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By Peta Stewart

Your team is the most important part of your business because you just can’t do it all yourself! Even if your business is small, you are going to need help for that business to have any growth and long term success. If not, you will end up burned out and losing passion for your business, so it just becomes that job! Of course having the right team and keeping them are essential for your business health (and personal sanity). In this article I’ll go over some ways to make sure the connections you have with your team, and the connections they have with your business are positive and rewarding ones.

Starting out you might be able to handle every aspect of running “the shop”, at some point, however, you are going to need to build a team in order to be productive, meet the needs of your customers and see business success.

Your team will come from a number of different requirements

• To increase speed of delivery

Even if you work around the clock there will be a point where you just can’t handle the workload volume. These team members will do what you do and take the pressure off so you can focus on management tasks, product sales or get you back to a regular working week structure.

• To delegate workload

Many of the jobs you do are just not important, but they need to be done so that all the important work has continuous flow. Many of these jobs are admin type jobs or lower end type jobs that can be delegated out to someone with little experience or skill. Having an assistant, even a virtual one for this level of work frees you up from those fiddly, annoying jobs (that probably aren’t getting checked off your list anyway) so you can focus on the bigger picture.

• To increase skill and expertise

Some of your business requirements will just be over your head and outside your skill level. Okay so maybe you know enough to get by, but a skilled expert will really know how to make it work and work well. This might be accounting and book keeping, software usage, sales and marketing, management or even customer relations. In these cases you will offering considerable salaries and relying on these people to govern what they do and make decisions on your behalf in that specialised area.

In all of these cases it is essential that your team be engaged and responsive to your business goals, from the person who sorts the emails through to your management staff, the importance and value of engagement is the same.

A team that is inspired, motivated and engaged with your business values as well as management and other team members will be the most profitable component of your business.

As a business owner or upper management key member, it’s up to you to ensure your employees have pride in what they do, as well as for your company. Employees who have a sense of purpose in their work put forward their best efforts, have better customer satisfaction results and will take fewer sick days. They stay with your company longer, which means better productivity for you overall.

When an employee is engaged in their workplace they are motivated to work hard towards the common goals and company vision. They are committed to the values the organisation represents.

It’s not just about the business either, it’s about connections between every level, from the CEO to the receptionist. When employees have a higher level of engagement with their managers, they get direction on the work they do and value feedback on their performance which creates a sense of being a valued part of the whole team.

Engaged employees will have a clear understanding of their work objectives and goals.

Here are some of the things you need to have in place, preferably before your business is launched. This will really help you attract and interview the right candidates from the very start. If you haven’t completed these essential tools yet, or if they need updating, now is the time to get to it. Better late than never.

 

• Clear Direction: Your company goals and visions are in writing (clear and concise)

• Clear Leadership: Your employees understand the goals upfront

• Relevance: There is there a definite link between the employee’s work and the company’s goals

• Individual Success: Employees can see how their work ultimately contributes to the success of the business

• Positive Influence: The leadership of the organisation is present and able to motivate the workforce

• Training and leadership skills: Managers are equipped with the skills needed to lead a team to success

 

When your employees are engaged, the workplace environment becomes a place of positive attitudes.

Getting to know your staff is key. This means understanding their personality types and how their unique style fits in with other team members, as well as your own. In most cases clashes within the workplace come down to work style or communication styles. These are so easy to overcome when you understand how different personality types interact and why differences occur in your team. Once you know and embrace the different personality types in your office, you can encourage the best from your team.

My coaching program offers a personality quiz to help you understand your team’s individual balance and blend and the best ways for them to interact and communicate with each other.

As well as getting to know how each of your teach works and communicates, it’s also important to get to know them on a more personal level. Spend time getting to know their background, family life, skills and hobbies. You don’t need to sit down and interrogate them, it’s just about having the opportunity to have a casual chat here and there that really has them feeling important and valuable.

Arming yourself with the knowledge on how to blend that into a productive, positive environment is an important skill to have as a manager.

Employee engagement is more than just liking a job and wanting to do well. It’s about sparking in them a genuine passion and love for what they do so it doesn’t feel like wear and tear work. Every single employee wants to feel valued and trusted. They want to feel what they say and think matters (because it does). When they have this their productivity goes up, because they are invested in your investment.

Workers who are engaged feel like part of the team and in turn, work together to help lead your business to successful outcomes.

Your team members want to believe that the work they are doing has a purpose and that their time is appreciated. When you tick those boxes they feel like they are succeeding in their work, which fuels their inner energy and creates positivity that is practically tangible. This will show up in their work quality, their customer satisfaction and their overall results. They don’t arrive every day just to collect their pay, they have an emotional commitment to their work, which drives them to help the company reach its goals.

When employees feel supported and  respond to a challenge with a team-focused atmosphere, it’s only ever a win-win for you, them and the company. A business that has employee engagement strategies have shown that employees take fewer sick days.

Investing time and energy (as well as some funds) into a stimulating workplace environment pays off. This why I am very hands on in the office, so my team see my worth ethic and know my expectations. I also keep it light with weekly social activities designed to get to know each other and break down any barriers that might be stifling great communication or preventing amazing teamwork.

About the writer… 

Peta Stewart, an Albury local, founded her all-female Conveyancing business in 2009. Her award-winning business has strong foundations of competence, reliability, and integrity.

Those successful foundations paired with Peta’s adventurous and ambitious personality created demand for her to branch into mentoring, keynote speaking, and professional development workshops.

Her love of people, building relationships, and raising her industry profile has been applauded and her conveyancing business continues to be the benchmark for relationship-based customer service.

Peta Stewart is a Proud Bronze Sponsor of Albury Business Connect.