Working smart is one of our priorities at Howard Tech. The daily demands of life – home and at work – are becoming increasingly more challenging. It’s important to help our people start thinking smart in all areas. As we began to discuss “what does good look like,” several factors came up. Here was our starting point.
Delegate to your team’s strengths.
This is probably the best, but the most difficult way to get things moving towards defining “good.” Evaluating your team members may be something you regularly do, or it may not. However, I’m sure if you are working closely with your team, you already know their strengths (as well as their weaknesses). Asking them to be involved in the process is critical, but if you want to be successful as a team you need to play to their strengths.
Delegate things like research, surveys, presentation creation, etc. to the folks who have these solid skills. If you want to be a part of the entire process, this may be tough for you. Check in with your delegated team every once in a while. It empowers them to be asked to be involved in these important tasks. It also gets them invested in the outcome.
Listen to others in your industry are doing and how they are measuring.
We are very fortunate to be a part of a peer group of managed IT service providers. This group provides support, answers questions, and shares tools and resources. (We also refer business to one another.) The group meets quarterly to bring like-minded people together to discuss issues and successes with one another. Measuring “good” is always a topic of discussion at our meetings.
What tools are implemented?
One of the best things we gather from our quarterly peer group meeting, are tools that everyone is using. There are so many and by sharing our experiences, it eliminates the time of researching, implementing and testing all of them ourselves. If you currently do not have a peer group or can’t find one to join, you could designate a few leadership or management team members to do some research. Here are some tips we suggested on evaluating new line of business (LOB) software tools that would apply for this also.
This is probably one of the most important, but most over-looked steps. It’s crucial to make sure everyone has the proper training on tools and processes to be effective. If someone is using a tool or process incorrectly, all the data is askew.
If you’re like us, you are wondering when do we have time to train our staff? Here are some suggestions:
- Lunch N Learns: Provide lunch for your staff to walk through the training together. Everyone is on the same page and who can complain about free lunch?
- Offer Incentive to Train At Home: For every 8 hours of training, offer them a day of paid time off. This will encourage your staff to study on their own schedule and with planned PTO, it won’t impede on all being out of the office at the same time.
- Hold a Saturday Training Session: Maybe weekends are best for a few hours. Make it a casual training group and have someone bring in coffee & bagels.
- Break Up the Office in Small Study Groups: Training may not look the same to all of your staff. It might make sense to have some people study certain tools or processes. Have one culminating “All Hands” meeting at the end for any Q&A.
Holding your team accountable for inputing data is crucial to creating a baseline, defining “good” and, ultimately, the company’s success. New habits take time, patience, and repetition. There are a few ways to keep your team accountable:
- Openly communicate who is doing well and give examples.
- Incentivize those who are consistent with new processes.
- Encourage your team to share feedback.
- Reports, reports, reports. Numbers don’t lie. If there’s an easy way to automagically send out a weekly report on how folks are doing, it will help hold everyone accountable.
In an upcoming blog, we’ll review what kind of variables and reports are invaluable in helping define “good,” regardless of the tools, industry or service you provide.
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At Howard Tech Advisors, we manage your IT infrastructure so that you don’t have to. Whether you need assistance creating a disaster recovery plan or you’d like to outsource your IT needs, we can help! Keep up with our weekly blog to stay up-to-date on the latest tech trends, security information you need to know to stay safe online, and tips and tricks to effectively navigating an increasingly mobile world.