Have you ever heard a parent complain about the fact that their child refuses to make their own bed and keeps a messy room? Most of them are frazzled because, even after they teach their child how to make their bed and clean their rooms, these parents take on those chores for their kid anyway. I guess that they think it's just easier for them to do the work, instead of insisting that the child do it for themselves.

Of course, I doubt that you're one of those parents. However, I bet you know one. I'll also wager that you know the type of manager that does the same kind of thing when it comes to work. They would rather get down into the weeds and do the work for their teams, instead of teaching their teams how to do it and insisting that it be done right. Don't be that kind of leader!

Here are steps that you can take to ensure that your team members "make their bed:"

Set Expectations

You have to make your bed everyday. Establishing goals and objectives is the first step to getting your team to deliver what needs to be done. You want to be sure that your team understands what is expected of them and the degree of precision and timeliness required to get the job done properly. Start by being crystal clear about what you expect and how you will measure success.

Prepare Them

Show them how to make the bed.You can't hold someone accountable for delivering on expectations if they are ill-equipped to do the work at hand. Thus, determine what they need to learn and understand and make sure that they know how to perform all the tasks required to "make the bed."

For example, when clients complain about the lack of production from an inexperienced team, I usually recommend an inexpensive way to get the team up-to-speed: teaming less experienced or knowledgeable staff with more experienced, expert mentors. The mentors can provide excellent guidance and deliver the on-the-job training needed to ensure that less experienced team members know how to get the job done.

Keep in Touch

Check to see how they're doing as they make the bed. You have to make sure that the work is getting done at the highest level of quality. So, check by walking around and monitoring progress as the work is being done.

It's amazing how effective this can be. One of my clients genuinely took interest in checking in with a lower performing team on a regular basis. Over just a few week's time, the team began to produce. The message received was that I care about you and I expect good things from you. The team caught on and began to deliver good things.

Reinforce, Don't Take Over

They have to make the bed. When monitoring progress it is possible that unforeseen events and shifting priorities get in the way of getting things done as expected. It's in those times that many leaders get involved and do the work themselves. Resist that temptation. Instead, reinforce what must get done and make sure that the team responds in kind.

Acknowledge, Don't Reward

Making the bed is the job. Meeting the requirements of the job is not a time to recognize and reward, so no need to go out of your way to cheer when the work is done as expected.  Rather, simply acknowledge that you know that the team adequately completed its work and move on. 

To close, these tips can help you become a bit less frazzled. Do not jump into the weeds. Instead, show your team what good likes and insist that they deliver to that standard. You, your team and your business will all gain by the practice.

Published on: Sep 10, 2018