Want to Grow Your Business? Engage Your Team

Are you sitting comfortably? Welcome to my series of podcasts that will help you navigate some of the difficulties you might come up against when you’re a business owner. Today, I want to talk about how to engage your team and how it will help grow your business. 

So you want to grow your business. You dream of everything working like a well-oiled machine, with a team of motivated employees that you can trust at the helm. But is your current reality a very different picture? 

Do you spend most of your days fire-fighting instead of focusing on the strategic tasks that are going to help grow your business, and getting your team to rally behind you? 

Are you spending precious hours dealing with problems your team can’t deal with, conflict, or performance problems?

Not all employees will be completely engaged all of the time, but if people problems are taking up a disproportionate amount of your time, and they’re blocking the way to you growing your business, you need to take action. 

Maybe the odd employee is no longer as committed or motivated, so you don’t think it’s a problem – it is!

Disengagement can spread through a team like wildfire.

A disengaged employee’s behaviour will either rub off on others or cause conflict if other team members have to pick up the slack for someone who isn’t pulling their weight.

So, something has to be done before it seriously harms productivity and the potential for business growth. 

So what should you watch out for, if you suspect that some, or all members of your team are lacking in motivation and are disengaged?

Look out for lateness, absenteeism, animosity towards you or co-workers, and a clear drop in performance. There’ll be no motivation to work towards business goals any more, and boredom will likely be evident. 

What do you do in this case, when you want to grow your business, and you have this vision of it running itself, providing security and a rosy future, but you don’t feel like your team is behind you? When it seems as if they have no faith or trust in you, they don’t feel valued and are unable to make decisions without you. 

The answer is that you do what every good leader should do and nurture your employees and help them grow. Your people are your most valuable resource, and you need to treat them as such. 

Look at the skills, experience, talents, and mix of personalities in your team. What are you not making use of for the greater good of the business that you should be making use of? Where could you offer more support to really get the best out of people? 

By investing in your employees and helping them develop, you will make them feel valued and empowered to make decisions, take on more responsibility, and contribute ideas. This, in turn, will make them more engaged and committed, and it will give you more time for strategic thinking geared towards business growth. 

So, how do you improve team engagement and get everyone in the same direction? 

Firstly, they need to know what they’re working towards to keep people motivated. Share your vision and goals with them, and make sure they understand the part they are playing. If they feel like an essential cog in the wheel, they’ll be more motivated to work towards business goals and take ownership of what they do. 

This is closely tied into the next point, that most people need to feel a sense of purpose, even if they insist that they just turn up, take their paycheck, and go home. Employees want to feel as if they’re doing something worthwhile that makes a difference. So, give them that sense of purpose. Give them a clear sense of your business goals and clear direction, and it will make all the difference to the levels of engagement. 

But don’t just spell out the goals, include them, by asking for their ideas and opinions. This will make them feel valued and invested in something bigger than themselves. 

It’s really all about getting your team involved, and another way you can do this is by empowering them to do tasks without your involvement. Your inner micromanager might be screaming “NO!!!” but if you don’t show your team that you trust them to do things independent of you, how will you ever be able to take a step back from the business? Do you really want to always be dealing with problems and hassle, or do you want to have more time for yourself? 

There might be mistakes at first, and getting people to complete tasks to standard may mean you investing your time at the start, but acceptance of this will set you free. Mistakes are a learning opportunity, and taking the time to develop your team is an investment in their future and yours. 

So when you’ve finally ditched your inner micromanager, and your team is more independent and  taking on more responsibility, don’t undo your hard work by forgetting to offer recognition and feedback for a job well done. The positive reinforcement is not only a great motivator, it encourages a repeat of the positive behaviour. So when employees do a good job, offer genuine praise, and be specific about what was done well. 

As well as recognition, giving regular feedback is important. This keeps the lines of communication open and helps employees continuously improve their performance. If they aren’t sure what they’re doing well, what they could improve, or where they could develop, they will just drift aimlessly, which often results in disengagement. 

Most employees want to feel as if they’re ‘going somewhere’ within their role, and that’s why training and development have an important role to play both in keeping employees engaged and in growing your business. Make a development plan with every member of your team, and work with them to identify any further training they might need and whether their skills are being fully utilised within their role. Involving people in their own development makes them more invested in reaching their potential, and in turn, your business gets to benefit. 

The key to helping your employees reach their potential, is to become their mentor, not just their boss. Think about it. An employee who feels supported and encouraged to develop within your business automatically becomes a more valuable asset and they’ll help you take your business further. 

Speaking of taking your business further, is your business and your team fit for growth? 

If not, I can help. 

If you and your team want to feel more secure, supported, and energised about the future of the business, my Harnessing the Power of Your Team for Growth package is just what you need. 

Work with me to create your well-oiled machine, develop a motivated and trusted team, and watch your profits soar.

Book a call with me and find out more. 

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