Picture this: you’re a business owner, you finally hit enough of a stride to hire a few people onto your team, and –– you’re hitting a wall. It feels like no matter how many times you say something or how often you hop on zoom for a quick call, expectations aren’t being met. Now you’re questioning if you hired all the wrong people in the first place.
Before you go on a firing spree, there are a few questions to ask yourself.
Do you have standard operating procedures (SOP)?
Is your SOP easy to find and easy to understand? Do you have SOPs at all? If not, this one’s on you. You cannot realistically believe your team will consistently meet expectations that are essentially living in your brain. You need SOPs. And not just a few bullet points thrown into a Google Doc that lives deep in your Drive.
You need clear, cohesive, detailed how-to’s for all systems and processes you expect someone else to own. If you don’t have these, or if the ones you have are messy and hard to find, hold off on reprimanding your team. This is fixable, and you’ll see return on investment quicker than you might think.
Do you have a project management system?
Yes? Great. Is everyone trained on how to use it? Have you clearly communicated to your entire team how you would like them to use the system? Is it written down somewhere? If not, you’re missing out on a major key to team alignment and consistently great work.
Too often, I see teams using a full project management system as a glorified to-do list. That’s not only a waste of time, but a waste of money and resources. Find a system you like, get trained, and bring your team in on it. Streamlining tasks and expectations in this way will go miles in your workflow, productivity, and business operations.
Do you have a Project Manager?
So you chose a system – great! Your team is using it – awesome! Who’s regulating the use? Who’s assigning tasks, following up on due dates, creating workflows, and building out milestones? If your answer is, “Me!” please step away from the screen right now. If your answer is, “No one…” then it might be time to make a hire. Investing in a Project Manager or even an Online Business Manager is a huge step towards overall team alignment and success.
The next time you feel like you want to throw your computer out the window after checking team emails, ask yourself these questions. If you are not providing your team with the tools to meet your expectations, then you can’t blame your unmet expectations on anyone but yourself. There’s hope and help. You just have to decide to go get it.
Laura Robinson is the Founder and CEO of Laura Robinson Works – a company she started to serve high-level creative CEOs and entrepreneurs in bringing systems, strategy, and growth to their businesses. She can be found online at laurarobinsonworks.com and on Instagram @laurarobinsonworks.
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