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Boosting Team Performance: A Manager’s Guide

Employee Management
March 24, 2021

About the Webinar

Research shows that when employers encourage collaborative teamwork, sales, profits, and innovation skyrocket. And that when employees collaborate with their co-workers, they experience greater job satisfaction and higher morale. That’s why boosting team performance can be a gamechanger for both employers and employees.     

In this webinar, we discuss how organizations and their managers can nurture enhanced team performance, through strategies like providing a clear sense of direction, defining job roles, and setting measurable performance expectations. 

Learn how to establish effective team operating procedures, as well as the keys to building strong relationships, both within and between interoffice teams. If your company is organized into teams or departments, this webinar is a can’t-miss.

What You Will Learn:

  • How to provide team members with a collective sense of direction and goals
  • The importance of defining roles, responsibilities and expectations 
  • Which operating procedures ensure that teams keep running smoothly—even when changes are required  

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About your Hosts

Robin Paggi

Robin Paggi

Training and Development Specialist

Robin Paggi is a human resource practitioner and trainer who bases her advice and training programs on real-world experiences. Her areas of expertise include teambuilding, supervisory skills and communication. 

A California native, she holds an M.S. in Psychology, an M.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies with a concentration in Human Resources, and an M.A. in Communication Studies. She is passionate about tackling pressing H.R. issues and dedicated to sharing her knowledge. 

Boosting Team Performance

March 24, 2021 / 59:20:00

Emmet Ore Hello, everyone, and welcome to part four of our March Wednesday webinar series. My name is Emmet. I’m a marketing specialist over here at Vensure, and I’ll be your humble host for the next hour.

Emmet Ore Today, our panelist, Robin Paggi, will be talking about boosting team performance. There will be a Q&A session at the end, as always, and we’ll do our best to answer all the questions you have. But if we don’t get to them, we’ll respond to those individually after we’re done here. And just a reminder, we’re recording this and you’ll get access to both the recording and the slide deck after we’re done.

Emmet Ore This webinar is brought to is always by VensureHR. Vensure is the leader of 20-plus PEO partners with clients in all 50 states.

Emmet Ore So let’s run through the agenda here today. Robin will be talking about providing a clear sense of direction, clear roles and responsibilities, constructive interpersonal relationships, efficient operating procedures, effective relationships with other teams, and we’ll have the Q&A at the end. So, if you hear a topic you need a little bit more clarity on, feel free to submit a follow-up in the Q&A box. And the instructions for that are right here. So when you logged in, you should have seen the control panel open. There’s a dropdown section for questions in that control panel. Just type your questions and comments into that section and hit enter. If you’re a client, please put “client” in your question so we can track that. All questions are private, so you won’t see the questions or comments of others. And once again, we’ll try to get to all the questions in the time we have. But if we don’t, feel free to email, email us at webinarhrhelp@vensure.com.

Emmet Ore As always, Robin Paggi is our panelist. She is in, a seasoned human resource practitioner specializing in training on topics such as harassment prevention, communication, team building, and supervisory skills. So I will get out of your way and hand it over to Robin.

Robin Paggi Thanks, Emmet. People who study and write about teams, and trust me, there are a lot of books about teams that have been written. These people say there are numerous things that need to be in place for a team to function as effectively as possible. Today, we’re going to look at those things and you’ll have the opportunity to assess your team and to create strategies to boost your team’s performance. So let’s first look at one of the most important elements of creating or developing your team, and that is providing a clear sense of direction.

Robin Paggi A team needs to have a clear sense of direction, and this is usually accomplished by having a mission statement, a vision statement, and SMART goals. A mission statement says what the company does. For example, the mission of the Alzheimer’s Association is to eliminate Alzheimer’s disease through the advancement of research, to provide and enhance care and support for all affected, and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health.

Robin Paggi So, the mission statement says what the mission, or what the organization does. And frequently nonprofit organizations have mission statements. But do for-profit organizations have missions too? Isn’t the mission just to make
as much money as we possibly can? Well, hopefully, that’s not it. But yes, for-profit organizations should have missions also. And, one of the things that frequently happens with mission statements is that organizations will spend a lot of money having somebody like me come into the organization. People will spend hours trying to draft the perfect mission statement for their organization. They’ll put it on a plaque that they’ll put on the wall, and then nobody knows what the mission is. And that’s a problem. And, one of the reasons that’s a problem is that if people don’t know what the mission of the organization is, they’ll create their own mission. So this reminds me of a story. Of course it does.

Robin Paggi Once I was doing a workshop on team building for an organization and I had 12 managers in the room. And I asked the 12 managers to write down the mission statement of the organization, and this usually stumps people. Wherever I go, I have them do this, and a lot of times people jump on Google right quick to find their website in order to figure out what the mission statement is. But these 12 managers wrote down their mission statement and then I had them read the mission statement. Do you think that all 12 had the same mission statement? They did not. And even more so, each one thought that the department that they managed was the most important part of the mission statement. So, for example, the sales department thought that making sales was the mission of the organization. The marketing department thought marketing the organization was the mission of the organization. You get what I’m going with here.

Robin Paggi So the thing is, is that when people do not have a clear understanding of the mission statement, they tend to make it up themselves, and it tends to be a little self-serving. And that’s one of the things that we are very individualistic by nature. And working as a team goes against that. And a mission statement helps to bind people together to go in the same direction.

Robin Paggi Now, a vision statement describes what the organization wants to see in the future, where does it want
to be? So five years from now, we want to rule the world, or five years from now we want to have another part of our organization. Whatever it is, is looking forward. Five-year goals were kind of in-vogue, but it doesn’t have to be five years. So, for example, the vision statement of the Alzheimer’s Association is a world without Alzheimer’s. Wouldn’t that be fabulous? And that’s what they’re heading toward. And the mission statement is what they’re doing to head toward it.

Robin Paggi Now, SMART goals are specifically how an organization realizes its vision. So, you’ve got what you’re doing. You’ve got where you want to be. And the SMART goals are how you’re going to get there. And I’ve talked a lot about SMART goals in the past, but again, it’s just an acronym. SMART goals are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-based. And that they need all of those components in order for your visions to become a reality.

Robin Paggi Now, Andrew Carnegie was, is a name that you should probably know from history. And if you’re not that familiar with him, he was an entrepreneur who made a lot of money and then became very philanthropic, and that’s where Carnegie Hall comes from. So because he was one of the main entrepreneurs of the 19th century, that really helped to build this country, I pay attention when I see quotes that he said. And here is one. He described this whole teamwork thing very nicely by saying teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common vision, the ability to direct individual accomplishments toward organizational objectives. It is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results. And if you think about the Alzheimer’s Association envisioning a world without Alzheimer’s, it takes a lot of people to make that happen, not just one person. And that’s what Carnegie was talking about.

Robin Paggi Now, let’s assess your team in this area. And I’m going to ask you some questions and you can write down yes or no or just have it in your head, but then you’ll have an opportunity to do something with it. Question one, does your organization have a clear mission and purpose? If it doesn’t, employees might not understand why the organization exists or what it’s trying to achieve. And by the way, just thinking that the organization exists to make as much money as possible really doesn’t work for younger generations.

So, next question. Do you have a clear vision for the future, for example, the next five years? What happens if you don’t? Employees might not know where you want the organization to go. Well, so what? Well when people are involved in knowing where the organization is trying to go and the part they play in it, then your dreams might become a reality.

Robin Paggi Another question. Do you have clear goals for this year? Now, I know the pandemic threw everything off, and so this year is a do-over. And so, 2021, do you have clear goals for this year? And again, it’s difficult to achieve results without goals, especially for some people. Some of us need to have a goal right in front of us to keep us motivated and on the right track.

Robin Paggi Are your organization’s goals SMART? Do they meet the definition of a SMART goal, specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-based?

Robin Paggi Does each department within the organization have SMART goals that align with the organization’s goals? So I wish I was that lady in the graphic right there and I wish I could write on that whiteboard because this is what I typically do when I am leading this in a workshop format, is that I show how the organization has its own SMART goal
at the top in order to reach the vision, but that each department within the organization has its Smart goals that align
with the organization’s. And then each individual within each department has their own SMART goals that align with the department’s SMART goals that align with the organization’s SMART goals. So imagine that on that whiteboard right there. That’s how dreams become a reality. That everybody is headed in the same direction. And that’s what these tools are for.

Robin Paggi And here’s another question. Do team members know the mission, vision, and goals of the organization? Often upper management knows what it is, but employees don’t. Is that a problem? It is, because then employees don’t see the big picture of what you’re trying to achieve. They don’t feel part of it. They start thinking about themselves only and their actions become very individualistic.

Robin Paggi Are your goals regularly reviewed? You need to regularly review them to ensure that they are relevant. For example, a SMART goal that I had for myself pre-pandemic was generate ten thousand dollars in revenue every month. Now, obviously, during the pandemic and its aftermath or I don’t know how long, that is not realistic. And so, that’s
not attainable. So it no longer becomes a SMART goal. So that’s one of the things, we might need to reevaluate any SMART goals that we’ve had and make sure that they are attainable. And do your goals change according to changing circumstances, as I just described.,

Robin Paggi So here are some strategies that you might be able to put into place if you answered no to a bunch of my questions. First of all, do you know what the mission, vision, and goals of your organization are? If you don’t, then maybe you should find out. And one of the things that I like to tell supervisors especially, is that when you are disciplining someone, it should include the mission statement. The reason that you’re disciplining someone is because they’re veering off-course. If they’re not meeting performance expectations, if they’re violating company policy, whatever it is they’re doing, it is off-course with the mission.

Robin Paggi So one of the ways to ensure that employees know what the mission is, is that you keep repeating it to them and you find creative ways to repeat it to them. You don’t just gather together all the, every morning and recite the mission statement together, but especially when you’re disciplining, people are off-course, you’re bringing them back on-course, so they’re headed in the right direction.

Robin Paggi Here’s another strategy. Should you ensure your department goals are in alignment with the organization’s goals? So if you’re thinking, I don’t know what the organization’s goals are, I don’t know what our department goals are, I don’t even have SMART goals myself, then perhaps you should do something about that. So talk to your supervisor. And do you need to relay that information, if you are a supervisor, to your staff? Again, frequently upper management talks about this stuff, but they don’t talk about it with people who are on the frontlines doing the work. And that is a critical disconnect that prevents you from getting the results that you need from your team. All right. So that’s the first thing. Let’s keep moving and go on.

Robin Paggi Clear roles and responsibilities is also critical. I have seen a lot of conflict happen because people were unclear about not only their role but other roles of people. I coached a gentleman once who had caused a lot of conflict within his department, and he was brand new within that department. And so this was really unfortunate that he’s already causing all this conflict. And when I talked with him in our first coaching session, it became apparent that he had been put in charge, but nobody else was told that. And so he started bossing people around and people started asking, who are you to boss me around? So there was a communication disconnect that was the root of this conflict, not his actions. He was doing what he was supposed to do. So that’s one of the reasons that clear roles and responsibility is so important.

Robin Paggi So, some tools for you to clarify roles. First of all, job descriptions. So let’s assess your team. Do you have job descriptions for each position? A lot of times, people work without job descriptions and they do just fine. But sometimes people don’t know, oh, this is my responsibility? I didn’t know that. Nobody went over that with me. And so, make sure you have a job description, which is a tool that’s supposed to help employees know what they’re responsible for. Without job descriptions, they might not know.

Robin Paggi Do you review and update your job descriptions? Again, things constantly change. And so, sometimes jobs change along with them and we need to make sure that the job description reflects the job that people are actually doing.

Robin Paggi Are performance expectations clear and do team members know what their responsibilities are? Now, one of the things, we talked about this a webinar or so ago, but it’s incredibly difficult to have clear expectations. And talked about the fact that communication, we often think we’re clear, but the other person has a different idea of what we’re talking about. Mutual understanding is the definition of communication. It’s very difficult to attain because we are so different and have different interpretations. So, making sure those performance expectations are clear and SMART goals helps with that because they are specific.

Robin Paggi Do team members have SMART goals? So, that’s again, the way to make sure they are achieving what you want them to achieve.

Robin Paggi Performance evaluations, are they conducted on an annual basis? And again, I’ve talked about performance evaluations in the past, so I don’t want to go in-depth in them. But it’s important that performance is documented, both good and bad, throughout the year and then summarized in a performance evaluation that you discuss with the employee and it goes in their file. And again, in previous webinars, I talked about the importance of that documentation, so I won’t go into it again. But this is my reminder that we have lots of webinars in our archive that are available to you. And all you have to do is go to the Vensure website and you will see weekly webinars since last September that covers a lot of the things that I’m talking about.

Robin Paggi So what can you do to boost your team’s performance in this area? Maybe you need to review the job descriptions to ensure they’re current, and I’ll tell you a good time to do that is when you hire a new employee and bree, before performance evaluations. And so I’ve had people who have told me, yeah, we’ve got this big project coming
up, we’re going to review all our job descriptions, and I thought, ouch, that’s gonna be tough. When you really need to review job descriptions is before you hire somebody to make sure it’s up-to-date, and when you go into the performance evaluation, because, again, the evaluation should be a reflection of the job description, it should be evaluating people based upon that job description.

Robin Paggi One of the other things that you can ask yourself is, do you need to set SMART goals for employees? Do they have those SMART goals? Do you need SMART goals for yourself?

Robin Paggi And, one of the things that’s really important is accountability. Now, if people aren’t mer, meeting performance expectations, if they are violating company policies, all of those things that they’re going off track and you’re trying to get them back on track, it’s important that there are consequences. Now I’m not saying that you need to discipline people every single time they go off track, but I do know if there is no accountability, there will be no changes. And the reason that I know that is because out in training, especially with one particular client, they are very good to
their employees. And when I talk to their supervisors about writing people up, documenting correctly those difficult conversations you have with people, all of that, they said we do all that. It’s just that people just keep doing whatever they do. I mean, we’ll write people up 12, 13 times for doing the same thing and they still don’t change. Well, that’s a problem. And the reason that they don’t change is because there are no consequences to them not changing.

Robin Paggi Now, people are hardwired to try to get away with whatever they can get away with. And that doesn’t
make us bad people, that just makes us human. For example, if you’re like me, you might have liked to speed, and try
to get away with speeding just about every time you got on the road. I’m much more careful about that now, and one of the reasons is because I’ve gotten some pretty hefty traffic tickets. And when you pay $400 for speeding, then it might inspire you to slow down. That’s one of the reasons accountability is so important. One of my favorite phrases is silence equals permission. If somebody is late and you say nothing, you’ve just given them permission to be late. Somebody calls somebody a racial slur and you say nothing, you’ve just given them permission to do it. Silence equals permission. People will get away with whatever they can get away with. And if no one is holding them accountable, then they think it’s okay. So maybe you need to do a better job of holding people accountable. And if you do, you can go back to our previous webinars about having difficult conversations with people and about documenting performance. All right. So let’s move on to our next area that teams need to have, and this is constructive interpersonal relationships.

Robin Paggi Now sometimes employers contact me and they say we want to have a day of team building. People aren’t getting along with each other, and so we’re thinking, you know, if we maybe go out and do an obstacle course, or paintball, or go bowling, or something, then that will help people get along with each other. And I am more than happy to take people bowling for a day, but that does not do the trick, that maybe people will get along with each other for maybe one day.

But team building on a yearly basis is just like exercising on a yearly basis. You don’t exercise once a year in order to get in shape. It’s something you’ve got to do on a regular basis. And team building is the same way. So, does that mean we should go bowling on a regular basis? No. Here’s the way to help people have good interpersonal relationships that they can get along with each other.

Robin Paggi So it’s difficult for people to get along with each other. Why? Our differences often become an obstacle.
We tend to like people who are like us. We get them, we understand them, it’s easy to communicate with them. When people are different from us, be it their personality, their age, their gender, their sexual orientation, their national origin, their ancestry, whatever those differences are, they tend to become obstacles to our success as a team because we don’t understand why people do what they do. We know that our way of doing things is the right way, and that leads to often conflicts within the team.

Robin Paggi So we talked about conflict resolution last week. Let me ask you some questions about your team. Do team members accept personal differences within the team, meaning are employees accepting of everyone, regardless of their race, age, gender, sexual orientation, religion, or anything else that makes people different from each other? Do employees focus on each other’s strengths and not on their weaknesses? Now, this one’s a tough one, especially when people are talking about other people. Usually, people don’t walk up to somebody and go, you know, I want to tell you about Emmet. He is such a great guy. No, they don’t do that. They walk up and they tell you everything bad that Emmet has done. By the way, Emmet, I did tell our marketing team how great you are. So, there you go.

Emmet Ore Well, thank you.

Robin Paggi All right. You’re welcome. Do employees focus on each other’s strengths and not on their weaknesses? Do team members help each other perform? Do they willingly jump in to help or do you have to make them help each other? Do team members listen to each other? Now listening is something that people do not do very much anymore. So, Emmet, I was testing to see if you were listening to me. We’re usually so distracted by our phones and everything else that’s going on, that we really don’t listen to each other. And really listening to each other means that I can repeat back basically what you just said to me. As a matter of fact, in my workshops, I have people do that. Let’s do a little listening exercise.
So, I’m going to have you tell each other a one-minute story about what you did last weekend, what you’re going to do next weekend, those types of things. And so tell this person the story and then this person needs to repeat back to you basically what you said, not using the exact words, but just so that they basically captured the story okay. And then I have them switch places. And after they do that exercise, I ask them now, were they able to repeat back what you said? And most people go, yeah, they were. And I said, okay. Did you listen how you normally listen? Oh, no, not at all. What was the difference? Oh, I, I was just really paying attention to what they said, so I could remember it. Was it more difficult than how you usually listen? Oh, yeah, totally. All right. So we usually don’t listen well enough to be able to repeat back to somebody what they’ve said. And this is a skill I’ve had to learn in coaching people primarily, is because when I’m working with people one-on- one to help them with their communication issues, or their supervisory issues, or what have you, I have to listen very intently to what they’re telling me and be able to repeat back what they’ve said in order to try to help with that. And it’s exhausting. I couldn’t do it all day, every day. It is exhausting. So the thing is, is teaching people how to listen to each other. Now, why would you want to do that? Because for one thing, people might say something that is worth listening to. And the other thing is that when people feel listened to, endorphins go off in their body. So, that’s one of the things is that, if you want people to be happy with you, to like you, really listen to them and be able to repeat back to them basically what they said, because that releases their happy drug and whoever’s listening to them, they’re happy with.

Robin Paggi And then finally, constructive challenging. This one is really difficult for us to do. And we’ve not learned how to do this in school and I really think all of these things need to be taught in school. So when we have an idea that’s tossed out, do people just run with that idea, or try to build on that idea, idea, or do they begin to say everything that’s wrong with that idea? Do team members debate and challenge ideas in a constructive manner? That means that we’re trying to build on the idea. Now, it might not be a great idea, but at least we are trying to take something from it and do something with it. It’s very difficult for people to have civil conversations when they disagree with anyone anymore, and you’re probably very well aware of that. We need to be able to challenge each other’s ideas in a way that leads to better ideas, and that’s constructive. Yelling at, or personally attacking each other, or just saying that somebody’s idea is stupid or it won’t work, that doesn’t accomplish anything except for people to have hurt feelings with other people. So, that’s one of the things, is being able to disagree with each other without it getting personal. And I think our nation as a whole needs to learn how to do this so that we can move forward. All right.

Robin Paggi So let me ask you some questions to see if you might be able to enhance your team’s performance on this one. Do you need to help employees focus on each other’s strengths? When somebody comes up to you and starts tearing somebody down, do you need to say, yeah, but what about all the good things they contribute to the team? Or do you need to start promoting what people are doing to contribute to the team instead of tearing them down? Do you need to remind employees to help each other when they see the opportunity to do so? Should you remind people to listen to each other? Do you need to be a better listener? Should you have some listening exercises like the one I described in your team meetings? Here’s another thing, and this is gonna be scary, when you have team meetings, ban technology. Don’t let anyone bring their phones in, because people just often can’t stay off their phones. And that is a surefire way to make sure that people don’t listen to each other. All right. So hopefully you’ve got a couple of ideas out of that one. Let’s move forward.

Robin Paggi Efficient operating procedures. Now, author Tom Peters was a real bigwig in the 80s and wrote all of these best-selling books. And he has the saying that I really like: excellent teams don’t believe in excellence, only in constant improvement and constant change. All right, well, there are a lot of people who don’t like constant change and don’t believe why reinvent the wheel?, don’t fix something when it’s not broken. But, because things constantly change, we need to constantly assess how we’re doing. So let’s go to the next slide and assess your team.

Robin Paggi Do you have standard operating procedures? Now, these are usually things that are written down, and it says, this is how you complete this task, or this is how you operate this machine, or something like that. When you don’t have standard operating procedures, sometimes people do it however it makes sense to them. And, the way it makes sense to them might not make sense. And so, that’s one of the reasons to make sure that everybody is doing it the same way, if it’s something that everybody needs to do the same way.

Robin Paggi I like to tell the story of my first training gig, and it was at an ice cream plant. I was brought in to train the supervisors. And, one of the things, they were having a disagreement about how one particular ice cream bar was to be created, and they didn’t have standard operating procedures. And so, I sat them down in a room and I said, okay, so let’s write out the procedures, because nothing was written down, all the knowledge was transferred by word of mouth, which is not a really good way of doing it. So we have these people here who pretty much run the show there. And, they sit down in this room and I’m writing down what they tell me on how to make this particular ice cream bar. And you guessed it, there were all sorts of disagreements about how it was supposed to be made. Everybody had their own idea of how it was supposed to be done. And so, finally, we created standard operating procedures for the ice cream. And so, that’s one of the things that you might do within your organization. If there is some disagreement or especially when you have new people coming on board, how do you train new people how to do things if there is nothing written down? You know word of mouth, what happens to that. You played the telephone game when you were younger. You know how messages get misinterpreted and messed up the more they are told to different people. And so that’s one of the reasons we write it down. Now, just because we write it down doesn’t mean there won’t be misinterpretation, but you’ve got a better chance of the information being rayed, relayed correctly.

Robin Paggi Next, are your procedures clear to all? If they’re not clear, then chances are people won’t follow the procedures correctly. Is the reason you have procedures clear? Employees might not follow the procedures if they don’t understand why, they’ll just do it the way they want to do it. Now, I had a guy in training one time and he was the manager of a restaurant, and he was complaining about how his employees would continue to stack the high chairs when he continuously told them to not do it. Now, these high chairs were old-fashioned, they were wood, and they had a veneer on them. And when he, when they would stack the high chairs, he told me, it would rub off the finish and the chairs would become splintery. And, then you put a child in a splintery chair and you’ve got an unhappy child, which causes unhappy parents who get out of the restaurant as soon as they possibly can because everybody else is giving them dirty looks.

So he explained all of this to me, and yet they still stacked the high chairs. And I said, well, have you explained the reason that you don’t want them to stack the high chairs, to them? And he said, no, I shouldn’t have to. I should just tell them not to do it and they shouldn’t do it. I said, well, perhaps if you told them why, they wouldn’t want to have splintery high chairs that hurt children. And he said, they should just do what I tell them to do. Well, that’s not really good getting buy-in from people. So when you explain why you want what you want, chances are people will do what you want them to do.

Robin Paggi Are your procedures regularly reviewed to ensure they still make sense? What we always used to do isn’t necessarily what we always should do. And that’s one of the things, when somebody asks, why do we do this? Well, that’s just the way we’ve always done it. You should really take those words out of your vocabulary, especially younger people, that’s just a turnoff for them. So, I read about a great example of why we need to review what we do to make sure it still makes sense. And, this little story is not my story. I read this story. A woman was cooking a roast in front of her spouse and she cut off the end of the roast and then she put it in the pan, and her spouse said, why did you cut off the end of the roast? And she said, Well, that’s how my mom taught me to cook the roast. And he went, oh. And so then they called up Mom, mom, why do we cut off the end of the roast? And she said, Well, that’s how my mom taught me how to cook it. Oh. So, they see grandma, they go, Grandma, why do we cut off the end of the roast? And she said, Oh, cause my pan was only this big. And she gestures with her hands that it’s a small pan, so she had to cut off the roast so it would fit into the pan. So it made sense for Grandma, but it didn’t make sense for anybody else. Why don’t we do it this way? Oh, that’s the way we’ve always done it. So, reevaluate, why do we do it this way?, and see if it still makes sense.

Robin Paggi And do you use your failures to improve the way that you do things? Often we just try to figure out who’s to blame when things don’t go right and then we just keep moving forward. Failures should be seen as a learning opportunity, your personal failures, your team failures, your organization’s failures, everything. And so, when you have a failure, hopefully, you’re looking at it and thinking, okay, what did I learn from this? Don’t let a good mistake go to waste, as the saying goes.

Robin Paggi So before we move on, what can you do to boost your team’s performance? Do you need to create some standard operating procedures? Do you need to get everybody in a room and plot out, how do we do it?, and make sure that everybody’s on the same page and have somebody write it all down. Should you explain to people, this is why we do what they do, or what we do, so that they can get on board with it? Should you review your procedures to make sure that they still make sense? So, just a few things that you might be able to do. All right. Let’s move on.

Robin Paggi Henry Ford – and by the way – he did not invent the automobile, he invented the assembly line – Henry Ford said, “Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.” And so, not just our team, but our team has to work together with other teams. And so, let’s go on and see what we can do about that.

Robin Paggi First of all, do your team members know why other teams exist and what they do? Now, why would they need to know that? It’s none of their business why other teams exist and what they do. Well, one of the teen, one of the things that frequently happens between teams, is when they are not sure about what the other team does, they begin to make up stories about it. People can’t stand not knowing things. And so, if we don’t, if we aren’t told something, then we’ll make it up ourselves. And usually, the story we make up ourselves is much worse than reality. And so, letting people know, this is what this team does, this is what this team does, this is how we’re all related, this is how we all impact each other. If you don’t do that, people think that people on the other team aren’t doing anything except causing more work for them.

Robin Paggi Do you meet with members of other teams to determine how you might work better together? And that’s the thing, is that we’re interrelated with people who work in our organization. And if you’re not getting together to figure out, what can I do more effectively that will help you?, and this is what you can do that will help me, if you’re not doing that, chances are things are harder than they need to be and they’re not working as well as they could be.

Robin Paggi Do you meet with members, oh, sorry, do you quickly resolve conflicts between teams? Now, this is something that typically happens, is that people on different teams get mad at each other and then nothing happens with it. And that’s no good because that just builds walls and barriers and creates people to be even more in their silos. And people go to war against each other in organizations, I’ve seen it. I’ve been asked to try to help resolve it. And so, if things fester and are not taken care of, they become bigger. And people in one team are telling people in their team how awful the other people are, and then they start lobbing grenades at each other, and it just becomes way bigger than it needs to be. And so, resolving conflicts quickly between people on different teams is critical.

Robin Paggi And then finally, do you reward people for collaborating with other teams. Now, here’s one of the things that I talked about in a previous webinar, so I’ll just remind you about it. Whatever behavior you want people to engage in, reward them for it. If you want people to be a good team member, reward them for being a good team member. If you want them to help other people, reward them for doing it. And so, here are some things to ask yourself. Do you need to plan regular meetings with other teams to see how you can work better together? That might be a strategy that you want to incorporate. Do you need to resolve some conflicts that you know are going on, but just haven’t really addressed them yet? Should you start rewarding people for collaborating with other people on their team and with other teams? So, just a few ideas that you might be able to do to incorporate in order to boost your team’s performance.

Robin Paggi Now, sounds like a lot of work and it is. So remember, team building doesn’t happen by going bowling
one day. That’s not gonna to do it. It’s constant work. Is it worth it? I think so, especially if you’re in a management position. That, your job, when you’re in a supervisory or management position, is to get results from the people that you supervise. And, will these types of strategies help you get better results? They should. And so, that’s one of the reasons. It builds better relationships. Well, do we need to have good relationships in the workplace? We do, especially for some people. There are those of us who are very task-oriented and as long as we’re getting tasks done, that’s what makes us happy. But there’s a whole lot of people who are very relationship-oriented and they need to feel good about the people they’re working with and to think those people think well of them in order to perform. Some people, they don’t care what people think about them and they don’t care what they think about anybody else. But there’s a whole lot of people that the relationships really matter and helping imp, implementing some of these strategies might help with some of those relationships.

Robin Paggi Now, when people are performing well and the relationships are going well, it leads to greater creativity.
The reason for that is that our brain really can’t handle being upset and being creative at the same time. So if people are worried about unclear roles, am I supposed to be doing this?, or are you doing this?, or why are you bossing me around when you’re not my boss?, or those people are mad at me, or I don’t know how to do that, when all of that stuff is going on, people can’t be creative. Brain just doesn’t work that way. It’s all focused on all of those other things. So when you take care of all of those other things, then it frees up the creative part of people’s brains and they start innovating. And more innovation, more creativity usually leads to good things for an organization.

Robin Paggi When you take care of the things that we talked about, employees usually are more committed to an organization. Now, that’s one of the things that, when we are bringing people on board and we want to retain top talent, and all of that, we need people to be committed. And you’re probably very well aware of the statistics, that people stay at a job for two or three years and then they move on. And when they are more committed to an organization, especially what the organization is trying to accomplish the mission of it, and when they feel that they are a part of making that happen, then they’re going to stick around longer. And, that’s what you want, for the most part, you want your top talent to stick around because when they leave, the organization suffers. So you want to keep people committed, help the relationships, help have the sense of direction, help them understand what they need to achieve in order to make it all happen. And usually, people will be committed to the organization. So, it’s work. Is it worth it? I think so. Hopefully, you’ve got some ideas on how to make it work for you. And that’s all I have for you. What questions do you have for me?

Emmet Ore Well, thank you, Robin. Thanks for the kind words. And, you should know that flattery will get you nowhere.

Robin Paggi Oh, bummer. Okay.

Emmet Ore Okay, we do have a couple of questions here. First one here is, how do I convince my boss of what you just taught us when they don’t want it to be corporate, quote-unquote. We are a growing family-owned company bringing on employees with higher turnover rate due to not having these items in place.

Robin Paggi Yeah. Well, I understand smaller organizations a lot of times don’t want to implement some of these things because it does feel less personal and more corporate. However, it’s just a reality that the larger you get, the more policies, and procedures, and things need to be in place, because when an organization is small, there’s more interaction and face-to-face with the people who are at the top of the food chain. And as it gets larger, people get more removed and there are fewer of those interactions. And, so, it just can’t have the same feel because it just doesn’t have the same feel. One of the things that I think would convince them is letting them know that, again, any business is in business to succeed. And, the larger the business gets, there are some tools that can help ensure, or at least create probable, probability, that the organization will be successful. So, I get that, and that we used to just be a small organization and now it’s large and it’s going all corporate. I, I totally understand the fear of that happening. However, it’s just a reality. The larger you get, the more chance that you’ll have people doing whatever in the heck they do because they weren’t part of the original team that formed the organization. And the more things you need in place to make sure it goes where the employers want it to go. So sorry about that really long answer, but hopefully you got something out of it.

Emmet Ore Excellent. Okay. What are the, what are good consequences for poor performance? Robin Paggi Good consequences for poor performance?
Emmet Ore Yeah, that’s the question, and it might be referring to something that you said.

Robin Paggi Okay, so what are the consequences for poor performance?, I think is what it is, what the question is.
Well, disciplinary action. And, so this is where we have our progressive discipline. And progressive discipline is not a requirement in at-will businesses, but it’s just a good idea. So this is how it usually goes, that somebody is not performing in whatever capacity and you have a conversation with them. And one of those difficult conversations we talked about last week, and you let them know, you’re not performing and is there something that’s preventing you from performing? Okay, we need you to perform. And so, maybe we need to help you perform or what have you, but this is our expectation and we need you to meet that expectation. And you send a little email to yourself, so you remember that you had that conversation with them, in case you have to have another conversation with them. And if they don’t meet performance in the same way as before, then, you then move into disciplinary action. It becomes a verbal warning. And the conversation is, remember how we had this conversation a week ago, a month ago, a year ago, whatever it was? Well, here we are having the conversation again. And I really need you to perform. So, to emphasize how important this conversation is, it’s, we’re memorializing it. It’s, this is a verbal warning. I am writing down that this is disciplinary action and I need you to perform. So if there’s something that’s preventing it, please let me know. But otherwise, this hopefully will convince you that I’m serious about what we’re talking about. And then if they mess up again, then it goes to the written warning, which again, I think is just a form of communication to let people know, this is really important that you do this. And so, here’s a written warning, and if we have to have this conversation one more time, then chances are we might need to let you go. So, when people understand that something bad is going to happen to me if I keep doing this, then usually that inspires them to perform or inspires them to go elsewhere. And so, those are the good consequences of poor performance.

Emmet Ore Perfect. Okay. How does an employee, even at entry-level, hold their management team accountable for rewards that are not remitted when the goal was achieved?

Robin Paggi Mm hmm. Well, if you have been promised rewards like a monetary bonus, if you meet this criteria, then you will be rewarded, then I would make sure that you bring up to management that, we had an agreement and this is what you owe me. And I use this example in my training last week, when I had to have a conversation with a supervisor in a land far, far away, and not related to this present job. And, I thought we had an agreement on, if I do these things, I will receive this money. And when I did not receive that money, I had to talk to my supervisor about it. Now, I didn’t have to, but I

really wanted to because I wanted that money and I thought it was owed to me. And, so, I had the conversation. And so,
if you go back to last week’s webinar and view that, then I told you exactly what I said and how I said it. And that might be something that you need to do. However, that is only when there is an agreement that you are owed the reward. Employers don’t have to reward people, if they don’t want to, for the most part. But if it is tied to performance goals, then that is an agreement that they have to abide by.

Emmet Ore Wonderful. Okay. How do I, as a new manager, break the cycle of letting things slide based on history and start following the rules and guidelines that have been set forth by the organization?

Robin Paggi Now, that’s a tough one. And I will tell you, be prepared, that you’re gonna get pushback and people are going to hate you. And I know that from experience. So, how do you do it? Well, carefully. One of the things, I advise new managers that, you just ease into the organization and you don’t make any changes until you have a really good, you’ve been there for a while, you’ve had a look around, you’ve been able to investigate, why do things happen here? You, You’ve figured out what the culture is, you’ve figured out who all the players are, all of that kind of stuff. So, don’t barge in and say, there’s a new sheriff in town and this is how it’s gonna go down. That will not work for you. So, ease yourself in. All right.

Robin Paggi If you’ve been there for a while and you know all of this stuff, you know that people aren’t held accountable. You know who the players are, you know who has connections, you know who’s related to who, and who’s best friends with who, and all of that kind of stuff. Then I would, with management’s consent, or the e, employer’s consent, or whoever, then begin to slowly let people know, we have these things in place and we are going to ensure that people follow the rules and do what they’re supposed to do.

Robin Paggi Now, it’s imperative that you have the owners, employers, management, whoever, that you have not only their permission but their buy-in. Because if you don’t, then it’s gonna backfire on you. And, so, if they do not say, yes, we want you to be doing these things, that’s why we hired you or what have you, and you try to implement policies, and procedures, and consequences and they don’t follow through on, yes, that’s what’s supposed to happen or what have you, then you’re going to be an island in to yourself and it’s going to be a very lonely place. So make sure you have
buy-in first and that they will back you up when you start to implement those policies, or reintroduce them, or hold people accountable, or do whatever.

Robin Paggi And I will tell you, even if you have all of that stuff and you do all of that stuff, when you start holding people accountable, you will receive a backlash, because, that’s just what happens. Previous person let them get away with stuff and now you’re not letting them get away, and we’ve been here longer than you’ve been here, and who are you to tell us what to do? And, so, still, you will get that to a certain degree. Be prepared that people will not talk to you as a result of that. They’ll talk about you to people and all of that. So, am I trying to persuade you not to do it? Not at all. I just know from experience that that’s the way it goes. And, so just be prepared for it and know that when you’re in a supervisory position or you’re in H.R., that it’s lonely, and that’s the reason.

Emmet Ore Okay. Many employers do restrictions to identify individuals who are not meeting their daily obligations. Why are there no concerns for the ill effects it causes workplace for those who are meeting and exceeding their tasks? And how would you remedy this?

Robin Paggi Okay, so, it seems to me, cause I listened very carefully, I’m trying to repeat it back, that it seems like there are no consequences for people who don’t perform, but for people who are performing nothing, there’s nothing either?

Is I?
Emmet Ore That’s how I interpreted it.

Robin Paggi Okay. And so what should you do about it? Well, one thing I would ask, why is it this way? And, it could be part of that way because people don’t want to have difficult conversations with people who aren’t performing. Or, they, now, I don’t know why, why people wouldn’t be held accountable, other than the fact that people are just afraid to hold people accountable, it’s distasteful, they don’t like to do it, or they simply don’t care. And so what can you do? Well, if you can’t change other people, the only thing that you can do is change yourself.

Robin Paggi And so, I, I’m thinking about a particular client that pretty much asked me the same thing. She was in, she was the H.R. manager, and she told the employees that they needed to be on-time, and they wouldn’t be on-time, because her employer didn’t require them to be on-time and didn’t do anything to them when they weren’t on-time. And so that’s why I said it’s so important to have management back-up. So she asked me, what can I do? And I said, well, the only
thing that you can do is change how you respond to the situation. And, so I would say that’s the same thing, if you’re a high performer and you’re not getting the rewards that you think that you deserve, and yet there’s these low-performing, performers and nothing’s happening to them, then you pretty much know what management or the employer feels about high-performers and low-performers. And, the only thing that you can do about that is change how you feel about that. And perhaps you get another job or perhaps you just go, hey, my performance is all that matters to me. And, if my boss doesn’t appreciate it and if other people can do whatever they want to do, then that’s their deal.

Emmet Ore Okay, it looks like we have time for about one more. So here we go. What is some advice for rewarding teams effectively?

Robin Paggi Well, again, you want to ensure that if you want people to work on a team, that you reward them for being
a good team player. That, the rewards are meaningful to people. So if you’re rewarding them with things that they don’t care about, then that probably will not motivate them to continue to work as a team. People need to know what they need to do to be recognized and rewarded if they are meaningful. And so you want to have some clear criteria on, this is what
I consider to be a good team player, or this is what I consider to demonstrate working together as a team. And so all of those things are clearly defined, so that people know what they need to do and they like how they are rewarded when they do what they need to do.

Robin Paggi And the other thing is you want to make sure that you’re rewarding people in a timely manner. And so you don’t wait until the performance evaluation. Again, our society is used to immediate gratification. And so you want to make sure that, when you see behavior that you like, that you say something about it and that perhaps you provide whatever type of meaningful rewards in a timely manner so that, again, people are motivated by those rewards and will continue to behave in a way that is getting you the results that you need.

Emmet Ore All right. That’ll do it for today. If, guys, if we didn’t answer your question, just email us at webinarhrhelp@ vensure.com, and we’ll get back to you. Thank you all for tuning in today. And we will see you next time. Next week, we’ll be doing our last March Wednesday webinar. So, we’ll see you there. Thank you, guys.

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