An agreement is defined as an arrangement between parties, usually resulting from a discussion regarding a course of action.
When we think about our personal lives, we have agreements in place with our spouses, children, family, friends, etc. that we manage daily.
For example, an agreement between spouses might be that one of them picks the kids up from school on Tuesdays/Thursdays. If that agreement does not get met, then it will get managed by the other spouse.
Why would it be any different in business?
Agreements are a large part of our Leadership Effectiveness Training and our everyday life at Butler Street. We always say we "eat our own dog food," which means we would never preach something that we do not live up to daily.
When COVID-19 hit, our company's agreements shifted drastically as everyone's role evolved, and each of our agreements needed to be adjusted to match our new responsibilities. It’s important to note that agreements in business, much like in our personal lives, are fluid and should be continually assessed to gauge relevance and impact.
As our business is building back, our leadership team has called on all individuals to reassess their own agreements and provide recommendations to our new agreements going forward. Notice I did not say leadership issued all employees new agreements to abide by moving forward. A critical component of agreements is that they are made and agreed on between parties.
Often, leadership teams within companies get it wrong by thinking they have to do all of the work themselves without first consulting with their team. Remember, the definition of an agreement states that they result from a discussion between the two parties. There is tremendous value in empowering your employees to have input in constructing their agreements. Below are a few benefits:
Instant accountability tool – The employee will do a self-assessment and go public with what they feel they can accomplish. They will take ownership of their agreements since they were involved in the process of crafting their agreements.
Learn about your employees – This process will teach you a tremendous amount about your employees:
Who can use big-picture creative thinking to identify a reasonable agreement and articulate the benefit of the agreement, how it will be measured, and what they need from their manager to hold them accountable?