What do you do when everyone gets an “A” for effort, but the results are disappointing? How do you encourage your team while building a recovery plan?
6 Ways to Encourage Your Team When Results Are DisappointingIt’s easy to lead when your team is on fire with fantastic results. You’re happy. Your boss is happy. Your team is happy. But even the best leaders face tricky circumstances when, despite great plans, long hours, and hard work, the results aren’t there. Today we share six ways to encourage your team while you work on your recovery strategy.
1. Acknowledge the StressIf you’ve got people who really care, failure means big-time stress. Sometimes what your team needs first is a bit of empathy. Karin remembers one black Friday when she was leading a large retail sales team. She’d been up since 4:00 AM and was driving to as many of her hundred-plus stores as possible to ensure everyone was implementing the plan. They needed a huge day to make their numbers for the quarter. As the hourly text messages came in from their automated reporting system, she could see that despite all the planning and execution they weren’t even close to hitting their forecast. When the Regional President’s number popped up on her phone (he also was getting the automated texts), she was prepared for an angry rant. Instead, he said, "Karin, pull over the car. I need to talk with you. I know how stressed you are right now. The results are disappointing. But we had a great plan, and I’m out in the stores too and people are doing the right things. After today is over, we’ll figure out if there’s anything we can do differently next time. But for now, stay safe. And bring only positive energy into those stores.” It’s like this reminder from Stell Efti, “Stress just means you give a ____(insert F-bomb here).” If your people do, acknowledge that passion.
2. Take AccountabilityWhen results are disappointing, it’s tempting to look for someone else to blame.
- “We would sell more if the product line were different.”
- “Our attrition would be better if our competitor wasn’t paying more.”
- “My quality results would be higher if I wasn’t assigned to the late shift.”
- “The employees would be more engaged if this wasn’t a union environment.”