No matter what your business looks like to the wider world, behind the scenes there are bound to be a number of processes, systems and strategies that keep things ticking along in the background. And as many of you will understand, introducing new initiatives which build upon the value and offering you give to clients depends on the support of your team to become successful.
Although many business owners would jump to defend how much their team supports them, it’s worth bearing in mind that – unless a business has only hired clones – everybody will have (and is entitled to have) their own thoughts and feelings towards a new idea or process. Fortunately, most of the time that doesn’t get in the way of making an idea successful – especially when your team are acting as professionals and you’ve got them working on the same page.
We Need Our Team to Succeed
As many of you reading this will know, we launched our new Infusionsoft-based system last week. Without the team’s help and support, it would never have been pulled off successfully. Now, they’re enjoying the many advantages of having smaller tasks automated, and we’re already hearing great things back from our clients.
But how did we make sure everybody was on the same page to drive this success? For us, it all boiled down to 4 key areas:
Tie into Values
If you’re introducing a new initiative, it shouldn’t simply be for the sake of it – every new process or system should tie into both the business’ strategy, and the core values. By ensuring said new initiative ties into the values with which the team are already familiar with (and which underpin your organisation’s efforts), you’ll be providing context for why you’re choosing this system.
Explain the What, Why and How
Introducing a new initiative without briefing your team isn’t likely to make you very popular – and is almost immediately setting you up for self-sabotage. Even if you’re sure that the initiative will receive a frosty reception, it’s still essential that you talk to your team. To do this effectively, be sure to cover the what, why and how – what the new system/process/initiative is; why you’re implementing it; and how your clients and business will benefit.
For example, when first introducing our new Infusionsoft system, the team were first given a rundown of the hurdles we were currently facing (such as too much chasing, difficulties in finding time to engage one-on-one with clients etc.) – with some feedback given by the team at that early stage. Once work had begun, the team were shown what the final product would look like, as well as being given insight into how our clients would benefit (more time to communicate with us directly, much better efficiency, and so on). This provided much-needed transparency at every level of the Infusionsoft journey – transparency which our team greatly appreciated.
As mentioned above, you probably haven’t hired clones and some people will inevitably have some concerns to share with you. It’s important to listen to these concerns and take them on board, but also to ask your team to bring you solutions instead. If they think something can be done differently, suggest what that solution looks like; if there’s a potential problem communicating a change to clients, how could you explain the message more easily? It’s important for you and your team to support one another throughout.
Reward Enthusiasm with Encouragement
Finally, however juvenile it may sound, your team may need encouragement to get on board with a new system – especially if its setup is taking valuable time out of their already busy schedules. That’s why there’s nothing wrong with rewarding their enthusiasm and willingness to get stuck in with positive reinforcement – whether its encouragement, the offer to get further involved in the process, or simply a thank you for putting work on hold in order to focus on helping you to achieve this new process.
As your new initiative comes into its own, it’s important to constantly ask for feedback – not just from clients, but from employees. After all, the initiative directly affects how they work, and how effectively they work. Regularly seek feedback and actively take that feedback on board to fine tune the process and reassure your team that their concerns are being heard, even after launch day.
If it’s all positive feedback, then that’s great – and still useful! Instead, ask what new directions the initiative can move in to become even better. Over time, the more initiatives you pull off with your team’s help and encouragement, the more trust and faith they will have in you. And with your team fully behind you all the way, what could possibly slow you down?