“What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.” -Jane Goodall
If there was a silver lining to the pandemic, it was the opportunity for companies, both big and small, to take a moment to invest in their teams through education and training. Have you tried this with your company? If you haven’t, there’s no time like the present!
There are many benefits to investing in your team, whether your team is your business, family, or circle of friends. Just like any other resource, our human resources must be replenished regularly. Investing your time and energy in your team shows how much you value them and want to build toward something better.
Yes, these investments may cost money or time, or both, but your return will be worth it. No one grows by staying the same—we must continually push forward or slide backward by default. So stretch your team, your family, and your friends and challenge them to grow in positive ways.
There are so many ways now to grow. Invest in a great podcast, online course, mentor, church group, or book to spark this movement. I’ve used most of these in my teams’ efforts. Here’s what has worked for us.
Take the time to meet with each member of your staff or your management staff if you run a large company. Engaging with someone one on one can draw out different information than in a team meeting. Start with a list of questions that will get them talking. One of my favorites is to ask what motivates them every day. You’ll be surprised at the answers. Many are not motivated by financial goals alone. Knowing this helps me encourage each team member with rewards that they want.
The Two-Minute Update
Have everyone on your team give a two-minute update of what’s going on in their world at your next staff meeting. This could be work-related or things going on at home. You’ll rapidly get a sense of your team’s wins, losses, family, and priorities. It’s amazing what you can learn in two minutes (set a timer) and how much unity it can create in your team.
Create and send out a survey to your team about how they feel about management. If you can, make it anonymous. Hearing how you excel and where you need work is essential to growing as a leader.
Get outside help
Sometimes it’s impossible to see what’s right in front of you because you’re too close to it. Invest in an outside consulting firm to analyze your team and see where you can grow. That may mean adding team members to ease the workload or tightening processes to run more smoothly. If you listen and implement their advice, I guarantee you’ll see more efficiency, better sales, and your bottom line will improve over time.
Start a book club
Choose a book on leadership and challenge everyone on your team to read it together. Discussing it together is a great way to bond and learn together. It’s a great way to invest your time together.
Share your day
This is one of my favorite things to do. At the dinner table, everyone has to share what was good and bad in their day. My grandson insists on this and loves to share his day. It gives us a safe and fun way to share our emotions and connect with each other. You’ll learn a lot about your family or coworkers this way.
If you set a common goal, create incentives that your team cares about. Accountability is easier to swallow if there’s a tasty carrot at the end of the road. At Plantscapers, we set a safety incentive for a year with no accidents. If we meet our goal, we will be compensated. Creating stakes means they take it seriously. No one cares about your bottom line like business owners.
I hope these suggestions motivate you to work on your surrounding team, whatever that looks like. And if you’d like to be a part of our team, we’re always hiring! Reach out, and let’s talk!