Tell Me What You Want, What You Really, Really Want!

Uncategorized Apr 01, 2019

How do you know what your team really wants?  The Gallup Organization conducted a study over 25 years that interviewed over 80,000 managers of 2,500 different business units, or departments. They then determined that the core elements needed to attract, focus and retain the most talented employees could be simplified down to 12 questions.  

Which do you think was found to be THE most important question?

  1. In the last 7 days, have I received recognition or praise for good work?
  2. Does my supervisor, or someone at work, seem to care about me as a person?
  3. At work, do I have the opportunity to do what I do best every day?
  4. Is there someone at work who encourages my development?
  5. At work, do my opinions seem to count?
  6. Do I know what is expected of me at work?
  7. Does the purpose of my company make me feel like my work is important?
  8. At work, have I had opportunities to learn and grow?
  9. Are my co-workers committed to doing quality work?
  10. Do I have the materials and equipment I need to do my work right?
  11. Do I have a best friend at work?
  12. In the last six months, have I talked with someone about my progress?

By far the question that when answered with the highest score possible had the highest impact on the team’s engagement, productivity and retention was #6.  “Do I know what is expected of me at work?”   Followed closely by #10. “Do I have the materials and equipment I need to do my work right” 

If you were to ask your team those questions today, how do you think they would respond?  In fact, why not ask them all 12 questions.  Ask them to use a scale of 1 to 5 with 1 being strongly disagree and 5 being strongly agree. It’s a pretty safe bet that you will be surprised by the answers.

We recently did this exercise in the first ever Groove 101 class and it was quite revealing for each of the clinic owners that had a team in place.  To be clear, I believe that there is a big difference between a job description – that usually defines tasks and responsibilities and CDE’s.  Rarely have I seen businesses embracing clearly defined expectations and it makes their lives much harder than it needs to be.

For example one that I use frequently is :

“When your performance is going off course, I want to hear about it from you ASAP, preferably accompanied by the action steps you plan to take to get it on course.”

And on my end that you can expect from me:

“Lots of ideas, information, opinions, etc. They are not directives - push me to clarify expectations if I start mixing up ideas and opinions with specific requests for action.”

If there is one piece of advice that I could give you, to make your life easier, it would be to make a comprehensive list of your pet peeves, those things that you wish your team would just do, those things that are in your head but rarely communicated and turn them into a “contract” signed by you and your team and review it often. 

Start small, I started with maybe a dozen, but be sure to include what they can expect from you!  Having a clearly defined set of expectations in place for your entire team is imperative.  Reviewing them with potential team members during the interview process is critical.

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