If in business, powerful teams not only drive results, they empower, challenge and motivate employees to learn, grow and participate in the collective success of the business itself.
On the flip side, a culture or work place that does not build teams or foster teamwork can result in negativity, unchecked egos, and under-valued employees.
But team building isn’t easy, it means changing your habits as a business owner – from how you hire and incentivize employees, to how you give up some of the day-to-day business decision-making that you currently control.
To follow are some team-building tips that can really have a positive effect on your bottom line.
Empower your employees by giving them guidelines for making decisions.
Far from relinquishing control of your business, empowering those who are closest to the action to make decisions, can lead to the right result. Try allowing each employee to make any decision, as long as they consider the impact of their decision on three things – the customer, the employee, and profitability. Most times the person closest to the action is probably the best one to make the decision – so if you’re close to the customer, do the right thing. But don’t do it without thinking about the implication on profit and the employees.
Acknowledging employees for what they bring to the table will help integrate individualists into the team.
A team is only as good as the sum of its parts, but sometimes egos get in the way and disrupt the delicate balance of the team. But by recognizing and acknowledging the intrinsic value of individual contributions, trust can follow and egos can be checked.
When hiring for growth, look for motivated people. They can be trained and will grow into new positions.
Finding the perfect candidate based on a skills-match, might not be good for the team. For a lot of people trying to grow their business, finding someone who is energetic and enthusiastic, who wants to grow personally, is almost more valuable than having the highest skill level, because that person could improve with training.Mentor and tutor employees who have the potential to grow with the company. Hiring the right employees can be a challenge, but setting the bar high can pay off in the end: Try to hire someone who’s smarter than you. Don’t be threatened by them. You can only build from that. Hire the guy who can take your position. Because you can’t move up until they move up.
Challenge your employees. See how they respond.
Instead of working within the confines of their job description and daily tasks, challenge your employees to work outside the box. Really great leaders do more than just recognize talent, they promote talent within others.
Pay attention to the families of your employees. Your business depends on their support.
Building a strong team also means taking into consideration those who support the team – the families of your employees. Plan company functions and events that are oriented towards employees and their families – from picnics to movie nights; bring your kids/pets to work days – the choice is yours and needn’t break the bank.
Incentives are a great way to engage and stimulate the employee support for your mission.
In addition to standard incentives, such as “employee of the month”, consider recognizing achievement by functional or project achievement. For example, “”Superintendent of the Year” with a new work truck and hardhat, or “Safety Person of the Year” and incentivize employees for project completion.
Do not expect lifetime loyalty; get the most of the relationship you have at the time. Invest in your employees.
Your employees are one of your greatest assets. An investment in them is an investment in your business. Because people are happy they do better work. It attracts talent and it helps you retain talent. If you don’t treat your people well they are going to go somewhere else.
Make giving to the community part of your corporate culture. And support your employees in their efforts to help others.
Brainstorm with your employees about their vacation needs and philanthropic goals. An example would be to give employees up to a week off to do social service work and pay 50% of their salary, over and above their vacation time. Together you provide the means, the opportunities and the ideas to make a difference in the world.
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