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Three Ways To Lead Your Team To Success

Updated: Sep 7, 2023

Over the last few weeks, I’ve had some interesting conversations. Several of them seem to have converged on one particular challenge faced by business owners, leaders, and heads of departments in organizations. That one common challenge they share is finding and retaining good talent.

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Sure, leaders find people who are credentialed, who have been in the business or industry for years, and in some instances, decades. They bring them onboard after a very rigorous, and expensive hiring processes. Then invariably they find that they are not performing to their expectations and to the levels the new hires had represented themselves as capable of delivering. It's a problem that wastes exorbitant amounts of time, money and resources. And it drains the emotional energy and focus of members of the team.

The question in the minds of all these individuals is what can we do to mitigate this challenge? There are a number of things that can be done. And it starts with the leaders and hiring managers of those organizations and departments.

Clarify Standards. First, how clear are you about the standards of performance and the standards of conduct that are required for people to perform exquisitely and with excellence? How clear are you as leaders about the attitudes that people need to demonstrate? In fact, how clear are you about the attitudes you, as a leader, must demonstrate in every moment of every day? This includes those conversations you have when you’re hiring people and interviewing them. What are you representing regarding the culture, the values, and the philosophy of that organization or department? To what extent are you not just saying it, but rather, modeling it?

What stories are you telling of good examples of do’s—what has been done, what has been represented by the highest performing members of your team? And what are sharing about the don’ts—the things that are just not acceptable or are not going to be tolerated? These “don’ts” cannot occur because it compromises the integrity with which everyone in the organization must perform and conduct themselves.

So, how are you representing all of this? Not just by words but by actions, demeanor, countenance, questions asked, and stories and examples shared to prospective hires. What's the evidence?

Establish Processes. Second, to what extent do you have a rigorous, very well mapped out onboarding process. This is not the one done by human resources, but rather the “additional” one that you create for your team. I'm referring to a process and habits that are repeated over the next twelve or thirty-six months when new hires come on board. It can’t be a one and done. It has to be shared in the hiring process so that when the person comes onboard everyone knows what is expected. It has to have been done and demonstrated; an evidentiary process that causes the new hires to see and believe that this is something that is not unique to them but is the ongoing process throughout the team, even experienced by those who have been there for a while.

The process should include habits that yield desired results. Amongst these practices are disciplines for strategic and operational planning, sales training, role playing and field demonstrations, and clear and consistent communication regarding goals, successes and opportunities for improvement. It's essential that leaders engage their team members with the highest levels of transparency regarding performance, challenges and ongoing changes.

Organize Content. Third, examine the content and substance of the onboarding and training programs that are part of your department or organization. As an example, does it simply stop at a description of the culture, the standards of performance, and the goals and aspirations of the organization. Or do you share the necessary future skills and competencies, whatever those might be? And have you defined the elements that are integral to team building, teamwork, productivity, effective management, effective leadership, and culture.

Is the onboarding and training offered sufficient? Are all the mission-critical elements covered, understandable, and acceptable? Is it programming that demonstrates a commitment to the wellbeing and overall success of your new hires? Moreover, does it address the success of all aspects of their life—personally, professionally, and financially? If not, consider what else you can add, such as external training, conferences, and especially one-on-one coaching.

Here is the reality. When employees are disengaged or not bringing their best, it’s usually for one of two significant reasons. They are not experiencing success on the job, so they don’t have enough reasons to celebrate. Or they are not experiencing success in their personal lives.

It is the responsibility of the leader, and it is an awesome opportunity for that leader, to invest and show commitment to the wellbeing and overall success of everyone in the organization. Doing so early and consistently for the duration of that relationship is critical for success. It’s an excellent way to have that new hire be equally invested in pursuing the very best they are capable of for themselves and ultimately, the organization.

Renwick Brutus' career has spanned roles as research economist, investment advisor, entrepreneur and consultant. He holds an MBA from Fordham University and has been recognized for his outstanding achievement in sales and business leadership. Today, Renwick applies his unique blend of business strategy and interpersonal skills to help individuals prosper and companies grow. He owns multiple companies and is in great demand to consult with business leaders. Contact him by email and LinkedIn.

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