Your team has the skill and the desire to succeed, but they need leadership. As a leader, your job is to shape your call center’s individual employees into a highly effective team that exceeds all expectations. Good leaders know the importance of accountability, it is actually one of Etech’s leadership commitments. Effective leaders know that accountability applies to both themselves and their team, I cannot hold others accountable if I do not hold myself accountable!
Here are steps accountable leaders take to develop their teams.
Start with A Plan
Call centers are fast moving environments. You don’t always have time to stop and untwist a mess that throws off the normal routine. You need a plan to keep processes moving and to help you get back on track when things go askew.
It isn’t enough to imagine a plan. Instead, write your plan down, and make it accessible to everyone. Share your plan with your team, and ask for input. This plan is a tool that you can use to keep yourself accountable to the standards of success that you have set for your department. Refer back to it often. It will help to guide your conversations towards productive outcomes, and it will help to relieve pressure when your team questions your motives or techniques.
Be an Inspiration for Your Team
Excitement sells. It’s normal to associate selling with the end user or customer, but you also must sell your ideas to your team. It is much easier to get things done when your team members buy into the plan, own the plan! Ask for their input, incorporate their ideas if appropriate. Ask for their commitment. Once the team is committed, implement the plan with enthusiasm & optimism!
Follow your own plan. Once you have set a standard, you need to be the first one to adhere to it. Never try to enforce rules that you are not willing to follow yourself. Your employees can see right through duplicity, and it will make it harder for you to secure their cooperation. An accountable leader accepts criticism and is the first to try to improve.
Share the success. Job satisfaction is one the reasons employees stay in their careers. When they feel like they have accomplished something, it encourages better performance. Celebrate wins with your team and, give your people the credit they deserve.
Get Your Point Across
Communication is a critical skill for any effective leader. Great communicators are aware of the signals they send beyond just the words they speak. Your team picks up on more than just what you say. They observe your tone and body language and then make assumptions about your intent. Effective communicators are also great listeners!
In addition to getting your point across, you also need to follow through on the things you say. Failure to execute on what you have committed to damages your credibility and makes it harder to communicate.
Meet Individually with Your Team
Your team is a group of individuals. They each have different strengths and weaknesses. Sit down and meet with them separately. This gives you the opportunity to find out more about the dynamics of your team. Oftentimes an employee will share with you when no one else is present. The insights you gain in these meetings will assist you connecting with your team better.
Use these meetings to set clear expectations for all your employees. Coach up individual’s opportunities while encouraging each team member to maximize their strengths. Document a growth plan for each individual team member that is actionable, measurable and time sensitive.
Develop an Objective Metric of Evaluations
In most cases, employees report that evaluations are nearly meaningless. Not only do your team members have their own ideas about their performance, your management team does not always provide feedback that is consistent. Use an objective evaluation of employee performance.
These objective measurements should be standardized. All members of the leadership team need to know how to provide the same feedback for your team. It will help to identify problems and reduce the frustrations that your employees feel when criticized by someone who does not use the same standards.
Balance Meetings and Emails
Email is a wonderful tool of communication. You can quickly send a string of instructions to different team members or update the entire team with one memo. Emails also track communication.
Team meetings are another great communication tool. Getting everyone together to talk about the department’s goals is more than just an opportunity to share your ideas. These meetings provide you with feedback from your team. They are a team building exercise as well.
Be careful to use both tools wisely, and strike a careful balance between email messages and meetings. Depending too much on emails disassociates you from your team. Spending too much time in meetings is wasteful and frustrating. Learn to run an efficient meeting, and keep your emails concise.
Accountable leaders get results. They know how to create, lead, serve and inspire high performing teams! By implementing these important accountability traits you will be on your way to developing highly productive and accountable teams!