Team Building Resources

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How To Hire The Right People

Jul 12, 2019

We Hire Quality People.

Our strategy is that simple, and it’s that hard.

At The Escape Game, we believe in only selecting candidates who are an absolute culture-fit. Why? Because there is nothing more important than the people we bring into our organization. Nothing!

According to a Harvard Business School study, 76% of turnover can be traced back to poor interviewing practices and bad hiring decisions.


THE ESCAPE GAME BLOG

How To Coach Your Team

Jul 12, 2019

If you lead a team, you should have an intentional strategy you use to coach your team members. At TEG, we use Danny Meyer’s CPG (Continuous, Gracious Pressure). We have outlined below the ways in which we apply CPG at The Escape Game.

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The Escape Game’s Mission, Vision, and Values

Jul 11, 2019

We believe great team culture isn’t about having the most snacks in your break room or the best team parties. For us, it’s all about our shared mission, vision, and values. Together these three things form our organization’s cultural foundation.

The mission is our organization’s common purpose. It’s why we do what we do on a daily basis. Our vision is where we’re going. It outlines our big goals and dreams for the future! Everyone wants to be a part of something bigger than themselves. Our values are the standards that allow us to accomplish our mission and vision each day.
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Professionalism 101 (and 14 Email Tips)

Jul 11, 2019

Professionalism and workplace behavior, like other behaviors, are learned and taught. This can be especially important if you are hiring workers when your company is their first job. Many retail and service companies are the first stop on a person’s career and have the opportunity to shape the workplace professionalism and behavior of employees. If you find yourself training or working extensively with first job employees, then here are some basic rules that can be communicated to your team.

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5 Steps for Epic Meetings

Jul 11, 2019

Meeting Philosophy

Why does everyone hate meetings? probably because most of them are a waste of
time and money, but they don’t have to be.

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How To Have Tough Employee Conversations

Jul 11, 2019

Tough Conversations & Employee Discipline Procedures (Templates Included)

Employee discipline, correction, or “tough conversations” are certainly not a fun topic, but surely one of the most important if you are trying to create a high performing team and company. In a study conducted by Brené Brown, leaders identified ten barriers to building and growing their teams. The barrier that leaders felt the most unable to surmount was having tough conversations and giving honest productive feedback. Honest feedback is tough, possibly the toughest thing a leader is asked to do, but essential to building a healthy team. As Brené Brown says, “Clear is kind, unclear is unkind.”

At The Escape Game, we believe that team members deserve our best and our best has to include honesty. One of our Values as a company is Growth. We strongly believe that people are going to grow when we are honest about things that are working and honest about things that are not. If we avoid difficult conversations, then we are hurting, not helping, our teams’ growth. Ken Blanchard says that “Feedback is the breakfast of champions.” If you want to build a team of champions then you have no choice but to provide feedback to your team, both positive and negative.

When facing something as personal as an employee correction conversation, thinking about the bigger context and long term ramifications can help put the moment in perspective. As a leader, your team quickly learns the difference between what you say and what you tolerate. If the two are exactly the same then you have consistency and clear expectations; after all, clear is kind. If the two begin to diverge, then you have effectively lowered the bar for everyone. Failing to address divergences from the written or articulated standard is the same as removing the standard. In situations like this, you as a leader are being very unclear and also very unkind. It is incredibly confusing and discouraging for employees when you say one thing but allow their peers to get away with not complying with that very same thing. Failing to hold a consistent standard and adequately address divergences leads companies into the following types of toxic behaviors:

  • Diminishing trust & employee engagement
  • Increases in back-channel communication & gossip, informal standards being accepted and discussed instead of the company-issued standard
  • Division & lack of shared purpose
  • Higher turnover

When we fail to hold the whole team to the standards that have been set, they quickly stop acting and looking like a team. Who wants to be on a team that doesn’t have a clear direction or expectations? What you tolerate quickly becomes the culture regardless of what you say. Tough conversations are simply not something that can be avoided.

In order to coach your team effectively and ensure that consistent standards are communicated, it is imperative that you treat every team member equally in terms of disciplinary procedures.

For this reason, you need to set procedures in place for how you will handle all team member infractions. This will mean that you, as a manager, will have to have the personal discipline to be consistent with how and when you discipline.

We have included templates we use for verbal and written warnings for disciplining team members. It may be a shock to certain team members, initially, when they realize they will actually be given documents that must be signed and filed every time they break one of your standards, but it will also bring consistency and stability to the team. People perform better when there’s clarity. Each member of your team should know exactly what is expected of them and what happens if expectations are not met.

VERBAL WARNINGS:
Verbal warnings are the first level of corrective action in response to team member coaching moments. A verbal warning should be issued to a team member for any deliberate breach of stated company standards. Below is a verbal warning template that you can use or modify as needed for your company’s needs.

Verbal Warning Template

WRITE-UPS:
Write-ups are the second level of disciplinary action and carry a significantly more serious set of consequences. Below is a template that you can use for “written warnings.”

Write Up Template

Remember the most important thing you as a leader can do for your team is to help them grow, and the best way you can help them grow is to be honest with them about both the good and the bad. As a leader, you have a clear responsibility to face the tough challenges and lead with courage. It takes courage to hold a standard and never waver, but it also takes great kindness. If you can combine kindness with courage, then you will be able to lead well and build a high performing team filled with growing employees. Remember, “Clear is kind and unclear is unkind.”

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4 Soft Skills Crucial For Leadership

Jul 11, 2019

When it comes to leadership, soft skills can consume your day-to-day much more than hard skills. The most successful leaders have not only mastered the technical aspects of their position, but they’ve also mastered soft skills. We could cover a ton of different soft skills that are valuable, but at TEG, we have our leaders focus on these 4 above all else.

THE 4 A’s

YOUR ATTITUDE SETS THE TONE FOR THE ENTIRE SHIFT. LET THAT SINK IN.

Your mood impacts the success or failure of every team member in the building. That’s a big responsibility, but you can handle it. If you have 199 great days at work and 1 terrible day, which is the most memorable? The 1 terrible day. It’s not fair or fun, but
people remember the failures of their leaders more than the successes. We know everyone has bad days, but it’s better for you to call out of work than to lead a shift with a bad attitude.

GREAT LEADERS DEFLECT CREDIT AND ACCEPT BLAME.

That means if something goes well, find someone to publicly praise for their great work. If something goes wrong, take full ownership and move forward with renewed optimism.

DEMONSTRATING A GREAT ATTITUDE REGARDLESS OF CIRCUMSTANCES IS A GREAT WAY TO SERVE YOUR TEAM.

Having a bad attitude makes everyone suffer, and bad attitudes are contagious. Have the personal discipline to bring a consistently great attitude to work.

The second you step into a leadership position, everything you say and do will be examined under a microscope. Regardless of your intentions, perception matters most.

PERCEPTION IS REALITY, FOR yOUR GUESTS AND FOR yOUR TEAM.

Your actions will be watched closely, so take that as an opportunity to model amazing hospitality for your team. Engage with as many guests as possible while being a team leader and demonstrate a genuine love for the unique individuals who visit your store. Empower others and let your team wear the cape. Instead of swooping in and offering a refund to an upset guest, coach up your team member then empower them to do it. They’ll enjoy being the hero and you’ll gain influence by showing you believe in their abilities. Win-win!

As a team leader, your mentality should be “I’m not looking over your shoulder, I’ve got your back.” Spend more time looking for team members doing it right and celebrating them than hunting down those doing it wrong.

Look for ways to show your appreciation through servant leadership. The amount that team members enjoy their work is almost completely defined by the way their leaders appreciate and serve them. Volunteer for the less-desirable tasks. If you’re not sure how you can serve your team, just ask! “Does anyone need a restroom break?” “Can I fill up your water bottle for you?”

TEAM LEADERS HAVE TO EMBODY FLEXIBILITY IN A REMARKABLE WAY.

Every shift will present a new set of challenges, like covering a team member who’s stuck in traffic, preventing a set-up error, and calming down an anxious guest almost simultaneously.

GREAT TEAM LEADERS DON’T MIND PRESSURE, IN FACT, THEY ENJOY IT.

High-stress situations are an exciting challenge–a chance for you to shine (although you’ll deflect that credit to your team). Stay cool, calm, and confident and you can solve any problem.

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