To create a successful business, you have to praise and celebrate the right behaviors.
Have you ever worked for a company or led a team that just wasn’t delivering, maybe they were hitting their KPIs but that didn’t translate to financial results . . . and yet you can’t figure out why? You are doing all of the things asked of you, you are delivering to the metrics, the leadership is praising your team for the activities you are doing, you are being rewarded for performing . . . yet the business is struggling. Here is the question you need to ask yourself, are you praising and celebrating the right behaviors?
I know of a company that is struggling and yet praising people for essentially doing nothing more than waking up and doing their jobs. A great example, a manager that works with their customers/clients is getting praise for literally visiting with those individuals, which is that person’s primary responsibility. What is the company actually getting out of the trip besides just a visit? Are they measuring any ROI off of that trip? Are they setting expectations for customer/client visits and measuring those results? In this instance, the answer is no.
Because they are praising the idea of putting on the uniform instead of praising how many points they score in the game, they aren’t winning in the game of business. The wrong focus leads to the wrong activities.
Now, it sounds silly that companies would do that. But I’m here to tell you, if you don’t lay a proper execution pillar in your business, it will happen to you. You see, you can focus on showing up and being happy that you finally have someone to show up to (celebrating someone new joining your team). Or, you can celebrate the fact that you had someone do a job after they showed up. Focus is everything. Focus on celebrating the wrong activities, and you won’t have a business.
This is so critical. So many businesses are failing right now because their execution pillar is jacked up. They think they are playing the game when they are still in the locker room putting on their uniform. If you praise me for how well I tie my shoes, then what does it matter if I even go play the game? I already got my praise, my financial reward, and my job security. I don’t need to go win. That’s essentially what you have told me when you praise the wrong behavior.
If you realize this is happening to you right now in your business, you have to refocus your execution pillar.
Now as a quick aside, what happens to your team when you do that? They are shocked that now you are telling them they’re not delivering so be aware of how you own and deliver that message (communication pillar). Some people will adapt and go play the game and some could only get dressed well and could never actually play the game, so they will have to find another company.
At the end of the day, constantly assessing what you praise will ensure your execution pillar is sound and that you are getting the results your business needs.