Good News! Getting B players more energized, engaged, and acting like an A player is not an expensive initiative. The reality? It will take a time commitment from leaders. Here are three moves you can make today to raise the energy level and commitment of your B players.
1. Communicate, Communicate, Communicate: Leaders need to spend time monthly talking about the performance of the business, quarterly talking about the near term goals, and yearly reviewing the goals and vision for the business. B’s are out there looking for leadership, some clear direction, authenticity, and something to get excited about – so give it to them!
2. Regular One on One Time: As leaders, we look at our solid players and give thanks they are low maintenance. When the demands on our time increases the common response is to take them for granted and slip into a more no maintenance mode. Nothing says you are valued more than time, and people need to feel valued before they will get excited . What if you sat down monthly with your B’s and started asking questions like:
- What challenges are you/the team experiencing this week?
- What questions are you hearing from people about the business?
- What do you see out there that needs fixing?
- What questions do you have for me?
After you ask a question just listen. If having regular one on one time is new be patient. It might take several weeks or months for people to open up because they need to see your commitment to them. If you listen and follow-up on any commitments you make trust will increase and engagement will follow.
3. Help Them Set Goals: B’s are generally doing the core part of their job very well. Use the yearly evaluation time or one on one time to affirm their value, offer support to help them grow to meet personal goals, and invite them to help fix a few things or guide some change. B’s are not looking for a 60 hour work week so they might appear hesitant. If they have some personal constraints that restrict them from giving the business extra time get creative. Whether it is testing a new system, meeting with customers coming in for a visit, or taking a new person under their wing to help them learn – there is untapped potential with these solid team members.
Remember, LOW maintenance is not NO maintenance. Pay a little attention, be authentic, and invite them to jump in. What would be the impact on your business if 50% of your B players poured some extra energy into solving one problem, finding one more customer, or identifying and implementing one efficiency improvement?