As a business owner, you will know the IMPORTANCE YOUR TEAM HAS IN YOUR SUCCESS - that's why it is important to get the most out of your team as you can.
And I don’t mean cracking the whip and enforcing them to work longer hours for less pay. I mean creating an environment where they want the business to succeed and where your success means their success.
The average business owner in today’s economy tends to be a middle aged male – the son of a baby boomer known as generation X. The problem with us generation x people is that we don’t really understand the next generation and they happen to make up the majority of the work force these days. So as an employer of mainly young staff I have decided to share some of my observations and lessons with you:
1. Communication is better than dictationIt seems to me that I am always better off communicating my objective and letting my team figure out the solution than I am giving out orders. This is because Gen Y (younger staff) as they have been dubbed are problem-solvers and actually respond better to autonomy then you or I have in the past.
2. Take the time to understand peoples personality traitsThere are four key behavioural traits people display they are; dominance, influence, stability and compliance and depending on which one of those traits is the predominant one each person will behave differently to the next. The trick is to understand how to communicate with each person in your team based on their personality traits.
3. Recognise when your staff can do a better job than youThis one takes a bit of pride swallowing but when you realise that your team can do things better than you can you begin to empower them to improve your business. Sometimes it pays to recognise that you don’t always know best and that your habits aren’t always the best way to go about things.
I will tell you a little story:
A few years ago my management team created a cultural change in our businesses. They developed a belief that you should be able to do your job within the prescribed hours and that outside of those hours you are your own person with your own life to live. Not only that but they also decided that 5.30pm was too late in the day to finish work so they up and started work at 7.30am so that they could finish at 4.30pm.
Well you could imagine my reaction! I thought these little buggers aren’t dedicated – no-one stays late to finish projects and they don’t even want to work normal business hours but I kept quiet. After a few months I couldn’t handle it anymore by that stage I had convinced myself that if they weren’t doing overtime they didn’t have enough to do so I brought it up in our management meeting and I soon changed my tune. It was quickly pointed out to me that in that time our team numbers had slightly reduced, our client numbers had increased and our client retention rate had skyrocketed – this all meant the team were doing more work for more clients - I couldn’t have been more wrong.
The moral of my story here is sometimes as bosses we think we know what’s best but if we truly want to get the most out of our team we have to put our pride and preconceived ideas to one side and actually listen to the people we have employed to grow our business.