Have you ever wondered why your team is lax? Why they never provide ideas at a meeting or take it upon themselves to implement new work flow processes that benefits the department or organization? It could be that it’s easier to take the quiet route than to be shot down. Both in our personal life and work life we all know what rejection feels like and yet if we were never told no, we would never grow as an individual. Our ability to process these rejections, learn from them and pick up to keep moving forward makes us stronger and resilient. However, as a leader it could be your lack of openness or communication style that is holding you from growing your team. Here are my top four tips to advance the conversation while allowing everyone to feel important:
- Learn more about their individual needs – Everyone brings a different set of ideals, values and expectations to their work life. As leaders we need to understand everyone on an individual basis so we can support them and allow them to grow without hindering department or company goals.
- Deal with apparent problems rather than placing a quick fix band aid – Don’t tease employees with quick fixes when the underlying issue is larger. Create an opportunity for a forum where there can be an open dialogue and let staff know that you value their input. This will show empathy and understanding so that everyone is on the same page and team members will feel encouraged because you are listening.
- Develop department goals as a team– When employees are involved in the idea stage and can make contributions, they will feel valued. This in turn will allow the organization to meet their goals while providing a purpose for everyone so they understand the integral role they each play. Outline measurable objectives and agree on how these will be met and always provide the needed resources to meet those goals.
- Allow opportunities for skill development – Continuous learning should be the focus for everyone. Learn, learn and learn. As individuals, we will never be able to travel at the speed of lighting to keep up with rapidly changing technology but we can continue to learn. We all must make education a priority to keep up with the work demands upon us, whether it is learning a new software program, developing training and speaking skills, or understanding new legal business implications for accounting processes. Promote lifelong learning and be amazed at how this will engage employees and allow them to expand their abilities while becoming a more valued company resource.
Whether you are a solo proprietor utilizing freelancers or a company with 500 employees, by understanding individual values, communicating expectations and addressing issues when they arise, you will fuel continuous growth for your business. Team collaboration is key and you as a business owner or manager must lead the way.