At some point in our entrepreneurial journey, we all encounter the challenge of managing employees. It's an inevitable part of the process and one that is often fraught with frustrations. Employees can sometimes drive us to the brink of insanity; failing to complete time cards, leaving their tasks half-done, breaking the scope of work we've painstakingly prepared, demonstrating poor communication, and neglecting to fill out crucial customer relationship management (CRM) systems. Indeed, we could continue this litany of grievances endlessly. Yet, today we aim to offer a refreshing perspective and practical solutions on how you can instill a sense of ownership in your employees, particularly in the realm of contracting businesses.
As a painting contractor, I've gleaned numerous insights from my experiences, and I want to share three critical tips that can help you steer your team towards success. This guidance will be especially useful for those embarking on their journey in real estate investing. The lessons are equally applicable for seasoned veterans, as even they can occasionally benefit from a fresh perspective.
1. Communicate Your Vision
The first step to fostering ownership among your employees is mastering the art of communication. Specifically, you need to communicate your vision. Your vision encompasses your current position, the trajectory you plan to follow, and the essential elements that contribute to your team's success.
Don't just stop at communicating the vision for your company. You also need to articulate what's in it for your employees. After all, they are unlikely to invest effort and take ownership of roles that offer them no personal benefits. Consider this: you wouldn't feel motivated to commit to a task if there wasn't something in it for you. Why should your employees feel any differently?
It's essential to draw your team into your company's shared vision. Show them how reaching certain milestones benefits not only the company but also the individuals comprising the team. Be relentless in talking about your vision—revisit it frequently and keep it in front of your team, much like a trophy gleaming from a display cabinet, serving as a constant reminder of the end goal.
2. Give Ownership
Taking the second step on this journey involves granting your employees ownership. Ironically, many employers want their employees to take ownership, yet they place numerous obstacles in their path. They may micromanage, impose stringent controls, and display an unwillingness to trust their employees' judgment.
To counteract these tendencies, you need to grant your employees ownership. This grant involves entrusting them with responsibilities and, in some instances, allowing them to earn your trust by making and learning from mistakes. It is critical to ensure that your employees don't feel chastised when errors occur, but rather, feel secure knowing that they have your support.
A significant aspect of providing ownership involves allowing your team to exercise their intellect and creativity in problem-solving. When a team member calls you for advice, rather than immediately offering a solution, encourage them to think about what they would do if they were in your shoes. Encourage them to already start exploring solutions. This approach not only empowers your team but also aids in their professional development.
3. Enforce Accountability
Having defined your vision and granted ownership, the third step involves instilling accountability within your team. Often, business owners and managers discuss goals and expectations, delegate tasks, but fail to follow through with robust accountability mechanisms. It is important to remember that what gets measured improves. As a leader, your role involves helping your employees honor their commitments through effective accountability.
Accountability is a two-way street. When your employee accepts responsibility for a task—be it marketing, administrative duties, or on-site jobs—it forms a contract between you two. This commitment necessitates that both parties deliver on their promises, with accountability mechanisms serving to ensure this outcome.
4. The Role of Meetings
Regular meetings play a vital role in enforcing accountability and ensuring everyone is on the same page. These meetings also provide a platform to reinforce the company's vision and track progress towards it. Hence, we highly recommend incorporating regular company meetings into your organizational structure. The meeting agenda should include reviewing individual and team progress, discussing challenges, brainstorming solutions, and reinforcing the company's vision. The attendees should comprise all team members who have a stake in the meeting's agenda.
In conclusion, your team forms the bedrock of your company. They are your most significant asset. Therefore, investing time and effort in communicating your vision, granting them ownership, and instilling accountability will set you on a path of shared success. Remember, the aim is not to create an environment where employees are just doing a job. Instead, it's about fostering an environment where employees feel part of something bigger, where they share in the company's vision, and are integral to its success.