Get your team to take on new tasks and love it! (Proceedings)


Get your team to take on new tasks and love it! (Proceedings)

Apr 01, 2010

What motivates individuals to perform, and how can you improve their responses to a request to do more? Attendees will explore facets of motivation and evaluate how they may unwittingly shut down enthusiasm.
      1. Explicitly designate levels of delegation
      2. Involve team members in decision-making
      3. Coach team members through resistance
      4. Provide encouragement, time and resources
      5. Hold people accountable

     • Employee development: Any activity that leads to an employee's personal and professional growth
     • Delegate: To commit powers or functions to another
     • Empower: To give official power or authority

           1. Explicitly designate levels of delegation

Consider varying levels of delegation and empowerment. Do you trust that a person will:
     • Initiate an action
     • Do it
     • Do it on time
     • Do it correctly

Delegation is not all about someone's ability to perform a task. It also includes time management, quality and ethics. Effective delegation and empowerment can be thought of in stages. How can you help individuals go from being told what to do, to initiating actions themselves? You must train; create expectations; create accountability; and reward.

2. Involve team members in decision-making

When implementing change or assigning new tasks, who initiates the change? How much was the team involved in the process of deciding it was necessary? Did the leader present the end result or conclusion, or was the team involved in the process? How can you share information such that others decide that the change is necessary?

3. Coach team members through resistance

Reluctant responses may be because the new task is viewed as more work, or even punishment. Is the idea an honor, or more work without reward? Is this activity optional, or required? Coach through resistance by asking questions and offering encouragement. Does the person need training or coaching?
     • Are they ready to be "let loose," or do they need help along the way? Try these approaches.
     • "Now that you have decided to ___, let's set a time to meet again and talk about how well that is working."
     • "You have agreed to ______. When will you start?"
     • "How will you know when you have succeeded?"
     • "I am confident that you can do this."
     • "What choices do you have?"
     • "Who could help you?"

4. Provide encouragement, time and resources

Ask these questions:
     • "What is the next step?"
     • "Where are you stuck?"
     • "What do you need to help you succeed?"

5. Hold people accountable

Delegation and empowerment bring communication challenges. Create a process and time frame for communicating about delegated work. Respect the time commitment required. Create training for all team members. Coordinate efforts across and among teams (who is keeping track?)

Remember that delegation and empowerment are different. If the "ball gets dropped," then it's not their fault - -it's yours (the leader's). You may need to step back one level - - they are not ready for full empowerment.

In summary, accurately assess each individual's readiness. Involve people early on to get them "on board." Create a process for checking up/checking in. Coach through resistance.

I love new tasks, because...
      I am involved in initiating the task
      I feel competent to do the task
      The task has meaning for me
      I have the time and energy
      I am encouraged to do this
      I am expected to do this
      I am held accountable
      I am rewarded


Client Satisfaction Pays: Quality Service for Practice Success. 2nd Ed, AAHA Press 2009. Carin A. Smith, DVM

Team Satisfaction Pays: Organizational Development for Practice Success. Smith Veterinary Consulting, 2008. Carin A. Smith, DVM