Back at it again and today I want to talk about the power of doing intense one-to-one training with your team.
What if you could dramatically improve the skill and output level of your team in one swoop?
What if you could dramatically improve the returns your business got from its key people and it only cost you one week?
Well – it’s possible, and probable that you’re ignoring something that’s been staring you in the face for a long time.
All that’s required is you sit down with each of these people and analyse their work with some depth.
With this in mind, there are some important points to consider here then –
Don’t be convinced by how people sell you what they are doing
Oftentimes, people aren’t even aware of the mistakes they are making when it comes to their performance. This means their self performance reports aren’t even accurate.
Imagine having a team of leaders who are fundamentally unaware of their own shortcomings?
Imagine having a team of leaders who each day report back based upon incompetency that you have no visibility over?
Let me run you through several examples of what this looks like:
- Lydia, our COO and interim CEO, hasn’t been getting the replies back from the team she needs to be successful in her role. I asked her to give me an example of exactly how she chases someone up. It was so unclear what the task was – that I wasn’t surprised she wasn’t getting any feedback.
- Celeste, our Head of Content – I looked at some of her work and found errors littered throughout that she couldn’t identify herself – so we’ve put a feedback plan in place to see her improve her writing skills dramatically.
- Jay, one of our Sales Development Representatives incorrectly labeled a call as an ‘email lead’ – which now leads me to question all of her lead reporting in general.
- Gary, our Sales Operations Manager made some assumptions about how to import contact data into our calling software which would lead to additional empty cells the team would have to manage with. Furthermore, by adding a world-clock to his desktop – he’s able to get a better understanding of timezones for list-building and the like
- With Pearl, our Head of Public Relations we were able to identify additional software for PR outreach as well as iron out some processes and expectations from a pitching perspective. She thought going for 10-20 a day couldn’t be done – but simply because of my ‘ask’ and belief it could be done – she figured out a way to make it happen.
And I could continue (and this is just day 1 with the team)
Can you see how by questioning people’s assumptions – by investigating their work – we’re able to identify major wins. The collective sum of improving all of these things is massive for Pearl Lemon.
We can only benefit as a team as a consequence of all of these changes.
Focus on showing not telling
The other trap to shy away from is not allowing people to just ‘tell you’ about what they’re doing. 9 times out of 10 – ‘telling you’ is so far away from ‘showing you’ what’s happening. And it’s here you’ll discover all of the discrepancies when it comes to what people tell you they are doing versus what they are actually doing.
If you’re someone who is strong on processes – OR you gather a person who’s strong on processes and pair them with someone who’s weak on processes – they can very quickly identify small adjustments in their work that could equal significant improvement.
Often time it’s the incorporation of multiple quick wins, adding a bookmark or learning the existence of a different options that can lead to progress for you
This all comes from ‘showing not telling’ to get a REAL insight into what’s actually happening on the other side of someone’s computer.
Assume Control Of Someone’s Machine
This builds upon the ‘showing not telling’.
There are several things I would absolutely recommend you do to get the best possible insight into someone’s work.
First of all – having them open up their email inbox and work through some emails with you will give you an excellent sense of what’s actually going on.
This is where you’ll discover:
- How many unread emails are there?
- How long does it take to respond to emails?
- How many people are being chased by your team leader?
- How many people are chasing your team leader?
- What do the email responses look like?
You can actually also do the same with Business Whatsapp.
If you have a dedicated work account with your team – there’s nothing wrong in asking them to share their screen so you can look at their messages.
Again it’s with a view to the above.
Doing this allows you to discover ALL kinds of problems that would otherwise NEVER EVER hit your desk.
Do A One-Week Sprint
This is currently what I’m in the midst of at the moment. Yesterday was day one of this journey of working with the team one-to-one to drive as many improvements amongst my leaders as possible.
It’ll be an intense week.
Yesterday I met with David, Jay, Gary, Semil, Akhila, Lydia, Celeste, Pearl, Ion, Kemi and Vasco.
10 people in one day. Today I’ll be doing the same thing, and depending upon what happens – I may even extend it out to even more people within the team.
However – the value that you can drive for your business by doing this one-week sprint will push you forward months.
This is one-to-one, screen sharing or speaking ‘in-the-weed’s’ discussions or ‘show and tell’ as to what can be improved.
They last a maximum of 30 minutes or at such a time when there’s been a meaningful value exchange – at which point you can ‘hang the phone up’.
Create A Process Around This
Doing this with your team once every 2-3 months is probably a very useful approach to seeing gains from your team.
It’s really a simple thing to institute if its calendar’d and managed properly so that everyone knows that every 8-12th week they will have 5 short meetings with you (the founder to run through processes)
Ask Your Team Leader’s To Do The Same Thing With Their Teams
And of course, once the process has been established and you have a clear sense of things – then you can have this approach cascade down.
If there’s a massive benefit for this to happen with your team leaders. It stands to reason they should be doing this with their team members to extend the value as far as possible.
One-to-one training to identify hosts of problems can be absolutely transformative for the productivity and output of your team.