What makes a workday feel good?
Getting everything done? ticking off a to-do list? making more sales?
All these things contribute to a good day. But on challenging days, the thing that will make the most difference are the people around us.
How can you build a team that everyone wants to be part of?
Consider everyone on the team an influencer and then listen carefully, because if leadership is poor people will still not stay for long. What if you created an environment where your best people flourish and your up-and-comers feel supported?
Have you ever worked in a team where going to work each day was fun?
You got your work done, but in an environment where people were interested in who you are, what you do and how you do it. Perhaps they wanted to learn from you, or there were people in the team happy to pass on their skills. Maybe you were encouraged to go for a promotion, or there was open talk about upskilling, training and development. There was an air of excitement on good days and a feeling of pulling together on the not so good days.
Sound too good to be true? It’s not – and you can create it.
Say what you mean and mean what you say aka Radical Candor
“Radical Candor is the ability to challenge directly and show that you care personally at the same time” This is a leadership or coaching skill that will allow you to build a team that trusts you.
Both what you say and how you say it are important so read up how to provide feedback that’s both kind and clear, specific and sincere.
People always remember how you made them feel. So, don’t wait until you have to deliver urgent feedback to have thought about how you’ll do it. Develop a leadership style that your team can learn from and that they can use too as the organisation grows.
Action: The book ‘Radical Candor’ by Kim Scott is an amazing read and there are also TED Talks too.
When people learn and grow and can’t grow in your business then they might leave, but while they are there you get the benefits. If your team and company trains and sends people out into the workforce that are better educated than when they arrived that is a positive.
You gain a reputation as a forward-thinker, and maybe, when they’ve gone and worked elsewhere, they might even return, with a bunch more learnings to contribute. If you want your company to grow, then your people need to grow too. They need different ways to look at problems, ways to think more innovatively, to gather up information and case studies that helps them become better employees. Learning and coaching should be happening regularly.
Action: At your team huddle consider asking everyone to regularly share something they have learned, it doesn’t have to be formal, it might be a podcast, book or anecdote.
Ask kind questions
Assume the best until people give you a reason not to. Most of the time people want to do the right thing. We may never truly know what is going on in anyone’s mind or personal life, but most people don’t magically switch modes as they enter their workday.
Caring without being intrusive is a fine line, but the more you spend time regularly checking in with the team then you’ll get to know when something is out of their normal. Sometimes it’s enough to remind the person that you’re around if they want a chat, and perhaps your company has a free employee assistance program that the team need a reminder about.
Action: When you are open to sharing appropriate but real snippets about your life it encourages others to share too. Seeing others be human can be just enough to help the person move along with their day without having to mask how they are feeling.
Praise in public and criticize in private
Regularly ask the team who is doing great stuff, have a list to call out at the team huddle. Encourage them to shout out for each other for a job well done.
On the flip side if you’re encouraging kind questions, direct and honest feedback, then the team can make suggestions for areas where they each need to upskill.
Action: Consider regular cross-training sessions, or times when leaders swap departments for the day. This can build empathy for each other’s challenges and problems and help people come up with more innovative solutions.
Building a team you love and love to be part of is a constant work in progress
But you don’t have to go it alone. Having a vision for the type of team you want to create in your business or workplace, learning and accessing knowledge through books, courses, podcasts and personal coaching will support you to take steps each day to create a great place to work.