Wait? What? Why on earth would I need to fix something that is right? If it is right, then by definition shouldn’t we leave it alone? Absolutely not! The last thing I want you to do is to leave it alone. What I want you to do is to focus your efforts on what is right within your business and your company so that you can do more of that, and a whole lot less of what it wrong.
Of course, this is assuming that we are aware of the things we do really well, the things that need some work, the things we are failing at doing, and what the threats are to the organization if we keep going in the same direction.
A S.W.O.T. Analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) is mission critical before making any plans for improvement and growth within an organization. A S.W.O.T. analysis is one of the very first things I conduct when taking on any new client or project. Think about it; you can’t map out a path to get to where you want to go unless you have a starting point a.k.a. “the place you are now.”
The hardest part about conducting a S.W.O.T. Analysis is objectivity. It is hard to be objective when referring to oneself or one’s company; which is precisely the reason why I am asked to come in as the expert from the “outside” to make those determinations. That being said, there are things you can and should do to get a healthy perspective on the state of things within your company.
Since this week is Thanksgiving, and our focus should be on gratitude, what better time to start creating a culture of excellence by focusing in on what is working well for you by giving your team a 30 Day Gratitude Challenge?
Here is how this works:
- Make someone “it.” The person who is “it” is responsible for being the keeper and organizer of the “gratitudes” as they come in. They are also responsible for making sure that they get one from each person on the team each day that they work.
- Challenge each associate within your team and your company to find at least one thing every day they work for which to be grateful. Have them write it up each day and send it into the person who is “it.”
- Each week, either at your weekly meeting or via e-mail if everyone is remote, recognize the people, events, systems, etc. that have been called out in the “gratitudes” as they come in. And, yes we can be grateful for systems and things too. We don’t always have to be grateful to only our co-workers, teammates and customers. Systems, when they work properly can be a real life-saver!
- If you have someone who is obviously going above and beyond in their participation level, be sure to recognize them. That recognition is not only the right thing to do, but it will encourage others to up their proverbial game as well. If you have those who are giving a less than a stellar effort for this exercise, don’t call them out, simply ignore them for now. This exercise is about positive affirmations and learning what is good…in other words, what works, who works, and why.
- If you notice that something or someone you thought should be getting “gratitudes,” but isn’t, keep a list until after the 30 days are over so that you don’t influence your team and bias the results. Additionally, those who don’t participate, and the things that don’t get mentioned, keep those on a separate list that only you see until the end of the 30-day challenge.
- Since you are leading by focusing on the positive, it is good to dangle a carrot rather than using a stick. By this, I mean, have small weekly prizes. A gas card of $25 or something like that for those who have the best share of the week and those who are mentioned the most or have the most exemplary mention, etc. You can change it up every week, and you don’t have to announce in advance what type of thing is going to win a card. In fact, it is better if you don’t announce what types of things will be rewarded each week because that could influence what people submit. You want your team to know that you are paying attention to the valuable information they are giving you and that you appreciate their efforts to be positive and help the company.
- At the end of the 30-day challenge, have a company luncheon or a potluck, to let everyone know how much you appreciated their efforts and how GRATEFUL you are to them for being on your team.
- Share the summary of what you have learned. List, in categories, what is going right in your company and then create a list of opportunities so that you can continue to have more of what is going right. At this point, your S.W.O.T. is approximately halfway complete.
- The items you kept on those separate lists, probably go into your weaknesses category.
- Threats are generally from the outside and include marketing conditions, competitors, etc.
The purpose of the 30-day Gratitude Challenge is about more than just completing a S.W.O.T. Analysis. It is a reset for your team. By changing the focus from what is broken, or what is not going well, to that of what is going right. More importantly, your team starts to look for solutions and become more appreciative. If you, as the leader, create a safe space for your team to complete this challenge, you should also see an increase in productivity, customer satisfaction, and overall employee satisfaction. You will see a path to grow to your company. Of course, if you need help completing this challenge or interpreting the results, I am only an email or phone call away!
Happy Thanksgiving! I am grateful that you tuned in today and allowed me to be a part of what is right with your team and your company.
Kimberly Mackey is the founder of New Homes Solutions, and has the reputation as someone with real-world SOLUTIONS in a competitive and rapidly changing sales environment–SOLUTIONS like “50 Sales per Year before Any Walk-in Traffic”. She is a keynote speaker and published author of many Sales and Leadership articles with 20 years of experience as an executive in the residential home building and real estate industry. She has a proven track record working with Builders and Developers of all sizes –from the local/regional companies to the publicly traded nationals. She also works with Brokers from across the country and is the architect and director of the highly successful Preferred Builder Partnership with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Properties Group where she works with 32 builders, 22 offices and over 650 agents.
For more information, or to book Kimberly for your next event, visit www.NewHomesSolutions.com, or visit Mackey at LinkedIn,www.linkedin.com/in/kimberlymackey; Twitter,www.twitter.com/KimberlyDMackey; and Facebook,www.facebook.com/NewHomesSolutions or on YouTube, www.youtube.com/c/NewHomesSolutions