As a manager, getting your employees to buy into a new project can be one of the most frustrating parts of the job. There are many mistakes leaders can make when announcing a new project to their team, so on this episode of Mind Your Own Business, host Jonathan Dawson discusses how to motivate your employees the right way. Dawson is the founder of sales training platform Sellchology, and an expert on the psychological principles behind effective sales strategies. He is also an author, speaker and consultant with years of experience in the car business.
Many business owners set themselves up for failure by assuming their employees will react positively to a new idea or project. “The first mistake that sabotages a lot of launches is expecting that everyone will respond the same way you respond,” explains Dawson. However, when it comes to motivating a team, it does not matter how good, exciting or relevant an idea is: it is impossible to get everyone to buy in. This is because everyone operates according to their own frame of reference.
Thankfully, you do not need to get a positive response from everyone on your team. Instead, you simply need enough supporters to get the task started. Rather than aiming to bring everyone on board, aim instead for those who understand your idea and its purpose.
By cultivating this small group of supporters, business owners can motivate their teams more than they could alone. This is because it gives other employees a standard to follow and a way to see the idea working in real time.
Another way business owners fail to improve buy in, is by skipping two fundamental questions: Who will be impacted by this change? How will they feel about it?
Ideas, both good and bad, can come with unintended consequences. Failing to foresee these not only puts your business plan at risk, it also weakens your authority. To avoid sabotaging themselves, managers should seek to answer how their idea will change their employee’s circumstances and whether or not this change will be viewed positively. “People don’t like stuff being dropped on their head…especially if it impacts their life,” remarks Dawson.
Managers also make matters worse by failing to make their expectations clear. Employees need to know the standards to follow, roles to fill and deadlines to meet in order to make an idea work. Without doing the preliminary work necessary to offer a detailed strategy, business owners sabotage their ability to get their employees to buy into their idea. Giving teams this framework also provides accountability since it ensures everyone is 100% aware of what they are expected to do and who to go to when something needs to be taken care of. “Within your organization, if you want something to launch better, there needs to be a person, an individual, that the buck stops with.”