Is Your Team Slacking?

A few days ago, I was out running errands with my kids and noticed a man in the drive through lane of a fast food restaurant, struggling to operate a power washer.

I felt sorry for the guy, then immediately realized that this man is a) likely the restaurant manager, and b) although “power washing the drive thru lane” is most likely not part of his job description, he is doing it anyway.

He probably arrived at work and noticed the drive thru lane was looking dirty and coated in oil. He knew what we all know--no one wants to eat at a dirty restaurant. Wanting to attract as many customers as possible, he put his “manager” hat and ego aside and did what needed done.

I guarantee you he was not having fun. And he wasn’t getting paid any more to do this somewhat difficult, physical job than to sit inside on his computer and drink coffee.

What is my point?

Regardless of their positions within our studios, I am sure we all have some employees see that something needs to be done but make excuses, like:

“That’s not my responsibility.”

“I don’t get paid enough to do that.”

“Someone else will take care of that.”

“I can’t find the right supplies to take care of that task.”

“I am afraid I will mess it up.”

“I am too busy to help with that.”


Do any of these sound like anyone on your team?

I am not implying that our teams are lazy or that they don’t care. Experience has shown me that most employees care very much and will go above and beyond what is required of them if given encouragement.

So, if you are wanting your team members to go above and beyond, and being met with resistance, what should you do?

  1. Set the standard through your actions. I know none of us particularly enjoy cleaning the floors or scrubbing the toilets, but if your staff members see you doing things like this once in a while, they will be more willing to do the same. You are showing them that you are not above them.  You are setting the example, earning their respect, and showing them how to work for you.
  2. Give them encouragement. It's no different than your students. Positive reinforcement works for adults, too. If you see a staff member going above and beyond, thank them. Tell them how much you appreciate it. Tell them how much of a difference it makes. They will continue to perform at that level if they feel recognized.
  3. Make it easy for them to help. Make sure they have the equipment and supplies to help. One staff member told me she wanted to help with admin work before her teaching shift, but couldn't because we didn't have a computer available.  Of course, I went out and got another computer!  And keep supplies handy so anyone can find what they need and chip in. You can even keep a few items in each studio, like sanitizing wipes and a small dustpan and mini-broom for touch ups.
  4. Practice delegation. This step requires you to outline to your staff members what exactly is expected of them. Do you want them to empty the tuition mailbox every night? Tell them. Do you need them to check the bathroom supplies every hour? Tell them. This is where checklists come in handy. Create an opening checklist, a closing checklist, a weekly cleaning list, and to-do lists for certain days of the week (maybe you send invoices every Monday, for example.) But, you must follow up with your staff to ensure things are completed. Don't rely on the list alone to get it done
  5. Implement a big old attitude of gratitude. Happy employees perform better, so show your appreciation through a handwritten note, a small gift, or just a genuine 'thank you'. It will go a long way to encourage them to do more for you. The key is to find each staff member's personal "love language" and reward them with that. For some, it may be cash, or kind words, or inspirational books, while others may want time off to spend with family or coffee gift cards.

Are your staff members going above and beyond? How do you reward them?

Tell me all about it in the comments below!