When your team start returning to work you’ll need to be setting expectations. The chances are some of the responsibilities and priorities will change. Determine what needs doing, who is best placed to do it and then set your expectations.
This is something we discussed on last week’s Lessons in Leadership programme and here is my 7 step guide to help you ensure nothing gets missed or taken for granted.
It’s easy to assume people know what to do. But I'm sure you will have had that frustration of discovering after a task should have been completed that it's not been done to your satisfaction, or simply not been done at all.
A little time spent up front will avoid this.
Setting expectations might not need much time at each of these stages, but at least consider them before leaving team members just to get on with the task how they see fit.
1. What tasks ~ Make a shopping list everything that needs doing:
- What new practices and procedures are in place
- What new or amended offerings or service are you now providing that require new ways of working
- What tasks normally performed by people who are still on furlough need to be covered by someone else
- Which task which would have been routine pre lockdown are no longer a priority
2. Who ~ Select the best person for the task
- Not necessarily the one with the best skills or the most time. There may be good reason for allocating some tasks to a less than perfect candidate to develop their skills in areas where they are weak
- Often what people lack in experience and skill, they may more than make up for in potential and motivation
- Set a clear and simple objective for the task. It should build confidence, develop and stretch, not break the person or be considered an ‘offload’
- Discuss the assignment and, importantly, how the task fits into the big picture, why it’s important for the business
- Explain why you’ve chosen the person for the task
- Check for understanding and ask for ideas
- Provide guidance - not ‘how to’ do the task - but all the necessary facts, possible approaches, expected results
5. Where and when
- Make a ‘contract’ establishing resources available, how often you will follow-up, how performance will be measured
- Establish controls - budget, deadline, when and how any review will take place
6. Let them get on with it
- Allocate, then trust them to get on with it. Make yourself available, particularly at critical times, but let them decide whether, and whenever, they need your help and guidance
- Let everyone know who is responsible for what tasks so there is no stepping on toes, or tasks that fall through the cracks
7. Evaluate and feedback
- Encourage self-evaluation – they’ll normally be able to work out for themselves how they’ve done
- Concentrate on:
- What worked well (giving praise for a job done well)
- What they’d do differently (identify lessons learned not only for the person but for yourself too!)
We also discussed the longer term goal, but more on that next week.
Take action on setting expectations
If you only do one thing: make a plan of who is best suited to which task.
Related article: https://www.naturallyloyal.com/old-habits/
Related video: https://youtu.be/546C4nilsxc