The Root Cause of Workplace Drama: Lack of Clarity

by Agnes Lan P. Eng

Your business may be fortunate enough to have an exceptionally talented sales team, but are they truly meeting your expectations? The decision to not enforce goals will result in mediocrity at best. Oftentimes business owners and/or managers are hesitant to set and enforce goals for fear of confrontation or being perceived as too difficult. 

However, the reality of it is that goals give everyone something to aim for. When clear goals are identified, every team member from all the departments within a business know what the focus is, and are more apt to have clarification on what their duties involve.

In order to hold individuals accountable for performance, clear goals must be in place, which are measured on a regular basis. This timeframe should reflect your goals as well as what works for your team; whether that is weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly. Accountability equates to responsibility and if your salespeople don’t feel they are being held accountable for anything, then the lack of focus will hinder them from reaching their full potential. Below are tips on setting goals and holding people accountable.

Setting Goals

When you work with your sales team on setting goals, it promotes a sense of ownership, friendly competition, and will essentially set them up for success. Goals for salespeople must be clearly defined, measurable, realistic, and have a set deadline for achievement.

The more specific a goal is, the easier it will be to measure progress on an ongoing basis. This is beneficial for you, the owner/manager, and also for each member of sales. Secondly, be sure the goal is relevant and achievable. Setting goals too high will only result in frustration, whereas realistic goals will offer enough of a challenge to motivate individuals to be ambitious enough to attain them, moving them out of their comfort zone, and increasing performance levels. 

The Benefits of Accountability

For the most part, employees expect and desire to be held accountable. It encourages ownership. When everyone is held accountable for job performance based on what is expected of him or her, it alleviates the negative stigma that is associated with accountability and instead is perceived as a positive aspect.

For example, sales people, or any staff member, should be held accountable for any shortcomings they experience, but just as importantly, they must be held accountable for successes as well. This can be a great tool and motivator.

Regardless if mediocre performance is currently the norm for your sales team, it hinders the longevity of your business long time; and it can be changed. Setting goals challenges individuals to expect more from themselves and it gives them something to strive for with the end results ranging from increased self-confidence, higher commissions, recognition from management.

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