Can you say that you and the people in your business form a dynamic team?
When geese fly in V formation, I see a dynamic team at work. This level of cooperation benefits each goose and the overall team. They reach their destination quicker and use far less energy.
Let me share an effective approach for translating this into the small business environment – the V is a great example of employee engagement.
Employee Engagement – this is where an employee has a real sense of belonging in the workplace. In that supportive environment they work effective towards achieving their goals, and more importantly, the goals of the business.
The employee engagement statistics
A recent report by the Harvard Business Review detailed the following startling productivity statistics:
Our actively engaged workers – those that are really productive account for less than ¼ of our workforce.
At the other end of the scale, more than ¼ of workers are actively disengaged – you know who I am talking about – these are the guys that tend to speak negatively about the business, products or services – there is a disconnect between them and the business.
And what about that silent majority representing about ½ of your staff – they engage – just about …they turn up, blend in and if they got a call from a local recruitment firm, a 5% pay rise would be enough for them to jump ship.
That’s 50% of your team that are just blending in. With the right support and office atmosphere, this silent group could be part of your active group.
With my solutions, you can easily turn these statistics around. I have 3 specific strategies guaranteed to;
- Reduce employee turnover
- Increase this silent majority’s productivity
- Enhance the customer experience
My 3 Cs to Soaring Success
The 1st C – Communicate – Make Your People Matter
I once had a manager called Alex – a tall fair haired friendly Scottish chap who always took time out to chat with his team individually.
Our team was made up of 5 and all reported to Alex. In total we had 15 in the company.
Every Monday, Alex took some valuable time out of his day to get to know each of his managers individually. Alex would bring his mug of tea down to my desk. We would chat, and would review progress from the previous week and also look at priorities for this week.
Alex would always finish on….. Karen, what do you need from me to reach your goals this week?
That was so empowering, knowing he was there, offering support … ready to help me
My first tip to achieve soaring success
Organise weekly ‘chats’ on a one to one basis with team members who report directly to you. By developing this rapport with your team members, trust is also established.
During these organised chats, you may well discover when certain employees have personal challenges and may need more support from you.
By providing this support to employees will deepen their commitment to your business – you may well find out that a particular team member has challenges at home and cannot give 100% to work that week – by knowing this, you can support them.
When I work with teams, this is a vital part of our time together. By building this rapport – everyone benefits, especially your business.
Investing some time to build relationships will translate positively to the bottom line.
The 2nd C – Collaborate
Isn’t it wonderful when a colleague or boss listens to your suggestions, takes on board your ideas and acts upon them? Doesn’t it feel great to be valued as an integral part of the team?
My second tip for achieving soaring success
Collaborating at the ‘ideas’ stage can give rise to super ideas. When you allow your team the space to be creative with their ideas and where you actively listen to their input, you will nurture a corporate culture of listening.
Team members can uncover solutions by thinking outside of the box, with your encouragement. This one action will guarantee a high level of collaboration and success within your team.
The 3rd C is to Celebrate – Celebrate achievements
It’s a lovely feeling when we are recognised for the work we do. How is this gratitude shown? Through email, annual review, long after the event has taken place or have they announced it publicly, for all to hear?
(Mark, you did a great job with that project – we love to see that level of initiative, thank you) Which feels better for you?
Let’s take a lesson from the geese, they honk to encourage and acknowledge each bird’s participation. The learning here is to honk loud and often.
Many small businesses do acknowledge and recognise employee’s successes at the end of projects or ‘employee of the month’. However, I would recommend it’s done immediately and frequently.
We all appreciate it these real-time exchanges of social praise and feedback, performed by employees and leaders alike.
My 3rd tip to achieving soaring success
Catch your team doing something good and let them and everyone else, know about it.
Celebrate achievements – often and in public.
Remember the Geese flying in V formation – they honk loud to encourage each bird’s effort, participation and success.
Honk loud and honk often!
By incorporating my 3 Cs into your office toolkit, you will:
- Reduce employee turnover
- Increase team productivity
- Enhance customer experience
And this will lead to increased profits for your small business.
Connect with new team members
Team performance is, and always has been, rooted in social interaction and the primal human desire to connect. With new team members – take them under your wing; encourage them to actively contribute to discussions.
By maintaining this sense of ‘connection’ your team will, just like our feathered friends, complete projects quicker and expend less energy.
Imagine for a moment, walking into your office where you have a fully engaged team where communication is a two way conversation – where each member feels they are an integral part of the success of their organisation and where successes are celebrated frequently and publicly.
When you can see the potential and believe the process – you can achieve it. Let me echo Napoleon Hills quote – whatever the mind and conceive and believe – it can achieve.
I would like you to reflect on these 3 Cs – which one can be improved upon within your team?
Make a promise to yourself and your team, that starting now, you will actively look to bring that C more into your team… I would love to hear of your progress and your “soaring to success” stories.
About the author
This article has been written exclusively for ByteStart by Karen O’Donnell, a Communications Consultant and also a member of Toastmasters International, a non-profit educational organisation that teaches communication and leadership skills through a worldwide network of clubs. With 400 clubs and 10,000 members in the UK and Ireland, you can find your local club at www.toastmasters.org
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