Why is it that many leaders believe that team members are only there to serve the bottom line? Now, very few leaders would say that out loud. But the way team members are often treated makes the end game of the bottom line the only thing. I like the way John Maxwell talks about helping those you lead get what they want, they will in return help you get what you ultimately want.
Team members must be treated as valuable. How is this done?
6 Practices to Value Team Members
Treat team members as people first. That means get to know things they enjoy, their family, and their hobbies. You can’t go wrong when you ask a team member how they are doing and actually mean it!
Put their birthdays and work anniversary on your calendar. This takes a little bit of time, but not much. And the return is significant. There is power when you send a text, email, or even better a birthday card to a team member.
Ask for their input. I think one of the best questions you can ask in a full team meeting, private meeting, or informal conversation is “what do you think?” If you hired them they should be able to think and contribute at a high level, but many leaders underestimate the value team members bring to the table. They forget to ask a this simple question. And if they aren’t capable of contributing, remember you probably hired them.
Have fun as a team. It is the team leaders responsibility to create margin and space for the team to have fun together. A friend of mine that leads in corporate insurance has taken his team bowling on a few occasions. He made up crazy trophies and they just had fun. It’s your job as a team leader to create the appropriate fun for your team. A team is strong when they have fun together.
Celebrate victories small and large. Give the credit to the team members. People are valued when the team leader notices their contribution and gives credit publicly and privately. Many successful leaders move past celebrating, because their mind is already on what’s next. But celebrating is important to the health of the team.
Communicate clarity of roles and responsibilities. One of the most frustrating things can be working on a team without clarity. It is the team leaders responsibility to make sure everyone is on the same page with what is happening now and what is happening next. Make sure team members know their role. They can thrive when they have clarity.