Raising the bar can mean many things.
The bar could be a target, a goal or an accomplishment.
I am talking about raising the bar on execution.
Let me explain myself.
I have written in the past about coaching and people development and the impact that it has on your life and your career.
Great coaches have systems and processes.
More commonly known as “standards”.
These standards set “the bar”.
They are the specific details around “how” you are supposed to do something.
“How can I improve if I am not sure how I am supposed to do it in the first place?”
In the sporting world having standards in place are a given for successful coaches.
However, this can be a fundamental flaw in any business model.
How often have you heard employees indicate that their training consisted of the handing over of the keys, an account list and a token “Call me if you have any questions.”
Don’t get me wrong, there are many successful people out there that learned the ropes on their own and can thrive in that kind of work environment.
I know there are countless studies out there on the ROI of training and the practise of following a set of standards and my experience validates the effectiveness if it is done right.
To give you a visual, I am sure you have all seen what happens when five year olds play soccer for the first time.
The coach sends them onto the field and it is complete mayhem.
Kids running in all directions, some picking dandelions, some looking up at the sky and turning in circles.
They know they are supposed to score goals but they don’t know how to do it as a team.
Skip five years ahead and when you watch the same soccer players they are all playing position, running planned plays and working together for the purpose of scoring and preventing goals.
Perhaps not to perfection but the systems and processes have started to take shape.
Now picture your untrained sales team as the five-year-old soccer players!
Do you have five years to wait until they figure it out?
Training and coaching against standards is only a portion of investing into people development but it is a critical piece.
Everyone needs to continually learn and improve.
Improving the execution against the standards is the first step to helping your team raise the bar.
It is also the only way to know if you have the right systems and processes in place.
If your team is not executing against these fundamentals, how do you know they work or not!
Whether or not you are a start-up or have a long company history you should assess the following:
- Do we have standards against the execution of roles?
- Do we have measurement tools in place to determine if employees are executing against the standards?
- If the answer is “yes” to these questions, do you coach to these standards?
If the answer is “no” to these questions there is a good chance you need a system overhaul.
You don’t need to throw everything out and start over.
Take all the good work that has been done in the past and build on it.
Put structure and common terminology in place so that everyone is speaking the same language and are coaching to the same standards.
Get people involved.
Make them part of building the new standards.
Once in place, you can now begin to build and grow at an accelerated rate.
Knowing where the bar is improves communication, identifies gaps and increases your goal setting effectiveness.
All resulting in sustainable growth and higher employee engagement.
What do you think?
Is this your experience too?
Photo Courtesy of Edward Simpson