Managing your team

Most of us are currently thinking about closing out the year and looking forward to 2021. As business owners, the Christmas period is often our only time when we can stop and really get some down time. Given our customers are doing the same, the demands of many businesses slow down, giving us an opportunity to think clearly about the year ahead.

When we look at our businesses there will always be a number of factors that make it successful. Often time, the owners have seen a gap in the market or have worked for a less than ideal boss who has been making good money and we have thought… with what I know I can do such a better job.

It is after the initial establishment and during the growth phase of a business, we start building a team around us to assist in delivering our products or services. Our first couple of hires are regularly a success but then as we grow the strike rate becomes less accurate and the fun dwindles. Have you ever thought about why this is so? I put it to you there are a few key reasons:
• Lack of connection between owners and team.
• Not enough open communication about the business objectives.
• Not enough feedback about individual performance.

The first two or three employees or your most senior management team receive a focus on most of these areas when a business is in its early years, ensuring they now know what is expected of them, your goals and efforts, appreciating all that you do for them. However, it is once you have grown past this level, that many of the other team members don’t get these key areas of engagement provided to them.

It is my belief that every team member that starts with a business wants to do a great job and they are not simply looking to collect a wage or salary. If however in their first few months they are working with other team members who may not be on the same page as you, and without solid development and engagement processes in place, they may become disillusioned with what the business is looking to achieve.

So over the break I would encourage you to think about the following:
1. Does every member of your team know if they are doing a good job or not?
2. Is every member of your management team (you included) comfortable with having difficult and constructive conversations with your team?
3. Are you leading by example and demonstrating the behaviours you want to see in your team?
4. Are you or your senior team, taking the time to build connection to your team on an individual basis?

Ensuring early and continued engagement of teams, no matter the size of the business, brings great culture and even better results for your business and its people.