Why Listing Your 3 Critical Actions Will Foster Business Growth and Team Culture

March 21, 2024 - 9 minutes read
Critical Actions

After identifying the key characteristics your team will need to develop in order to accomplish your mission, there’s one final step when outlining your Guiding Principles.

As a business leader, you should name 3 critical actions for your company to demonstrate on a daily basis.

When the characters in a story aren’t taking action or driving momentum, their mission will inevitably stall. The story will only come together when people take meaningful steps forward with purpose and focus.

Using your mission statement as the foundation, create a list of actions you and your team can perform every day on the job to facilitate your sales and foster better interactions with customers. They need to be repeatable and directly correlate to your end goal.

Let’s say you run a Real Estate agency and you have 10 agents on staff. You might say one of your critical actions is, “We always ask people, do you know of anybody else who needs help buying or selling a home?”

If your team asked that question every day, to multiple clients, then you’re probably going to have 3,000 or 4,000 more leads at the end of the year than you would without asking the question.

A few tips you can use when determining what your critical actions should be:

1. Almost every member of your team should be able to do them. Ideally, 100% of your staff should be able to perform the actions, but of course, every business is different. Why is this important? It provides a baseline of expectations for everyone involved, which helps generate a culture that you can be proud of. Cultures are often created by groups of people taking the same action, often at the same time.

2. Your actions should directly push toward the 3 economic objectives you landed on for your business. This will keep your team aligned and on the same page. That way, every day is a commitment to hitting those goals you set in your mission statement.

3. You want to be as pragmatic as possible when outlining your critical actions. This is where companies often make the biggest mistake. Remember, these are supposed to be actions people take during every shift. Multiple times per day. If it’s too difficult for someone to do (and repeat) at work, then it’s not a good critical action to list.

Don’t overthink your critical actions. If you’re looking for the “right” ones to take, you will likely get frustrated. There are over a thousand great critical actions that will fit within your business. You’re simply looking for 3 actions that will have a terrific impact, so they can evolve into cultural habits for your team. The more you perform them, the more they will be ingrained into your daily routine and propel the company forward.

It can be as simple as, “We have a stand-up meeting every morning in which we talk about the day’s goals.” Because If you identify your goals every single day, you are more likely to achieve them.

Or … “We review our client list every day and identify any special needs they may have before they come in.” By doing this, you are more likely to create a memorable connection when your clients come in. That will lead to more return visits, word of mouth, and plenty of recommendations.

At the end of the day, you’re looking for critical actions that lead to tangible business growth.

Examples for a Bakery:

Critical Action #1: We offer a sample to everybody who walks in the door.

Critical Action #2: We double-check the expiration date on all ingredients before using them.

Critical Action #3: We clean out our workspace every hour, on the hour.

Examples for a Manufacturing company:

Critical Action #1: We wear our hard hats and gloves at all times.

Critical Action #2: We keep a clean workspace.

Critical Action #3: We review yesterday’s progress and write down our goals at the beginning of every shift.

Think about that: If you do those 3 things at that industrial site, the place is going to be very safe and clean. Then, you’re going to have a baton pass from one shift to another and productivity will not decline.

Examples for a small online learning platform:

Critical Action #1: You call every new customer and thank them for their order.

Critical Action #2: You create one new Instagram post per day offering terrific free value.

Critical Action #3: You fill out a daily planner every morning that helps you decide what content you need to create.

Think about a local restaurant

1. If everybody on the team makes a habit of asking people if they’ve tried “our amazing desserts,” there’s no question the restaurant would sell more desserts.

2. If every staff member cleaned up after themselves as they do their jobs, the entire building would feel cleaner, leading to greater customer satisfaction.

3. If the team takes turns bringing sweet tea to people waiting in line, even more customers would rave about the restaurant. Especially if the chef occasionally came out to hand the sweet tea to customers. People would be amazed by that kind of service.

What do you do when nobody actually follows through with some of your critical actions?

Truthfully, that’s most likely on leadership for not coming up with critical actions that are easy to implement, or actions that are exciting and memorable.

If your team isn’t responding well to the actions you put in place — and they’re usually high-quality workers — then it’s probably best to wipe the slate clean. If there’s one or two critical actions that ARE working, keep those and only focus on replacing the ones that aren’t.

Don’t be afraid of telling your staff the critical actions need to be adjusted. And don’t worry about them telling you, “You’re fickle, you like to change these all the time.” The truth is, they will be all-in on developing new actions if they are exciting and lead to success.

It’s important to remember: For a small business or startup, the early stages of creating your mission statement and guiding principles will be full of trial-and-error. There’s zero harm in tweaking things as you go. Learning from mistakes is often the biggest key to running a business.

You want to replace your critical actions with things people ACTUALLY do. Feel free to test them out for a couple of weeks before reevaluating.

The process might take a little time, and that’s okay – soon, you will find that you and your team are performing these critical actions that are moving the company forward. Plus, those actions will ultimately become cultural norms and habits that drive revenue, profit, and customer satisfaction.

If you would like our help with some leadership tactics, or need some guidance as you work through your mission statement, key characteristics, and critical actions, book a meeting with us!

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