Let’s define Consistent:
- Logically ordered and/or following the same pattern.
- Unchanging; steady.
- Being in conformity with a set of rules, guidelines or policies.
Fundamental No. 11: Be Consistent. Follow our operating procedures to ensure consistency and high performance. Consistency is critical to ensuring that both internal and external customers know exactly what to expect. Think from a process viewpoint.
Highly successful companies have a process orientation that produces consistency. They look to create standardized best practices for every action. The reason Charlie Murren came up with the 30 fundamentals that we discuss every morning in our huddle is to establish the foundation to produce a culture consistent with the behaviors that he wants everyone here at the company to have. “Be Consistent” is a very important fundamental. It is a framework for the type of person that will work, manage and run this company.
Consistency Builds Credibility
Consistency builds credibility. Credibility allows a business to experience longevity. Consistency in business is not an option, it is essential to achieve success. Inconsistency comes from a lack of assessing, identifying, strategizing, developing, and implementing.
One way to ensure consistency is through policies and procedures. Anything that needs to be done more than once needs a procedure or it will not be done the same way every time. Developing a procedure is not complex and should not have to come down from management. Whether you are a foreman, operator, carpenter or a laborer you are part of a team that together can be thinking of ways to improve any repetitive process that you do on a daily basis.
Consistency in our business will:
- Create credibility
- Foster trust and reliability
- Build a clear and recognizable business image and brand
- Build a good company reputation
- Retain current clients
- Bring an abundance of referrals, new business with less cost
- Bring longevity to our business
Consistency starts at the top. Our company’s leaders understand the importance of consistency in all that we say and do. In order to bring a high level of consistency to our field operations, we need the help of every employee from the president right down to the newest laborer.
How do we get results with consistency? Well, its like John Maxwell said: “Small disciplines repeated with consistency every day lead to great achievements gained slowly over time.” Let’s make use of fundamental number 5 and get clear on expectations: You are not expected to blow everyone’s mind every day. That is impossible and it would cause you to burn out. You aren’t expected to come into work with a guns ablaze, last-day-on-earth, this-is-it mindset everyday.
You are expected to be consistent. Consistently on time, consistently focused on your work, consistently motivated to do your job. “Success isn’t about greatness, its about consistency. Consistent, hard work gains success. Greatness will come.” That is Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson speaking. We can all agree that he has been hugely successful in his career, and if this is his philosophy on success, then this is a great piece of wisdom.
As a supervisor, one of the keys to good leadership is consistency:
- Consistent focus on the few critical issues.
- Consistent mood, behavior, and decision-making so that your team knows where you are coming from.
- Consistent delivery, personal image and presence with the customer.
Consistency is a trust builder. Inconsistency is jarring.
Getting Consistent Results from your Team
If your crew/team can’t meet the established objectives, your days as a leader are numbered. It would be great if your team came to work each day happy, ready to work, and performing at their highest level, but this usually isn’t the case. Your job, as a leader, is to get a group of diverse professionals to work together to achieve a common goal – regardless of the obstacles you face.
If you’re facing problems with consistency and motivation on your team, here are some steps you can take to produce immediate results
- Personally acknowledge the value that each team member provides to the organization. Every job in the company adds value. For any job that you think holds little value, consider what would happen if no one performed those duties.
- Treat your team members with respect. This should be obvious, but unfortunately, it needs to be said. Criticism is expected at work, but it should always be given constructively and at an appropriate time, and never in front of others. Also, remember to recognize your team member’s accomplishments and not just their mistakes.
- Communicate clear expectations. Every team member needs to understand exactly what is expected of them from the start. Establish and communicate your expectations and the effect their performance will have on their salary, as well as opportunities for advancement.
- Create a plan for improvement. Once your expectations have been communicated, give each team member the support that they need to achieve their goals. Give regular feedback so that they know where they are performing well and where they need improvement. For those areas needing improvement, create a development plan, together with each team member, outlining specific steps they can take to improve their performance. A best time to do this is as soon as you notice that they aren’t meeting expectations, do not delay.
- Remove roadblocks. Occasionally, your team will encounter roadblocks that hinder their ability to get the job done well. Do what you can to remove these barriers or help them find an alternative solution to the problem so they can focus on meeting their goals.
- Model the behaviors you want to see in your team. Your attitude and behavior sets an example for those you lead. Is your work ethic lacking? Do you view deadlines as flexible? Your team will look to you when there is a question as to what is most important. Hold yourself accountable and to high standards and your team will follow.
- Take a genuine interest in each individual’s professional goals. High-potential employees often have ambitious goals. Encourage them to develop their skills and gain new experiences that will help them advance their careers.
- Encourage teamwork. I use to be an avid basketball fan, and what I know is if one or two players are trying to make all the shots on their own, they won’t score as many points as a team who works together. As a leader, you will be judged on the performance of your team, not just one or two players. Remind everyone that you are first and foremost, a team. Each person will get an opportunity to stand out if they leverage their talents and work together.
- Weed out the non-performers. We all deserve to be successful at work. If you have implemented the suggestions above and you still have team members who are not performing up to par it’s time to have a candid conversation with them about their future. Is this really what you want to do or where you want to be? If they are committed to this career path, put them on a performance improvement plan and coach them through their development. If not, help them determine where their strengths can be of value, within or outside of the company.
The person who manages to show up faithfully on time day after day, week after week, month after month, and even year after year builds a bank account of trust that will pay dividends for as long as they keep making those deposits.
People who deliver on their promises consistently, when they say they will and without excuses, keep their friends, families, supervisors and customers, and enjoy an army of personal walking ambassadors like few others.