Friday, April 11, 2014

How to Introduce a Culture Change to Our Team Part 6… Wrapping up Our Whole Team Meeting

 Ok… so we are close to wrapping up our whole team meeting.  You’ve presented your values, along with the how you and your apprentices came up with them.  You described many examples of behaviors that had been acceptable in the past, that are not going be to acceptable going forward.

I would bet that you haven’t had many, if any questions, since you explained the changes you wanted to see in the team, why you wanted to make them, and what changes you were making yourself.  As long as you are honest and transparent, you will bring most of your team with you as you move forward.  Most people want to be part of a team that works hard and achieves its goals.

If you decided to talk about the team goals your group came up with, introduce them now.  You can tell the team how these goals came to be, and how they will help the team achieve its larger and fixed goals, as well as help team members if you included one of those goals.  If I haven’t said it before, I feel that your team will appreciate it if you include some team member development goal in the first set of goals.  I don’t see a downside, as developing your team members is one of your goals anyway.

Please don’t rush through this, or any part of this meeting.  If adding in the goals means you have to rush through the earlier parts of the meeting, leave out the goals.  This is such an important meeting to the whole team… please do it justice and give it the time it deserves.  This is why I will suggest again that you have a dry run of pretty much the whole meeting.  That way, you will know how much time you will need to introduce your values and the examples, and if you have time for goals.

Whether or not you include the goals, you should take a few minutes to tell your team members how you want them to feel.  In your meetings with your apprentices, you talked to them and made sure they knew you respected them, valued them, felt responsible for them, and cared about their goals among other things.  Here, until you have the chance to meet with your team, you will tell them how you want them to feel… Tell them you want each of them to feel respected, valued, responsible, and involved in their jobs.  Say to them what you wish your boss would say to you… what would you love to hear from your boss?  Yeah… say that.

It’s important to remember that you want this meeting to be a positive experience for everyone involved.   Remember how excited and energized you and your apprentices were at the meetings where you came up with your goals and values?   You want to use this meeting to infect the rest of the team with this same energy and excitement.  This is your chance to talk to everyone at the same time… to make sure that they all hear the same message.  All of your apprentices are there with you, and some are adding their voices to the message.  If you get this right, half or more of your team will leave the meeting excited about the changes you are making.  This will be a first for many teams, and having that many people on board at the start will mean making these changes will be so much easier.

You are the salesman, and just how much energy and excitement you transfer to the team will depend on how you feel about it.  If you don’t really think it’s going to happen, I can guarantee you it will not happen.  In order for you to get the results you want, you have to go into this meeting as positive and energetic as you have ever been.  You have to believe in yourself, in the changes you are talking about, in your apprentices, and in your whole team.  Remember when you channeled Tony Robins in the meeting with your apprentices?  Well you need to do that again for this meeting, and get everyone to understand how good these changes will be for the team.  You need to feel this way about the changes you will be making too… you will not be able to be the Leader you want to be unless you believe that it’s the right thing to do, that you can do it, and that you will end up with a high performing team.

When you planned this meeting with your apprentices, you talked about appreciations right?  Good, because you are ending this meeting with appreciations, and your apprentices will show up with a list of appreciations to make.  Your apprentices making public appreciations, and you adding yours, will go a long way towards convincing your team members that you are serious, that you do in fact see good things and appreciate them, and will earn you just a little bit of trust.  Be prepared just in case some of your team members have appreciations of their own, and don’t be surprised if they are a little cautious with the new you and this whole team meeting thing.  It’s ok… don’t take it personally.

What should you not do?  I have been in so many store meetings where the team Leader, who made 3, 4, or 5 times as much as the average team member, stood up there and talked about how much the store made, how much the department added to the company’s bottom line, dollar increases in sales… and all I ever see from the team members is eye’s rolling.  These numbers have no real significance to the hourly team member.  No one wants to hear how the company made an additional 4 million dollars last quarter, while they had to argue to get a $.35 raise last year.  It just creates resentment, and there is enough of that around already.  Keep these numbers and dollars out of the meeting!  If you must, use percentage increases, and talk about other KPI without talking about money these team members will never see. 

End the meeting thanking everyone again for their attendance, and their attention.  In the past, some of you might have given instructions for returning the space to the way it was, and left.  Moving forward, the new you will stay to help, and not leave until the work is done.  The new you will be a humble you, and you will act like a “clone worthy” Leader.  You will jump in and help when you can, not just when absolutely needed.  You will treat every team member with respect, since whatever their education or job title, they are just as worthy of respect as you are.  You are going to have to work closely with your therapist/mentor/coach in order to keep up your attitude and excitement, and stay on top of all of the changes you need to make.

Next time we’ll walk through how to plan your meetings with your apprentices and your team members, and talk about how those meetings might go.  In the mean time you should be finishing up your book, and if you haven’t started reading another, start!  I suggest Developing the Leaders Around You, by John C. Maxwell.

How many things did I leave out?  What questions still need to be answered?  That’s what the comment section is for…

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