Don’t Mention It — Manage It!


My sister has teenagers. Whenever she calls, I know she’ll say at least once, “Why is it that even though I tell my kids to do something a thousand times, they still don’t do it!”

I’ve often heard a similar complaint from managers. ”I’ve held a team meeting,” they’ll say. “I’ve told them what our objectives are and what I want them to do. So, why aren’t they doing it?”

The answer is simple. You can’t just mention what you want them to do. You’ve actually got to manage it!

How?

Set Clear Expectations

Every team member must understand the objective and how they contribute to achieving it on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. For example: Our goal is to achieve a 100 percent customer satisfaction score on every exit survey we get every day.

Involve the Team in Determining How to Achieve the Objective

Involving your team creates engagement, buy-in and ownership. It means they’ll have a vested interest in seeing that their actions achieve the desired outcome.

Gain Specific Commitments to Take Action

Ask every team member the following: What actions will they take? How much action will they take, or how often will they take those actions? When will they begin?

Follow Up

Discuss with team members which actions are working and which ones are not. What challenges exist?

Bottom Line

It’s never enough to mention what you want; you’ve got to manage it.

Your thoughts?

Cynthia Leverich is Director of Global Business Development for Cohen Brown Management Group, Inc.

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