A few years ago, all of us at IT Radix studied Fred, a man who went beyond the basics of his job to deliver exceptional service. Mark Sanborn, the author of The Fred Factor, recently shared four ideas on how to get more performance, productivity and profit from your team. I find the challenge with receiving all these great ideas is figuring out how to implement them; so, I thought I’d share some of the takeaways that we’ve implemented at IT Radix.
First, Mr. Sanborn encourages you to let your teams learn together. At IT Radix, we have a daily conference call where the technical team can share information they’ve learned or brain storm on issues encountered. The brief morning call helps pull us all together even when techs are going in all different directions. We also have in-house tech training every two to three weeks where techs lead each other in deeper dives into technology that we encounter every day. And, of course, throughout the day, the techs often team up to work together on a client issue or problem, sharing and learning together about the technical nuances encountered.
Next, Sanborn encourages you to have your team members recognize each other. Over the years, we’ve done this in a number of ways. Monthly, we announce our “Wow” winners—sometimes these come from clients and sometimes they come from within. We had a “Nailed It” award where a technical consultant was recognized for finding a tricky technical solution—or “nailing it!” It’s all too easy to let good work go by unrecognized. Ask your team members to help you by recognizing each other and, as Sanborn says, “catching each other doing something praiseworthy.” Peer recognition is powerful.
Sometimes you need to get your team together just to think. By reflecting on what you’re doing as a team, you can consider opportunities, not just solve problems. Getting together as a team at IT Radix is sometimes difficult but we’ve found that by setting specific monthly meetings with different teams, we’re able to focus on marketing or sales opportunities or more general operational opportunities for improvement. The net result of these meetings results in new products or services that we’re able to provide to our clients. As Sanborn puts it, “The team that thinks more wins more.”
The last piece of advice that Sanborn shared is probably the most difficult. It’s not easy creating great teamwork, and as a result, it can sometimes become “optional.” Tolerating or allowing poor team play undermines everything you’re working toward. If someone isn’t being a good player, then take action—even if it means removing the offender from the team. As Sanborn said, “You’ve got to expect it (teamwork) and not tolerate it if you don’t get it.”
Want to read more by Mark Sanborn? You can check him out at www.marksanborn.com.
First published in our October 2015 IT Radix Resource newsletter