Put your most ambitious teammembers to work to boost your team’s morale and performance.
Your team’s overachievers often resent being told what to do after they’ve worked hard to excel at their specific tasks. But you can still turn them into team players.
The key is to direct your overachievers’ attention and engage them in meeting the entire team’s goals. Here are a few strategies to help you get the most out of your top performers: Continue reading
While you’re busy managing your own team the rest of your organization carries on business as usual. But do you really know what that is?
Schedule some time to mingle with other employees and find out who they are and what their departments are up to.
Then, encourage your own employees to do the same. When you and your team get to know more about what each department in your organization is responsible for, you can all serve your customers better. You might even find that your team can innovate better when they know what resources are available.
For example: Your company has a graphic design team that produces collateral for your organization. Today one of your team’s sales reps spoke with a potential customer who asked if you provide custom design services. Your graphic design department might not do that currently, but if you know what your customer’s needs are and what resources you have available, your team might be able to create a new avenue of revenue for your organization.
So take time to mingle and find out what other teams in your organization are up to. You never know what resources you may have available to strengthen your own team.
Do you often wonder what your coworkers are thinking? The best kind of work environment encourages open communication.
If your coworkers don’t tend to say what’s on their minds, try the following to get them to open up:
- Listen to their complaints. You and your coworkers are on the front line of your company, so you are usually the first ones to notice when something is wrong. Stay alert to your coworkers’ concerns and problems.
- Keep an open-door policy. Let your coworkers know that you are trustworthy and that they can come to you when they need to vent or need help with a problem. Earn their trust by never breaking a coworkers confidence or spreading rumors in the office.
- Put concerns out in the open. If there is a problem, let everyone brainstorm to find a solution. Be an active participant in the brainstorming.
Democratic workplaces are part of the most successful companies today because they enable an innovative and collaborative environment.
You can help your workplace become more democratic with these tips from Traci Fenton, founder and CEO of WorldBlu, Inc.
- “Get naked,” Fenton says. Before you start unzipping your pants, what Fenton really means is that you should be as open and honest with your coworkers as possible. Get rid of your own hidden agenda and share your secrets. You’ll strengthen your relationships with your coworkers and they’ll feel like they can trust you.
- “Have a conversation,” suggests Fenton. During times of crisis, or when your department is down and out, silence can be one of your biggest enemies. Engage in conversation with your coworkers and encourage them to speak up about the issues at hand. You may all be able to come up with solutions.
- “Loathe rankism,” warns Fenton. Cliques are a dysfunctional characteristic of many companies. Lose your mentality of only speaking or fraternizing with certain people. Treat all of your coworkers the same: with respect and dignity.
- “Understand the meaning of life,” says Fenton. Know what vision you have for your life and assess whether or not your job is helping you achieve that vision. If it isn’t, it’s time to change jobs. Staying in a place that makes you unhappy has a negative affect on your coworkers.
- “Point fingers, but in a good way,” Fenton says. This isn’t about blame, it’s about you being responsible for your own work and making your coworkers responsible for their work. When you hold yourself and others accountable for actions, you lose the negativity of the blame game and get a friendlier, more efficient work environment.
If your workers think that you’d never do what they do, you could be sending a bad message. Workers feel discouraged when they think that you either don’t know how to do their jobs, or you think you’re exempt from doing that type of work because you’ve already “done that.”
After all, you had to pay your dues and do the dirty work for many years to be promoted to your “posh” position.
But getting involved with the day-to-day on-the-job tasks will provide you with multiple benefits:
- It will show your workers that you’re not afraid of a little hard work. They’ll also respect you more when they see that you don’t think doing their work is beneath you.
- It will keep you involved in the workflow. If your workers are complaining that a process needs fixing, the best way to evaluate the problem is to dive in and experience it first hand.
- It will give you empathy. You’ll understand your workers’ concerns much more when you face the same frustrations they do.