aren’t natural coaches. And they don’t know how to get the best out of people.
We spoke with Ian Luckett, a leadership and business growth specialist and founder of Innovate to Success, to find out how business owners can get more out of their teams. Ian works mostly with organisations in the IT, MSP and tech sectors to help accelerate their profitability and growth.
Here, Ian shares five steps he believes are fundamental to building high-performing teams, and consequently, achieving business growth.
1. Understand your company’s mission, vision and values
Understanding who you are as a company, where you want to get to, and how you’re going to get there are fundamental to business success. As a business owner, you may have a clear vision of where you want to be. But it’s vital that this is communicated to your team - and that they believe in it.
“Knowing your vision is the most important step because it sets the direction for your business. Knowing your company values are also really important because that’s who you are as a company.”
2. Align your business KPIs and targets
Perhaps you have a good idea of what you want to achieve on a monthly and a yearly basis. But have you broken it down into clear KPIs and targets? Setting specific goals and measures for success will create accountability throughout the organisation. Every team or department should have their own targets that are all aligned to the overall goals of the business.
3. Have an effective appraisal and performance management process
Appraisals and performance management help to keep your team focused, motivated and engaged - which is vital if you want them to meet KPIs and achieve the vision for your company. Ultimately, the more you invest in your staff, the more they can achieve individually, and the more you can achieve as an organisation. But the appraisal system must be built around your company values and mission so that there’s a real purpose to it.
4. Know how to coach people
Being able to coach people isn’t a skill that comes naturally to everyone, but coaching skills can be learned. The fundamentals of coaching are building rapport with the team member, having an awareness of their challenges both inside and outside of work, and understanding what they personally what to achieve, so you can identify where they may need training or support.
“Everybody wants to get up in the morning and win, right? And winning looks different, obviously, for different people, but no one wants to go into work and get pulled up because they haven't done something well that someone hasn't trained them in doing.”
5. Build an employee engagement plan
Many organisations have a business growth plan and a strategy, but fewer have an employee engagement strategy. Your employees may trust and respect you, understand what the business is trying to achieve, and be working towards the KPIs and targets. But how often do you communicate with your team? How often do you ask about their challenges or problems? How often do you ask them for feedback?
“We’re going through a lot of change and uncertainty, and now is the time to reconnect with your biggest asset - your people. Show them a bit of love, check in with them, show you appreciate the significant part they play in the business, and you’ll be surprised at what you can achieve.”
Ian is a firm believer that if you implement each of these things, you can improve your employee output by 20%. Ian will be hosting a free leadership workshop on December 10th at 2.30pm, where he will be sharing practical advice on how to implement these steps. The workshop is particularly relevant for business owners in the IT, MSP and tech sectors. To register for the workshop, sign up here.
To learn more about Innovate to Success, visit the website.