Ever get frustrated by the lack of performance of your frontline or tech teams? Do you regularly see balls being dropped by people who ought not drop them? Well, if you have, you're not alone. But, more importantly, how can you quickly turn that around?
Well, one way is by simplifying the system you give them. In other words, after going through all of the training that they need to go through (assuming that you actually do train them), most frontline and tech staff are overwhelmed by the amount of information they've received. And whenever someone's mind is overwhelmed, the natural tendency for them is to shut down (something we've all experienced). So while we may be frustrated that they're not "following through," the reality is that we probably haven't given them what they need to succeed.
So, what do they need?
One Solution: Give them a simple system that lets them know what really matters. For example, in the case of Disney,
you're probably aware that they've narrowed down their service system to just four service standards. In priority, they are
Now, is this everything they're supposed to do? Of course not. But can everyone memorize four simple standards? Absolutely! And can everyone follow through on those four standards? Well, if you've been to Disney, you know the answer to that question.
Another case in point. I was talking with a client of mine earlier today who was lamenting the number of dropped balls by some of his tech people each week. While we were discussing this I suggested that he use a simple four point grid for his tech team.
- Be prepared.
- Be early
- Be alert.
- No dropped balls.
There's no magic in the number four. The basic rule is that any list of expectations is probably best followed when it's narrowed down to the top three to five items. Anything above five tends to be forgotten. And of the three options, three is better than four or five.
So, how are you doing with this? if I were to go up to any employee of yours and ask, "What are the top three to five expectations your boss has of you?" how many of your people would answer that question with the same list (or have any answer at all). If the answer isn't, "Everyone," then you may want to go back and design the top three to five expectations for everyone on your frontline or tech team.
You can even do this with each area/department/business unit. But remember, the key is to keep it simple. They still need the manual and all the training, but they also need a simple grid or rubric to help them sort out what's most important from what's overwhelming.
So what are your top three to five expectations for how you want them to perform? Or, what are your top three to five service standards? Make sure you write that list ASAP if you want to quickly improve the performance of your frontline and tech teams.