Thursday, January 26, 2012

The Quarterback is Not the Team

You may be the only one in your company who knows what's going on.

In the US, we know which football teams are heading for the Super Bowl. Most of the talk is about the quarterbacks: Tom Brady and Eli Manning. Neither of the teams will win if only the quarterback is playing well. In business, that's also true.

A Harris poll of 23,000 employees has shown that only 4 out of 11 employees know their company goals. Only 2 out of the 11 know what positions they play. 9 out of the 11 would just as soon play for the other team.

Mathematically, how many employees know that they're supposed to move the ball towards that goal line AND know how to play their position? Only 1 out of the 11, and maybe that's you, the quarterback.

Your business doesn't culminate in a season ending Super Bowl. You have to keep playing day after day. However, if you're the only one who knows what to do, your business isn't going to go very far. (Fortunately, your competition has the same struggles.) So, here's how to make sure you win:

Decide what's really important for your business this season: Perhaps it's making more money. Perhaps it's some operational improvements. Decide what you need to do to win this year. Pick one priority.

Communicate what your goals are: You have employees who don't know what the company goals are. They also don't know how they contribute towards those goals. Make sure that on 'every play' they know where you're heading.

Keep score: Employees don't know if the team's winning or losing. In many cases, they only get an annual review that tells them what they did wrong. Most have to pick up clues from watching the sidelines, listening to the crowd, whether they've been substituted in or not. They can't see the scoreboard, nor do they even know what yard line they're on. "Are we close to the goal or not?"

Make sure they have the education, equipment and materials to play their position: There's nothing more frustrating to not being allowed to play your best because you haven't been given the playbook or you've got shoddy equipment. Make sure that on 'every play' your employees know what's expected and how they contribute towards achieving the goal.

The quarterback can't move the ball against the opposing team by him- or herself. You need your team. Get them in the game!

1 comment:

  1. How true, teams are what it's all about no matter what the objective is!