Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Set Expectations (Give staff a voice! Part 6 of 10)

Training staff isn't enough.

Just because someone knows how to do something, doesn't mean they will do it.

People need to know what is expected of them, what is in it for them and what success looks like. Training people on the steps and process does not help with this.

I have often heard it said that kids will live up to their expected potential, not their actual potential. I think the same holds true with staff and technology.

If we treat them with kiddie gloves and expect only minor activity, then that is what we will get. But if we set clear, reasonable expectations, remove barriers, reward behavior and document success, then we can help them achieve their actual potential.

Technology and soon digital content, will be a part of a majority of jobs. We are doing our staff a diservice if we ignore this and shield them from this responsibility.

As a part of our effort to enable digital efforts we worked to set expectations of:

  • Posting to the website weekly as a team as a minimum
  • Posting to Facebook 2-3 times a week as a minimum, prefer daily
  • Update website information regularly (hours, staff, schedules, etc)
  • Sending a monthly email blast that contains more than just promotion
  • Balance all content (third=promotion, third=sharing stories, third=informative)
  • Monitor comments and reply daily
  • Reply to all contact us and tour requests from our website
  • Manage any new functionality or apps added to Facebook pages
  • Keep 2 staff trained as authors for digital channels for each center
And we had more. But the key isn't making a list of rules and regulations. Rather the key is to provide insight on WHY these are important and how they impact their job, plus make it easy for them to meet these expectations.

Also make it very clear what support they can get from IT, Marketing and other management resources. This has to be a shared responsibility.

Beyond listing the tasks they are responsible for, you should set the tone for behavior.  Most places have an employee policy that lists all of the things that staff can NOT do.  But do you have a list for your digital content of what they SHOULD do?

You can look over our manual and policies which attempted to balance these different things. But we used regular emails, metrics, reports and trainings to keep these expectations clear and in the front of the conversation.

Anyway, the point is we can't just train and give a set of rules. We need expectations to be set.

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