NARI: How to Get Consistent Results from Your Team

by Emily Blackburn

At a time when finding labor is nearly impossible, sometimes we end up hiring people who aren’t necessarily the ideal or best fit, or you end up having to ask your existing team to do more. It’s important to build a great team to create sustained profitability and success; we’re going to discuss ways to think about ways to get consistent results from your team.

How to Unlock Your Crew’s Potential 

One of the things I learned with my employees was that I treated them like they needed to do tasks, and what I needed to do was see the greater potential and actually have them take ownership of the results they were responsible for. 

It begins by creating a blueprint of ownership that clearly defines the objectives.  What’s the plan? What are the ultimate results I’m looking for that will create success? And the second piece is to get clear about what the results are. What are the specific, measurable results that you’re going for? When you think about managing employees from that place, you’ll see things start to shift. 

When you think about the term “job description,” it comes away a little flat. A lot of times job descriptions are just a list of tasks. The truth is when you have a “position agreement,” based on results, it’s got a foundation of ownership, and that foundation will get you consistent results. 

4 Key Elements of a Great Position Agreement

When we talk about position agreements, we are focusing on what the results are that you want versus all the tasks that go into producing the result. 

The first key is to keep the responsibilities section short. Keep it to 5 to 7 responsibilities. You want to highlight the most important elements, and it forces you away from having it be a task list. 

The second piece is there are clearly defined results that you’re after, creating existing systems and feedback systems with tools and resources. If you’ve listed out the skills and the experience that you need before you go and hire somebody, that will help you have a well-defined position agreement and stop you from hiring the wrong person. 

The third piece is being super clear about the criteria of skills and experience you need. When you’re hiring someone, you have that clarity for yourself and the confidence to know that when you hire somebody, they’re the right person for the job. 

The last piece is to get buy-in agreement with your team. I’ve seen this time and again; when you create standards that are higher for people, you will attract a higher caliber of person. When you stop treating your employees like their job is to help you get your job done, and you actually hold them accountable for a result, those people are going to step up because they love to be in an environment where they know how to win the game with you. They know how to be successful, and they can bring their best self to the table. 

How to Get Agreements for Consistent Results 

What are the next steps? Well, you need to establish a reporting restructure for deliverables. But what does this look like? 

It looks like having consistent, weekly meetings. One of the things that you’ll find is the opportunity to make course corrections where they need to be made.

Always have an agenda and make sure the agenda comes first before all the complaining and whining and troubleshooting. You want to make sure that you keep coming back to and focusing on what the results are. Did they happen? Why or why not? What worked and what didn’t work? What needs to be different? What are the next actions that need to be taken? 

If you want to build a team where people produce consistent results and where people take ownership, you have to ask the question: Which next actions are you going to take? 

People are going to be inclined to not want to mess up, so they’re going to say to you, “What do you want me to do now?” 

It’s likely that our first inclination is to answer. But a better question to ask in the moment is, “What do you think needs to happen? How would you solve this problem?” When you start to do that with people, it starts to have them pay more attention to their thoughts on problems.

And if they get confirmation from you, you might say, “Hey, that’s a great idea!” or “I love that idea! What if you did this too?” Every time you have a conversation like that with somebody, it builds up their confidence, and it builds up their willingness to start to take more initiative.  

This NARI lesson comes from Vicki Suiter, president and CEO of Suiter Business Builders. She conducted a webinar on the topic of, “How to Get Consistent Results from Your Team.” The webinar, which can be found at NARI.org, formed the basis of this article. 

This month’s NARI quiz can be found at qualifiedremodeler.com/nariquiz1. To receive continuing education credit for  this NARI University lesson, take a quiz on this content then email Heidi Riedl at heidi@solabrands.com. NARI will notify you of any CEUs earned.

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