Did you ever see someone step right over a piece of paper and not pick it up? You have to wonder: Did he see it or is he just plain lazy? The truth is, he probably also sees problems at work, yet fails to do anything about them. If that sounds familiar, it’s time to step up your game.
Some people do what they have to, no more and no less. And if management doesn’t specifically tell them to do something, it doesn’t get done. Those folks feel that if they put in the hours, their work is done — regardless of whether they did a good job. The fact is, putting in the time doesn’t cut it; getting the job done right is what counts.
Setting proper expectations can have a huge impact on an organization. The problem is that some leaders set the bar so low you could trip on it. When employees think that doing the bare minimum is acceptable, they get lazy. When employees take no pride in what they do, and when customers are treated like annoyances, that organization is in serious decline. On a personal level, folks who act this way fail to get raises, are bypassed for promotions, and see their skill sets atrophy because their talents are not being utilized.
When you tolerate mediocrity, you get more of it.
Take Steps to Achieve Excellence
Here are 14 guideposts to step up your game:
Raise the bar. Don’t settle for mediocrity. Be the best you can be…and then be a little better.
Be your toughest critic. Before challenging others, challenge yourself. If you’re not proud, you’re not done.
Be proactive. Don’t wait for a complaint to act. If you see something wrong, fix it. The fact is, if you can do it right after being asked, you can do it right before being asked.
Request feedback. Get out of your office and get a reality check. Seek feedback directly from customers rather than receiving it second- or third-hand.
Control your ego. Treat negative feedback as a gift rather than a slap in the face.
Eliminate dissatisfaction. Eliminate every area that dissatisfies customers because those are the reasons why customers leave. Then you can invest in delighting them.
Anticipate needs. Identify ways to add customer value. But remember to act on your findings. When you do nothing, nothing happens.
Exceed expectations. Some results, like accurate payroll checks, are expected. (You’ll never win praise because your payroll is accurate.) Other results, such as going the extra mile, are often not expected. If you consistently exceed your customers’ expectation levels and deliver greater value than they anticipated — you’ll WOW people.
Show what you’re made of. If you think you’re doing your customers a “favor,” you’re in for a rude awakening. Competence, courtesy, reliability, and responsiveness are expected.
Replicate success. Turn great ideas into lasting success. When an improvement proves successful, institutionalize it so that it’s not a one-time event.
Measure what’s important. There’s an old saying, “What gets measured gets done.” Ask yourself, “What counts that we’re not counting?”
Empower your employees. Encourage your employees to think for themselves and do what’s in the best interests of their customers.
Pay for performance. Recognize and reward people for excellence, not for just showing up. Employees stop trying when there’s no benefit for being exceptional and no consequence for being mediocre. It’s time to step up your game.
Think long term. Don’t cut corners to save a penny. Invest in long-term customer relationships.
Mediocre Behavior Is a Choice
Some organizations permit their employees to do the absolute minimum. When leaders tolerate mediocrity, it’s a cancer that spreads like wildfire. People stop trying, people stop caring, and people opt for what’s easy rather than what’s best. The truth is, some organizations have been operating this way for so long, they don’t even realize they’re becoming second rate. Don’t let that happen to you.
It’s time to step up your game. When you expect exceptional behavior, you raise the bar for everyone; when you tolerate mediocrity, you lower the bar for everyone as well. Remember, mediocre behavior is a choice. And it starts with you. It doesn’t cost more to strive for excellence, but if you settle for mediocrity, it’ll cost you dearly. Always give 110%. It’s the extra 10% that everyone remembers.
Will You Try to Step Up Your Game?
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