Being consistent is akin to having a good brand. Think of it as part of your personal power. Being a consistent performer at a high level, gives us personal power. This applies to performance teams as well. How can an individual or a team walk the talk if they fail to produce at a high level consistently? Therein lies the rub, what does it take to be consistent, consistently?
Define Your Brand
Most every organization has a mission statement. Teams, too, should have a mission statement as well. Certainly the mission statement should be in alignment with the organization’s, but be clear in representing what your team stands for, the work it produces and the value it brings to the table. Every team member should be on board with the team’s mission statement and live its philosophy each day.
Define Your Style
While every team is made up of members with various personality and working styles, the team, too, has an overall style. Does your team produce work with a flair? Does it produce high quality results? Do your team members possess depth of knowledge? Does your team integrate every project with cutting edge technology? Does the team have a penchant for dramatic results? Producing results with any of these qualities consistently, helps the team define its style.
Define Your Values
Values pertain to integrity, respect, accountability and the like; and when embedded in a team’s makeup can produce a consistent level of high quality performance. Values can also apply to operational functions. For example, your team may value how projects are analyzed, researched and strategized. In other words, your team may have a process that is so streamlined, accurate and applicable to your customer’s needs that any deviation could play havoc on your team’s either internal or external customer service brand. A good illustration of such processes is the story of the tortoise and the hare. As you no doubt remember, the tortoise was slow, yet consistent and stuck to his modus operandi. The tortoise e did not allow the fast hare to make him change his slow methodology or routine that helped him win the race.
Your team’s consistency is so important that excuses cannot be tolerated and each member must perform his or her tasks no matter how the member feels. For example, just because Harry isn’t in the mood to call and check with the customer or another team member at a certain point in the project will not fly. Just because Harriett feels that a step doesn’t fit her schedule and fails to perform it, is unacceptable.
There is a lot to be said for routine. Establishing routines (not to be confused with being in a rut) help keep us motivated toward our goals. It doesn’t matter if the goal is exercise, losing weight, writing a blog or obtaining customer satisfaction.
Inconsistency occurs for a number of reasons and is a nightmare for many a managers. If inconsistent performance is not addressed immediately, it will only grow and make the entire team’s life miserable. Oftentimes, recommended solutions consist of establishing clear goals, disciplinary action or a rewards program. These are all viable solutions. However, the four tools discussed here will help head off inconsistency before it has the opportunity to rear its ugly head. Heading off bad habits before they have time to take root will help keep you and your team consistent – consistently.