Getting more from you people begins with “buy in.” If you want to increase it make sure you keep the following in mind (these are the results of an interview with me by ABC News “Working Wounded” reporter, Bob Rosner).
Does it make sense, feel right, and is their job doable? The best motivation killer is to feel that what you’re doing doesn’t make any sense, is wrong, and undoable. That’s why it’s so important to take the time to find out how your people really feel about their jobs and your company.
Do you get ongoing reality checks? How exactly do you make sure that they think the job makes sense, is the right thing to do, and is doable? Don’t wait for them to come to you. Check in with them constantly — not only in meetings, but also in one-on-one conversations and e-mails.
Do you take into consideration their other commitments? Most of us have a full plate — kids, parents, civic commitments, etc. Rather than thinking that the job is the only thing in a person’s life, it’s helpful to find out what else is going on. For example, if someone is juggling their schedule because of kids, it probably will mean a lot if you give them flexibility in when they have to show up for work. The more flexible you are, the more buy-in they’ll undoubtedly give back in return.
Do you ask for their opinions on the top opportunities? There is an old saying, “You paid for my hands, you got my brain for free.” It’s fascinating how seldom most employees are asked to use their brains. Ask employees to get out their crystal ball to identify opportunities for your organization.
Do you ask for their opinions on the top obstacles? As tough as it is to ask about opportunities, it’s even tougher to ask about obstacles. Why? Because obstacles are messy and much easier to disregard. Chances are, if you take the time to ask, you’ll learn something from their responses.
Are you an active listener? If location, location, location is the mantra for retail, then listening, listening, listening should be the mantra for anyone trying to be a better leader.
Increase your people’s buy-in and they’ll haul your organization out of the rubbish to an entirely new level.