It may be said that organizations are only as strong as their team of employees. Happy employees build great teams, and great teams have the power to make businesses and their owners look better than they may really be. So what does it take to build a great team?
- An Unquenchable Desire To Learn and Develop: Leaders must know the culture, live the culture, and preach the culture they want to see lived out in their employees. If you want to build a team of passionate, dynamic employees, train yourself to be that person for your employees. Employees learn from what they hear and see in the leader of their team. As the leader, are you reading great books that inspire you? Are you seeking out coaches who train and inspire you to be great? Are you spreading positive energy and creating results by the decisive, massive actions you’re taking? Become the culture you want your employees to buy into and live out. Your life example will build a culture that is has an unquenchable desire to learn and develop and you’ll watch as your team becomes who you are!
- Authentic Appreciation: Express your appreciation often and in many different ways. Your specific and personal words of appreciation shared before other team members inspires the person you are affirming, models the behaviors you want from your team and reflects the positive attitude you have within yourself. Make your appreciation as specific and authentic as possible. “This morning I caught Joe doing something that made my day. I overheard Joe addressing a tough client situation over the phone and with poised professionalism, Joe was able to calm the client, address the need, and move the client to a place of decisive action with our company. Joe cared enough to make a difference this morning and for him and his actions, I am grateful! Your actions modeled what it means to practice excellence in our office, thank you, Joe!” This communicates your commitment to excellence and your attention to details. If you want your team to catch your culture and become great employees, express your authentic appreciation often. Follow up your public appreciation with a note of appreciation. Then post your words of appreciation on social media. Make a big deal of the positive things your team members do. Your appreciation will teach!
- Rewards: Reward with things that connect with and motivate your team. Your employees have unique personalities and motivators, so before you jump to some great universal reward equal to everyone on your team, pause and make your reward personal. Take the time to know each employee well enough to know what motivates them to succeed, then tailor your rewards to the things that motivate them most (you’ve engaged me personally). Here’s an example of a reward that would motivate me. For each goal I accomplish or for each value I live out with excellence, allow me to work remotely for one day each quarter or each month and allow me to choose the day (you’ve empowered me). And as I continue to meet and exceed my goals, allow me more time to work remotely (now you’ve rewarded me). Once we’re at this reward, I know you have confidence in me, and I’m free from the fear that you’ll micro-manage me. Through this process you build in me a sense of pride for the work I’m accomplishing, and for that, I would be grateful!
The more bosses understand employees unique motivators, the more they believe in and trust their employees, the more rewarding the work environment will be. And the more rewarding the work environment, the more passionate employees will feel about their work. And the more passionate employees become, the more productive they become, and the better the business and the boss begins to look in the community.
Teach by your example like Jenn Sacco at Old Towne Title Company is setting out to do. Jenn contacted me to explore ways to push herself to become a better leader, a more effective boss, and a more successful business owner. Jenn is obviously committed to working a process that will allow her, her employees, and her business to grow beyond the place where they are today. For that, I commend Jenn. I hope more bosses will consider connecting with the people, ideas, and resources who can inspire them to become better leaders, bosses, and people.
Have you had a boss who made you feel valued as a member of their team? Tell us about it, we’d love to hear your story!