You started your business, probably on your own then gathered a small group of like-minded…
Want a Simple and Easy Way to Grow Without Losing Your Culture?
Wouldn’t it be great if quickly and easily, on a weekly basis, you could gauge your team’s temperature, gain new ideas, troubleshoot problems and plan ahead?
Well now you can, and it will only take 15 minutes. When I was writing my book, I was looking for examples which would help business owners save time and money as they build a simple, profitable business they actually love.
Recently, one of my clients told me about a new website which helped them check in with their team and make sure they were not only feeling OK with their work and colleagues but also ensured there weren’t any issues bubbling below the surface. One of the reasons they became a subscriber was because it was cloud-based and thus ensured their employees working remotely could also provide feedback in real time.
The website is 15Five, and it’s a simple way to keep everyone aligned with the values and vision of your business, no matter how far or fast you grow. When I looked into it, it was the example I was looking for to summarise my Dare to Lead chapter.
Please note, I do not have any allegiance (financial or otherwise) to the 15Five company. I just really like the simplicity of their product and my client endorsed its benefit so I thought other businesses might like to consider it.
So how does it work?
15Five is a cloud-based, subscription model which enables businesses to create a culture of feedback.
- Team members including the owner/manager take 15 minutes a week to answer simple questions, developed by anyone in the business. Attention is focused on everything from personal productivity to team morale.
- Owners/Managers spend 5 minutes to read and comment on responses. This enables management to focus on meaningful dialogue which quickly transforms into improved business outcomes.
- These conversations transform into meaningful action as feedback travels up the ladder through all levels of management, and enables them to keep their finger on the pulse by easily seeing what’s going on across the entire business, each and every week.
The product enables businesses to set both company and individual objectives and then review the status of each objective in real time (on track, at risk or behind); and because it is cloud-based, it streamlines and replaces components of existing business systems like emails and spreadsheets.
As everyone can see both company and individual progress towards objectives, it helps build a culture of not only accountability and transparency but also a willingness to ask and gain help from team members because everyone is invested in team and business success.
The 15Five Question Bank is loaded with dozens of categorised questions so owners/managers can impact key areas like productivity, culture and morale; as well as assist with business and succession planning. For example:
- How might we build a stronger culture as a team?
- Is there a project/task you’re interested in taking more ownership?
- What do you want to discuss in our next 1:1? Nothing is too big or small.
What I also like is there is a focus on what they call ‘High Fives’ where everyone can provide team members with well-deserved praise, so every day becomes an Employee Appreciation Day. Wouldn’t that be great and who wouldn’t want to work in a business which embraces this philosophy?
As it’s a performance management tool, it also provides summary talking points for both management and staff to have quick and constructive 1:1 meetings.
The website has a number of videos from clients who recommend the product including MailChimp. My client works in the financial services industry and has between 5-20 staff, so it certainly works for Small Business as well as larger organisations. There is also an app for iPhone customers.
I love this anonymous quote:
What is the shortest word in the English language that contains the letters: abcdef? Feedback.
Unfortunately, feedback can be an area which causes unnecessary discomfort and thus is often avoided, dismissed as irrelevant or not done very well. So, it’s important to remember that from little things, big things grow which can work both positively and negatively.
Avoiding issues and thinking they will either go away or resolve themselves can make the situation worse. I’m sure you know this already, so now you need to consider what the reasons are if this is still happening in your business. If you want to be a great leader, you have to ‘dare’ and action it into existence.
So, what are the three questions you would like your team to honestly answer to confirm not only your business and your team are on track, but also you personally as a leader of an amazing business?
“The opinions expressed by Smallville Contributors are their own, not those of www.smallville.com.au"
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