As a growing organization, losing great people can be devastating. Aside from causing a shift in team workload and the client experience, losing an A-player can cause a disruption in the vibe of the entire organization. While we are far from perfect, we have learned a few things over the years to keep a seemingly young and fast-paced team engaged and motivated. Putting our focus on some of the concepts below has allowed us to create a culture, while ever evolving, is one that we are proud of today. It allows us to cultivate the minds of our team and watch the people we surround ourselves with continue to grow and find their own successes. #Goals
Challenge the team
Everyone wants to feel engaged and valued when it comes to their work. If your team faces a challenge and comes out victorious on the other side, it is a sure-fire way to help them feel successful and confident at what they do. A common step for growth is discovering that one can do more than think they can at that moment. For an organization, this means working to create an environment where some failure is ok. Failure is a great opportunity for education and education is critical to getting your team where they need to be. By spending time with the individuals on your team, you can assess where their comfort level is, where their boundaries sit today (in skill sets) and where the competence level is around doing the task at hand. All of these are challenge points for them and an opportunity to grow.
We can all learn from failure and become better because of it, however, there is a time and place to allow said failure. For example, we wouldn’t advise that a brand new member of the team is thrown into a high-stakes negotiation before assessing how that individual might perform in that scenario. They might have all the confidence in the world to knock it out of the park, however, it’s critical that you are setting them up for success even in situations of potential failure and growth.
If companies surround their teams with positive support and encouragement, they are less likely to leave. Conversely, if you do not surround your teams with that level of support, it can make them feel like they are not valued in the work they do.
Set them up for success
While hiring/onboarding a new person can be an exciting step for organizations, there is always a learning curve, both for the company and the new teammate. It is important to communicate with new individuals upon their hire date what the expectation is of them. This means that leaders on the team need to take the time to assess what the competence level is and pour energy into growing that to match the level of confidence the new hire has walking in the door. For example, if a company hires a new person who is a great designer, but did not communicate that they are very particular about how documents look when they are sent out, this doesn’t help the person or the company. If you communicate that you like to see information in a nice, clean document before it’s sent out, this makes the team member’s competence level match your expectation. Everyone feels good with the outcome at that point.
It is also key to make sure that your team knows as much about the company and processes as possible. If companies gradually introduce the work to a new hire, this can help trigger questions before having the remaining duties passed off to them. There are many situations in which new individuals are expected to take on all of their new tasks right away, before learning the ways in which the company operates. This can cause some animosity off the bat between your team and the organization. It is also important that the company take the time to check in with the individuals on their teams to make sure they feel good about their new position. This would also be the time to provide any feedback and take feedback from them. Doing this will help to make sure everyone wins, which is the goal.
Know their personal goals
It’s not every day that a leader asks what the team’s personal goals are outside of the office. If organizations care to know their team’s personal goals and want to align the company to help them achieve those, we’d say that’s a big deal. If team members know that their organization wants those personal goals to become a reality, everything business related begins to take care of itself. The more your team believes and sees engagement from you in their life and path forward, the more they will be engaged in the company’s path forward. Each of you is lifting the other up – which is the way it should be. Win-win.
Everyone who walks in our shop comments on the beer on tap, the open work environment, the show and tells we do, the fact that that the entire company sings happy birthday to our teammates, the happy hours, free food/snacks and drinks and yes, the growing list of benefits we work to provide for everyone on the team. In our opinion, all of that is meaningless unless you focus on the above items.
Everyone is after the same thing – to be successful and to feel like that they made a material impact on someone or something. As organizations, if you can align with that and help those around you to feel that too – everything else works itself out in the wash.
What keeps your team engaged? We’d love to hear! If you are reading this and are in the market for a new gig, check out our open positions in Nashville!