As you work to grow your small business, don’t forget the vital role that your team plays. Your employees are the face of your company and can be the difference between creating lifelong customers and earning a lousy reputation.
Keep reading for 5 team development tips that will help your organization work cohesively and foster business growth.
1. Understand the strengths of each employee
First, your team has to know each other. To help everyone get familiar, split your employees into pairs to complete tasks, suggests Workamajig in this article about team building. While they work on projects one on one, they’ll get to know each other. Switch up the pairs every day until everyone has had the chance to work with all of their teammates individually.
Once everyone has worked with each other, try this exercise: First, make a list of all of your employees. Have each person on the team list the other team members’ strengths and weaknesses. Lastly, have them list what they perceive as their own strengths and weaknesses. This exercise is a great way to get to know your employees, understand areas where they need training, see how you can help them grow, and use their best skills to build a dream team.
The team building experts at Workamajig suggest mapping employees’ perspectives about certain topics on a spectrum to discover new and innovative ideas to improve your business. This exercise is a great way to get people who think differently from the rest to open up and share their thoughts and opinions.
It’s vitally important to hire employees with a broad spectrum of personalities so they can play to each others’ strengths and shore up each others’ weaknesses. If you can get your team to bond, you’ve got yourself an amazingly talented and diverse group of creative minds that will make your business grow. Their diversity is your strength.
2. Show your team your vision
Let all of your employees know your future goals and make sure they understand their role in helping you get there. When everyone understands that you know their job is important, they’re appreciated, and you need them, they’ll be more motivated to work well within their roles and with others to achieve goals.
Let your employees know where the business stands financially, and show them where you want to be financially in a few months, a year, and a few years. When your employees understand your stressors, challenges, and goals, they’re more likely to work well as a team with less complaining and more cooperation. Also, don’t shy away from understanding your employees’ stressors, challenges, goals, and how you can help them. The team is about them, too.
3. Challenge your team
Most people are goal-oriented and enjoy feeling accomplished. However, having tasks that are overly boring, repetitive, and unchallenging naturally leaves your team members feeling unfulfilled and unhappy. Obviously, some of their work will need to be things no one wants to do. That’s life. Other work needs to spark their interest, be challenging but achievable, and play to their strengths. After all, pushing yourself is how you gain strength and grow. In the process, don’t forget to acknowledge their achievements and reward them.
4. Expand your team’s horizons
Training for your employees is worth its weight in gold, but have you considered the benefits of coaching? Business coaches are an excellent investment as they can teach your team how to optimize their skills and work more efficiently together.
Don’t shy away from having guest speakers, business associates, or consultants join staff meetings. Your team can only improve as it learns more about marketing, organizational behavior, and new technologies.
Additionally, the more exposure your team has to visionary thinkers, the better. Creativity begets creativity. Team building exercises, coaches, trainers, and others can help your team avoid “groupthink” that usually leads to everyone stagnating. Getting stuck in a rut is a good way to stall growth.
5. Show your appreciation
Don’t forget to let your employees know how much you appreciate their hard work. Not only is it the right thing to do, but, according to Glassdoor’s Employee Appreciation Survey, 81% of employees reported that they worked harder when their boss showed appreciation for their work. Appreciation was the most effective motivator in the study — a demanding boss only motivated 38% of employees, and the fear of losing their job only motivated 37% of employees. In this case, positive reinforcement is vital.
Another way to show your appreciation is to pay every staff member a living wage. Pay your employees as well as you hope your children’s bosses pay them. Ensure they understand you’re paying them well because you care about their well-being and their ability to take care of their loved ones. You won’t be sorry, and neither will they.
There’s room for improvement in every business, and these tips are a great way to identify areas that need improvement and motivate your team to make changes. Soon, your team will look forward to coming to work every day and helping your small business flourish.
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