My wrestling coach from high school used to have a saying that always stayed with me. When I was a senior in high school, I was elected captain of our team and was put in a position to drive team results in additon to my own individual results. I told my coach that I had no clue how to do that and his advice to me was simple and straight forward….He said think big but make your goals small and incremental. Break them up into individual steps people think they can accomplish that will lead to the big success. Then he said people respect what you inspect and that if you want your teammates to excel, you have to deliver them tasks to accomplish then inspect them to make sure they were completed. He broke it down for me and made it simple. It worked and we had a championship season.
Unbelievable advice from a winning coach that plays perfectly into the corporate world I live in today. Most opticians, and frankly most employees for that matter, want to do a good job. By nature, the human psyche is such that people want to please those that control thier economic future. Maybe even more so in an economy like this one. But if you pass along your goals and objectives to the optician and those goals are either too vague or too large (Grow the business or increase sales by 25% this year) most will fail. The task is either unreasonable or not enough direction was given. The advice here is to break the big goal into a series of smaller more attainable goals and then inspect the success in those smaller areas regularly.
Lets use an example. We want to grow our revenues in the second half of the year by 15%. That is the big picture goal. The smaller goals that provide direction to the opticians are we want to increase our average transaction price by 10%. To accomplish that, we set up even smaller goals…increase the percentage of sales with transitions from 15% to 30%…increase the percentage of sales with AR coatings from 50% to 60%….increase the percentage of sales with polycarbonate material from 50% to 60%. etc.
Then, train your opticians to reach those smaller goals. Give them the tools to succeed. Then the most important part is to track that information every single week and discuss the results weekly with the opticians. Where there are set backs, fix them by training more and continuing both monitoring the results and informing the opticians of those results. When the employee sees that you are INSPECTING their results, they will RESPECT the training you have provided and because they want to do a good job by nature…they will deliver on those goals. Your small goals add up to deliver you success on the bigger scale that you wanted all along.
So before you get started on splashing your employees with big goals….think about how to break it down for the opticians in smaller pieces, provide them with the training needed to accomplish the smaller goals, and then inspect like crazy and share results routinely with the opticians. I guarantee results…and my wrestling coach would be proud as hell today.