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The Importance Of Buy In

Date - 30 October 2016/ Category - Be A Conductor
be a conductor

There were some studies done in the 60s towards how people react to being told to do something.

The conclusions were that people perform worse when being monitored, and even worse when they can’t pick their reward in return for being monitored.

Yet these simple observations haven’t filtered through to basic management tactics because no one understands the importance of buy in.

Teams find that their remuneration is imposed rather than agreed and that managers tend to order them around rather than ask them to do something.

Part of the reason for this is because people misunderstand the nature of incentive and reward. Most text books tell you to find out what incentivises people and build a remuneration structure around that.

Managers think that by making a remuneration structure it works; it doesn’t.

You see you can’t rock up to your staff and go, “I need this doing by Friday, and here’s your reward” because as they discovered back in the 60s, people suffer from the effects of being measured and not picking their reward structure.

Instead if you’re going to manage a team you need to get some buy in. That means changing the way you talk to people.

You can’t just bark orders, you need to ask people to help. That’s all it is.

You would say “I need this doing by Friday; do you think you can do it?” and when they say yes then you’re in.

Add to this a clear remuneration structure and you’re on to a winner. Employees don’t think like entrepreneurs. While entrepreneurs like uncertainty, an employee craves definite rewards.

Rather than saying you might get a big reward, fix you remuneration against small chunks. Don’t say “I’ll give you £100 if you get 100 sales” when you can say “”I’ll give you £1 per sale”.

The smaller chunks are easily countable and don’t seem far off.

If you’re constantly changing your remuneration structure it leads to discontent. Your staff will crave a smaller remuneration that’s definite than one that’s larger but fluid.

It’s like being down the pub and someone asks you to mind their drink; as soon as you say yes you’re much more committed than if someone mutters it to you and walks off.

In the same way, if a friend says mind my drink and I will give you a beer for every 5 minutes I’m gone, you’ll get a much better service than if you offer to give them a full dinner if you’re gone for 30 minutes.

The fact is people like definite small chunks that they commit to over huge vague rewards that are given to them.

Chapter Summary:

• Get people to buy in to what you ask them to do
• Give them clear rewards that are earned in small chunks.

Read our next blog post “Conductors without a team”.

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buy in, rewards,