7 Tips for Improving Team Investment
1) Leaders Must Get To Know Their Teams
In the midst of all your responsibilities, it can be challenging to motivate your team members. This is a vital investment for leaders, as It is impossible to motivate people when you do not know what drives them. You cannot know what drives them if you do not know them.
As leaders, you will have many responsibilities, but it is essential to build relationships with each person on your team. Some of what you will find inspires a person to get out of bed in the morning include:
- Advancing in their careers
- Growing into a well-rounded person
- Providing the best life possible for their family
- Proving they can succeed
- Funding their true passions
Knowing what is important to each team member provides you invaluable opportunities to connect with your team, and develop incentives that truly motivate and reward them.
As you develop relationships, you will get a truer sense of strengths and weaknesses of your team. As their leader, you can help your teammates by giving them projects that work within their strengths while providing strategies and training that improves weaknesses. This will help build their skillset and their confidence, making them more prepared to take on larger projects. New assignments will show you trust and value their contribution, and will build true investment in the organization's success.
2) Make Investing in Teams a Priority
Your organization has priorities. You want to develop the best products, provide exceptional service, and grow profitability. Leaders should consider adding "investing in teams" to their list of organizational priorities. On the other hand, failure to invest in strengthening the individuals within your organization will hinder your ability to grow.
Think back to a manager that helped you develop a key skill set or leadership trait. That mentoring helped you take the next step in your career and also contribute more to the organization, making it a win-win. In the same way, committing to a constant investment in developing your team will contribute to mutual wins for your organization and your employees.
3) Create Customer Connections
As a company, your goal is to provide value for your customers. To do this you need to understand their needs, create solutions that help them solve their challenges and provide on-going support and service. When your team members really know your customer, it's much easier for them to be fully invested in that customer's success.
By creating opportunities for team members to engage with customers, your team members build empathy and a better understanding of customer needs.There can be many ways to build empathy between your customers and employees. For instance:
- Having each team member sit in on customer support calls once a month to hear the voice of the customer.
- Hold an informal focus group where your team members get to speak to a few customers that come into your office for the day to share more about their experiences.
- If you are a B2B firm, maybe you are able to arrange a visit to their location to see how your products are being used.
By building this understanding you give your team the information they need to help your customers, while also making them more invested in the success of your customers.
4) Provide Professional Incentives
Organizational success is always due to team success. Make sure that your team knows you appreciate their hard work and are committed to achieving your team goals. Show your teams that you appreciate them by providing incentives such as promotions, financial bonuses, continued education, additional time off, etc.
Saying thank you and celebrating your shared wins is a crucial part of leading successful teams. It reinforces what success looks like, while also valuing each team member’s contribution.
5) Create a Culture of Innovation
One of the ways you can invest in your teams is by demonstrating that you value their ideas and creativity. We have written previously about how to create a culture of innovation within your organization. A collaborative, creative atmosphere helps innovation flow from the bottom up. When everyone is invested in solving problems and providing solutions, each team member has the drive and buy-in to achieve their goals. We all feel more invested when our ideas are valued and heard.
A culture of innovation allows team members to share their ideas, build on the ideas of others and collaborate to build the best solutions. Many organizations resort to one day "team building" events. While these have their place, we recommend continually reinforcing the development of collaboration in your organization's daily operations to encourage the development of truly effective teams.
6) Break Down Silos Between Management and Teams
One of the most common issues that keep companies from experiencing the growth they desire is leadership silos. When management exists in isolation from the proverbial bullpen, you can be sure that team members will not feel like you are investing in them. By breaking down leadership and communication silos, your teams will have opportunities to feel heard. Furthermore, you will have more opportunities to hear ideas and identify new leaders.
If your leaders are locked away from your teams, you will miss out on chances to grow. Create opportunities for leadership and your front line employees to speak with each other. Consider a few of the following options as tangible methods of breaking down leadership silos: the CEO holds a coffee chat for team members, or there is a monthly lunch and learn led by a senior executive on an interesting topic.
7) Find a Consultant
Sometimes, it is difficult to see your issues from within. It's often helpful to bring in a fresh perspective to help you and your leadership team identify ways to increase investment and buy-in from your team. The right consultant can help you both identify and solve key challenges keeping your team from feeling you are investing in them. A firm like TEAMES & CO can develop and walk with you through the implementation of a plan to improve your teams, communications, and innovation, so you can maximize your potential.
At TEAMES & CO, we help leaders build their teams into invested partners of their company’s mission. We work with leaders and team members to identify areas for improvement. We analyze organizational structures, communication platforms, collaborative environments, management techniques, and much more to improve buy-in and investment in your goals.
If you would like to learn more about how TEAMES & CO has helped businesses like yours, please reach out to us. Your success is our success, so let us help you invest in your teams and future.