Do They Know Where the Bus is Going?

Business Turnaround Example – and one of the reasons why I love my job.

A client this week has just taken his first holiday away from the business in 6 years. And the staff were absolutely determined to prove they can man the fort, keep the jobs flowing and the customers happy…and prove to the boss they can do it. And they did. And they were really proud of themselves. And so they should be.

3 months ago this boss was seriously contemplating throwing in the towel.

He felt he had no more fight left in him.

It was a ‘fight’. Doing anything, when you don’t know how to, can feel like a ‘fight’.

He certainly knew how to do his trade real well…but he didn’t know how to manage his people. As a result he had staff that were milking the system, not on time, moody and threatening to leave.

The solution was not hard or complicated. And it’s a solution I’ve seen work wonders time and time  again. It’s so effective and quick, it’s like magic.

First step was the boss brought me on board – but that isn’t the magic part. I assessed the situation, interviewed the team and identified the issues.

The major ‘fix’ I want to share in this post is the need for your staff to know where they are going.

An analogy I like, is to think of your business as a bus and it’s taking you and your staff on a journey…preferably to a destination you want.

When the staff don’t know where the bus is going, they start to get fidgety and think about getting off the bus.

Add to this confusion poor driving by the boss and you have a situation like my client in this example.

The major turnaround by the staff was due mainly to the following:

1. We met with them and found out their career goals and what they liked doing and wanted to do more of, and what they wanted to do less of. We then rewrote their position descriptions with these changes and included a career plan which mapped out their growth in the business.

2. We implemented team meetings every week initially and then reduced this down to every two weeks. These meetings focused on hearing from the staff what needed fixing or changing, and sharing with them great actions taken by the team, number of jobs completed and updates to strategy and where the business is heading.

Both of these actions have given the staff the certainty they wanted in where the bus is going. They are no longer on a mystery tour. One way of looking at this is appreciating that your team are sacrificing time in their lives they can’t regain…how would they feel if they didn’t know where it was taking them?

The two actions have

Let your staff know where the bus is going
Your staff need to know where the bus is going.

given them a sense of belonging, significance, contribution and growth.

One particular staff member who was really playing up and looking for work is now busting his butt, cooperating, hitting targets, going the extra mile and even telling others they should come and work for the company.

If you are having staff issues, and you are not discussing their goals, their challenges, their opportunities and where the business is going, this could be why.

As always, I’m just a phone call away if you need some advice or want to run an idea or issue past me.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *