How does a leader make their team feel V.A.L.U.E.D?
Many of my clients ask me why as a Managing Director for 8 years, my staff turnover was so low. We used to joke that no one ever left of their own accord and if they did…they came back..
When an employee feels valued, nothing is hard work! You build a team around you working towards the same goals with agreed principles and guidelines. Work becomes fun with an entrepreneurial feel that encourages everyone and clock watching or blame game is a thing of the past. As the new John Lewis advert says, When you’re part of it, you put your heart into it!
Finding the heart is literally at the heart of the matter when it comes to leading people and I have compiled 6 easy tips to help you to make sure your employees feel V.A.L.U.E.D.
Listening to your team may sound obvious, but you only have to be a fly on the wall in most board meetings to notice that we do not do this enough. One or two people may be the main sources of information and those quieter yet no less valuable to your team may not speak once. Nancy Kline, author of A Time to Think, highlights the importance of giving people time and space to verbalise their thoughts without interruption and advises that every attendee at a meeting is given space to do this. Taking this further and validating what has been said by summarizing it will make your team feel understood and valued.
Making sure that you are working alongside your team is key. Delegation is great, but if you do it too well and there is nothing left for you to do, your team will feel like minions! Be present, attend important client meetings with your sales people to keep you informed and up to date. Follow up on actions you agree to and hold others accountable for theirs.
Being honest and open is the notable difference in good leadership. We only need to look at politics today to see what low levels of trust do to a systemic organisation. If your team are involved they will trust you. If individuals or teams are left outside in the cold, without cross communication, they will not trust you and they probably won’t trust each other either! Climb the Trust Ladder by Packtypes creator Will Murray is a wonderful book to read on this vital ingredient of success.
Empathy is a HUGE factor to determine if someone feels valued or not. Don’t “TELL” someone you understand, show it by your actions! Ask more about the issue they are bringing to you, recognise what it must be like in their shoes and not just the impact that they are having on you or your business. If you empathise this does not mean you have to back down far from it! If people know they are understood, your point is far more likely to land better in the long run. On the flip side, helping your team to understand your agenda using an honest and open approach as discussed above, will also cultivate a sense of value.
Don’t leave feedback until appraisal time. Offer positive and developmental feedback on a formal and non-formal basis as a matter of course. We feel valued when we have been noticed and our performance of any description has been noted.
Introduce fledgling employees to areas of responsibility where they may flourish. Be selfless in your developing skills, and don’t worry about developing someone in case they might be better than you. Strong leaders will appraise you on your development of others as well as your own self development. Accept that praise may not often come your way as it often flows in the other direction but that by encouraging others you will inspire and motivate them to exceed their own expectations which may in turn exceed yours!
Don’t leave this to your boss! It may sound obvious to include this one but often we are so keen to empower others that we fail to give clear directions and parameters. If a crew is unclear on the direction or the communication is poor, how can they keep the ship on course? Your team will feel less secure in the absence of clear direction and blame culture when things go wrong can ensue! Regular meetings and updates can make sure everyone stays on track and you don’t need to turn into an army general!
Investing in a coaching programme or 1-1 sessions for your team will not only help your business meet goals but your employees will feel incredibly valued. A strong coach will ensure that your company values and goals are key and that your team feel at the heart of this. Individual performance and personal goals are paramount and if everyone on your team feels invested in, then high performance and profitability will be far more likely.
For any further information on how to make your team feel V.A.L.U.E.D, contact us for a FREE consultation!
When you’re part of it, you put your heart into it!