When you develop a team that you truly believe in, you see the value in each member. You recognize each person’s strengths, weaknesses, and how those aspects complement the rest of the team. As a leader, you also start to see potential for growth and improvement in the members of your team. If you want your team to truly prosper, you’ll invest in them.
Why Invest in Your Team?
Aside from focusing on your team’s satisfaction and success, there are several other reasons you should invest in each team member. When your team feels that you believe in them, they become more productive. If you offer training, development, and guidance to them, they’ll see how much you care about their growth. In turn, as they grow, they’ll become more thankful for their role in the organization and work harder to support the rest of the group and its goals.
Based on our experience, when a team knows that their leadership cares about their development, they’re less likely to leave the team, compared to those with leadership that is less involved in group and individual development. When people feel taken care of and stick with a team, that organization has a lower turnover rate. The teams with reduced turnover have stronger bonds, too, because of the lasting connections that they have created. Investing in those who you believe in will also yield new qualified candidates. As word gets out about the high levels of care and interest that your leadership provides, don’t be surprised if outsiders are eager to become insiders.
Another benefit of investing in your organization is attracting other team members who share the same values. When you hire team members because of their values, and then invest in them, they’ll reach out to other people with similar values and tell them about your organization. If you don’t gain a new team member from investing in your current ones, you may gain a new customer. As you expand the reach of your group, it’s important that everyone continues to feel seen.
How to Invest in Your Team.
No matter your industry, there are universal ways to invest in your team. Activities that encourage bonding prove to be beneficial to the team as a whole and on an individual level.
Increase internal collaboration.
Team building exercises get everyone feeling involved and strengthen the way your group works together. Everyone should feel encouraged to use their unique strengths and differences to the team’s advantage. Consider facilitating a problem-solving activity that relates to your industry. If you manage a sales team, pretend that a new product has been released, and you’re receiving an influx of calls, e-mails, and purchases. Have your strongest writers answer fictional e-mails. Get your best verbal communicators fielding the mock phone calls. Split your team in two and have the second team observe the problem-solving process, then try their hand at the scenario. When this happens, each person becomes an integral part of the team’s success.
Give merit-based recognition.
When you recognize good work and celebrate great work, your team feels noticed and valued. So, when someone does an outstanding job, let them know that you saw it and appreciate it. You can do this privately, by giving that individual a compliment on their hard work, or you can do it publicly, by giving a shout out to the person’s efforts. If you do choose to publicly announce your satisfaction with a specific team member’s performance, make sure you don’t do it in a way that sounds unappreciative of the rest of your team’s work.
Listen like a leader.
We can’t stress this one enough: Listen to the group. Whether they come to you collectively or independently with feedback, questions, or concerns, take the time to hear them out. Nothing makes people feel appreciated like actually being heard. After you listen, act. Do your best to follow up on the team’s feedback. When you listen to your team, they know you care.
Offer training and opportunities for growth.
Show your team that you value them by sharing your experiences. Tell them all about your failures, successes, struggles, and wins. Help them understand what you had to do to achieve your position and let them see that you’re there to support them along their journey. Be ready to answer questions, offer guidance, training, tips, and to nudge them in the right direction when they appear lost. When they realize that you’re an open book, willing to help them grow and develop, they’ll recognize your investment in them.
Believe in the Team You Create!
However you choose to invest in your team, remember that it’s your team. You picked each member for a reason. Stick to your gut and trust that you chose the right individuals. If some of them need a little polishing, that’s fine. Nobody’s perfect. So have faith in your team, because when you believe, they believe!
If you’re already investing in your team but finding that some people are still struggling to stay motivated, check out this blog!