It’s much easier to be friends with your coworkers than to manage them well. Every small-business owner suffers the problem of management and accountability.
Lean business planning sets clear expectations and then follows up on results. It compares results with expectations. People on a team are held accountable only if management actually does the work of tracking results and communicating them, after the fact, to those responsible.
What gets measured is what gets done
Metrics are part of the problem. As a rule, we don’t develop the right metrics for people. Metrics aren’t right unless the people responsible understand them and believe in them. Will the measurement scheme show good and bad performances?
Remember, people need metrics. People want metrics. You and your business need metrics.
Then you have to track. That’s where the lean business plan creates a management advantage, because tracking and following up is part of its most important pieces. Set the review schedules in advance, make sure you have the right participants for the review, and then do it.
In good teams, the negative feedback is in the metric. Nobody has to scold or lecture, because the team participated in generating the plan and the team reviews it, and good performances make people proud and happy, and bad performances make people embarrassed. It happens automatically. It’s part of the planning process. Besides, guilt and fear tactics are the worst kind of fake management.
And you must avoid the crystal ball and chain. Sometimes — actually, often — metrics go sour because assumptions have changed. Unforeseen events happen. You manage these times collaboratively, separating the effort from the results. Your team members see that and they believe in the process, and they’ll continue to contribute.