MA Business Success 74: Ending The Year With A Bang

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Phil: Hey, what's up? Phil Britten here, and...

Graham: Graham McDonnell, as always.

Phil: And you're at the Martial Arts Business Success podcast. I don't even know what episode we're up. And, guess what, we're at a heap, because, you know what, we've been rolling them out this year, and we're coming to a close, and we thought this topic here should be about how to finish the year with a bang with your team. Like, how do you finish the year with your team and later leave them hanging with a great experience to want to come back and fire on all eight cylinders for you, your business, and for themselves as well. So, Graham, what have we been doing?

Graham: Look, I know that previously we've talked about goal setting, we've talked about setting some great standards. A lot of people will wait until a New Year's resolution. You hear that story of people who are wanting to get fit, this, that, the other. Again, a lot of business owners will wait until next year before their actions start. So what we actually do is we finish the year with goal setting, some strategy sessions, and really help our team finish the year on a high. So, again, we've got some scheduled meetings coming up about where they wanna be next year and make sure that they know what they're looking forward to. So it means through the quiet time over Christmas, they've got a chance to come back fired up, ready to rock and roll.

Phil: Would you suggest that the guys out there, and I know the answer but I'm asking you anyway, that they do a review of the year that's been, and then we're setting them up for the success that we are after as a business and as individuals?

Graham: We do a 360 review on our guys continuously, and that is not only themselves as a person, how they are as a person, a martial artist, a business person in their job role, where they've been this year, their successes, what they've done well, their own opinions of that. And from us as a business owner and the boss, we also review that same performance as well, too. So it's important to go back over [inaudible 00:01:53] in 2016. What did the year start like? What successes have you had? What challenges have you had? How have you overcome that? Again, in their words, and then from your opinion as well, too. Another good one too is, if you've got other people in your team that can potentially help you to give a third-person review, it's always a great thing. So 360 review is basically a chance to really look back on where you've been, but then, from that information, it gives you a chance to go, "Right, that was now. What's 2017 gonna look like?"

Phil: I would definitely say, in the end-of-year review, when you're looking back at the year that's been, I would recommend, and this is what I'd probably do with any type of review, but in particular an end-of-year review, would be to make sure you're asking discovery-type questions to your employee. You know, like "How has this year been?" and, "How has that made you feel?" and, "How did you go at this event?" and, "How did you go here?" And really get them to tell you how they've been going, both physically, mentally, emotionally, and almost get them to completely uncover the whole story, things that you may not have even uncovered yourself. And therefore it gives you good stepping stones to strike up maybe either structured conversations or conversations that weren't even on the cards.

Graham: Look, I know that, Phil, when we set goals for our guys, and probably really important for the guys listening and watching is to understand what are your hot buttons, what are the things that motivate your team. Because I know that with the change of staff that we had, or if people grow, and maybe their families grow in age, grow in numbers, their life changes, they may have started or finished a relationship, whatever the situation might be, what motivates them is gonna be different now, or even next year, to what it was at the start of the year. So from an employee's point of view, if you wanna get the maximum efficiency and effectiveness from your team: one, decent goals, where they were, two, what they're hungry and they're striving for, and three, what can you do to incentivize or motivate them to reach those goals. How can that be a driving force? Because we know we can only inspire so much. It's up to them where the rubber meets the road to implement. But, again, pat on the back, when they get there, what is it that's gonna inspire them? And, you know, in previous podcasts, and I say this often, some people are motivated by money, so they want extra money in their pay packets. Some want time off to enjoy their lifestyle and have that time with their family. Others are just a simple thank you, acknowledgment. So as you go through setting the yearly goals for next year, what is also gonna get your team hungry to want to achieve those as well, too?

Phil: So you're after sort of letting them uncover the year that's been, almost get them to paint the picture of the year that they would like the year coming forward. And same for you as well, I guess, you know, being the owner of the business, you wanna make sure you paint the big picture and, you know, set the goalposts so it sets them up for the best success they can to kick that goal. What are some of the fun things? I know we've actually had two Christmas parties, which were a little bit unplanned, but necessary in the situation, because our team have done some amazing things this year. We've had ups and downs like every business, and for those people out there who are out there in the world, UK, America, China, you know, everyone who's listening and watching, Perth in particular and Western Australia has gone through a bit of a downturn. So the economy has dropped a fair bit, a lot of people are losing jobs, but what we try to do and pride ourself is customizing a service that's almost a necessity. So, yes, we've had a bit of a dip, and, yeah, we're coming out of it as well, but overall our business and our organization, our empire has grown, which is fantastic, and so has our team. And we wanted to not only just have a Christmas party, we wanna reward them as well for their awesome work. So, Graham, just list a few of the things we've done and then tell them what we did this last week.

Graham: Okay, so what we've done in the past, we've done some fun team-building communication activities. So we've done a Master Chef challenge, like a cooking challenge. And can you imagine 20 staff in a small area trying to cook dishes? And what that really did was a great way just to see how they work in small teams, the dynamics. Fun activity where you get the reward of eating that dinner, as long as it's good food at the end of it. We've done archery. We've done rock climbing. We've done just problem-solving in-house, a two- or three-hour workshop, board-breaking workshop, goal-setting. There's so many things that we do that don't cost a lot of money, but what we wanted to do is we wanted to really identify the hard work they put in, the sacrifice they've made recently. So to do that, we provided a fun day of just taking them out on the water. There's a couple of activities that we've got over here where they're flyboarding. So for you guys who may or may not know what that is, it is basically like a hoverboard with jets at the bottom, and it's a great day out.

The reason for doing that activity, again, it gave them a chance to get together and understand when they've achieved a goal or worked toward something, they've got a reward, and I go back to that often. And that's part of the reason why I mentioned that before, is what's the goal, but what is also the reward at the end of that. What incentivizes them to really work hard for that? And this is just a way to say thank you for them working, going the extra mile. So you've got to make sure that that is acknowledged, but then number two, you know, what a great way to celebrate the families coming together. Which is, for us as a company, we have plenty of staff, plenty of families, and that's where the Christmas party comes into play. Really, we're emphasizing finishing the year on a high, because we've got a two-week downtime for us personally over this Christmas break. It's important to make sure your team come back energized, revitalized, and ready to go for next year. It's really important for that.

Phil: Yeah, it was awesome. It was really cool to see the team come together and, you know, each team-building activity brings something different, whether it is a leadership thing or coming together and communicating, and confidence building. But I think you would've heard us talk about before almost the three tiered levels of how you should treat or behave around employees and employers. So we have I'm your boss first, instructor second, friend third. I think what happens with the team building, or a social activity, you get to sort of leave those two, the boss and the instructor, out, and just for a day, even though you're at work, just be friends. And I think that's important that, you know, although we do want that three-tier and be seen as a boss first, instructor second, friend third, it's nice just to peel back those two layers and be a friend, you know, and chin-wag and scallywag around, you know. Sorry for talking gibberish for all those non-Australians. But it's about having fun and just stripping aside all the authority and the hierarchy of martial arts and in a business as well, just having fun.

Graham: You know, so, guys, in a nutshell, really what we're encouraging you to do is really finish the year on a high, but not just accept that that's a standard. Think of always improving it, and part of the values we have as a company is kaizen, and for those listening the first time, it's a phrase we use often - constant and never-ending improvement. So this year, celebrate your successes, but never just be complacent and, "That was good enough." Because every year we look to be that little bit better. Now, whether we grow our student numbers or grow in income, how can we serve our clients better? How can we be a better employee or employer? Whatever it may be, always look to improve yourself in all aspects. So when you set goals for your team, it's really important to understand how can you improve in all aspects that you basically go through.

Phil: Awesome, guys. Well, that's a quite quick but very formalized, I guess, attempt at giving you a bit of an insight on what we as an organization with lots of staff do. And we say, like, you know, whether you've got a staff of 20 or 1 or 2, still do something. You know, I mean, you've got to paint the picture. You know, if you've got a staff of just you and someone else, you know, I'd be doing the same thing, and if not bigger, because they're gonna tell someone about the amazing experience that I have, like, "Working for this company, we get to do this, this, and this, and this." And I know we get that from the staff that have come from other industries. They go, "Wow, my employers never did that," or, "We've never done this for Christmas. We've never done this for team building." And that's the environment that I wanna create for our staff, that they keep talking and rave, like a raving fan about your school. I want a raving staff that talk about, "Man, working here is like the best thing in the world." And if you can create that, then you're gonna get, like I said, repeat customers, you're gonna get repeat staff, you know, like-minded staff congruent with your message that are gonna stick around longer.

Graham: Hey, guys, just before we wrap it, I guess, giving you that frequency, we don't just do this once a year. This is something we do on a regular basis with our guys, and generally it happens as a team-building event. A wave of the team comes together and celebrates once a quarter. Now, again, I said you don't have to spend millions of dollars on this sort of stuff. It's just the thought that counts. But, you know, when you look at setting goals, have those big long-term goals, have small goals, but have constant checkpoints where you guys are achieving, re-setting, but also celebrating your achievements. Because I guarantee, our successes have come from not waiting one year to go, "High five, well done," we've done it on a continual basis. After the first one, the guys are more motivated to work harder for the next one and the next one, which is why we know that coming to the end of the year, next year will even be better than what we've done, because our guys are motivated to be better and accomplish more. So constant and never-ending improvement is the key factor in this.

Phil: Absolutely, guys. Well, we're gonna finish today with a couple of announcements, I guess, coming towards the end of the year, some partnerships that we've been able to foster over these last 12 months of podcasting and after we've vetted out, I guess, some industry leaders and some programs. And I know we've been working with Hyper. The guys from Hyper, Roland and Jason, the guys there, are doing a fantastic job. We've had Hyper Pro Training and Fight Club within our schools, and we've been able to team up with those guys to give you a 50% discount on the services there. So, Graham, what would they need to do if our viewers, our watchers out here want to take advantage of Hyper? Now, join us in a quick, brief description, because what I would suggest is that people get in touch with us for more information.

Graham: Look, honestly, that's probably the best thing, because I don't have time in this short podcast to give you it all. But some really great content that we've used on a continual basis to help beef out some of our campaigns, whether it's Bully Bus, or whether it's marketing, whatever it may be, they've got great content that's just plug-in-and-play and works really, really, really, really well. We use it with all of our schools, which is great. So, guys, [email protected]. If you're interested in taking your 2017 and beyond and make that your best year, highly recommend contacting us, and we'll give you the information to show you.

Phil: Yeah, we've got a special code that we're just gonna give to those people who are interested, so email us, like Graham said, [email protected]. We'll give you that code, and you'll get 50% off. So thanks guys for tuning in. Can't wait to share with you the next podcast. Have a fantastic week, and we'll catch you on the flip side.

Graham: Catch you.

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