Where are we going?
What’s expected of me?
What’s in it for me?
Where do I go when I need help?
If your staff, particularly the customer-facing ones, don’t know the answers to these four simple questions, they may be moving your organization in directions you don’t want to go.
I believe that one of the most important jobs for a business leader is to answer these 4 questions for each and every member of staff. The problem is that most business owners believe they have done this, but when you talk to staff you get a different picture. If staff aren’t clear about the answers, they are unlikely to perform at the levels you want or the way you want.
Simply telling people once is not enough. There is some evidence that you need to repeat the message at least 7 times before you can expect people to understand it and realize you are serious. You also have to be consistent with what you say and do. Sometime when making difficult decisions, you have to be particularly consistent. Your staff will be watching and waiting and if they sense you are not committed to your own rhetoric, they know they don’t have to be.
I saw the following recently in one of Jay Conrad Levinson’s newsletters.
Drayton’s Formula: Drayton Bird believes that $1 spent communicating with your own staff is worth $10 spent communicating with the trade and $100 spent talking to customers. I don’t know if it is scientific but I do believe it is true from an ROI perspective
How much time do you spend answering these questions for your team? If it is not enough, think about the consequences and what to do to address the imbalance.
On a completely different note, here is a quote that I like a lot. “To profit from good advice requires more wisdom than to give it.”