A client of mine was struggling getting their team members to meet deadlines.
What’s more, White-Line Fever was running rampant in outgoing communications to their audience – lots of typos, broken links, and things worded badly – and the team members weren’t taking steps to break the fever.
Things were looking bad, and the client was getting feedback from stakeholders.
The client, who pays their people exceptionally well and feels they are quite generous toward their employees and team members, had every right to feel frustrated.
I agree, this is something many business creators in the same situation might feel.
So, the client sent out a group e-mail about the need for more quality, and demanding the team recommit to doing great work.
Hey, a little ass-kicking has its place now and then.
I, for one, think Paul Anka was right about the shirts and 100% justified being pissed off with his band members that day.
This E-Mail Backfired, Big Time. That One Word Was Really Bad.
Sadly, the client sent this e-mail without first checking to see if the green dot on my Skype was lit and typing “Got a sec?” like my consulting clients are entitled to do, and running this by me before sending that e-mail. I wish they would have.
(This is one of the reasons I say, “The moment you’re feeling really angry, that’s your mind and body letting you know this is the moment you REALLY need to calm down.”)
First of all, I knew that the team was frustrated by the client getting behind on giving them information and approvals they needed to get the job done. This was a big deal and a major topic of the water-cooler chatter.
As a consequence, there was a lot of hurry-up-and-wait.
When you have things being rushed, people make mistakes.
When people’s energy and enthusiasm are being taxed, it takes away from their excitement about rendering exceptional service to customers.
It Wasn’t A Commitment Issue. It Was A VALUE issue.
The solution was simple: ask the team to recommit their VALUE to the organization.
Smaller word, bigger positive impact.
Doing so would not only bring the team back to the fold, but it would also give them a forum to show the client why they loved working there so much, and what they needed from the client in order to deliver their value from the intersection of their brilliance and passion.
That would lead directly to a meeting of the minds and inspire more efficiency.
It would also help the client take a good look, ask themselves “Do I have to?” and recognize the opportunities they had to simply get out of their valuable team’s way and let the A-team do their thing.
I had the client do a follow-up, after one team member replied to say pretty much what I already knew – they WERE committed and that wasn’t the problem.
Shifting the conversation enabled the client to double their amount of communications to their eager and excited audience, and have those communications go out WITHOUT typos and WITH things worded correctly and consistently with the vision and values of the company.
That saved the day.
But what if you have team members who want to leave altogether?
Hey, in that case, help them find a new job.