I really could not resist the title. You probably thought it would be about kids on a bus rolling down the road and signing a song. This is all about who you let on your bus and how you work with them when they are on the bus. Your company culture, not to mention performance, will be defined and molded by how you do both.
We all know that good team members, i.e. “the keepers”, are beyond hard to find and you will not truly know where they fall until you work with them for a while. Sometimes you know right away. So as to not blather on, I will just jot down a few thoughts that have been rattling around.
- Your team members need to be moving in one of two directions due to their actions; either on their way onto the bus and moving progressively to the best seat on the bus or they are moving out the door – never in the same spot as they will just block the aisle. The rest is up to the team member if they want to be in the best seat on the bus - continuous improvement.
- Tie into a trusted confidant who is disconnected from managing team member specifics. This person should not be in the weeds and can look at situations from a distance and thus would not be emotionally tied into the situation. I hear about it daily and blow by blow, thus have a sense of uncluttered clarity. Talk to this person and trust your first gut instinct, it is usually right. This practice could save you considerable time and potential setbacks you need to overcome later.
- Don’t try so hard to make it work FOR the person; it is their job to make it work. They need to be accountable, don’t enable. If they don’t want it, then you don’t want them on the bus.
Remember that team members recognize the performance and attitude of others and they are watching you as the leader and how you handle it. If you let it slide, they think it is ok. If you manage it, they will better understand the culture on the bus.