Having the right people on your team can make or break your company. But are you confident that you know how to find and motivate them?
Maybe you’re really busy with growth and strategy, or you fear that leading people isn’t your greatest strength.
Experts suggest you block off a few hours to consider each team members’ performance and identify who is key to your success. What could you do to motivate and retain them? Consider others who aren’t performing successfully and how you could turn things around or make a decision to let them go.
Some business owners, like Adam Fetsch of Rewined Candles, have succeeded with turnarounds and sometimes even taken extreme measures like promoting an underperformer.
Since opening his Charleston-based company in 2009, Fetsch has only fired one of 70 employees for performance issues. He prefers turnarounds because it strengthens the bond with the employee who has undergone the transformation and it requires the company to examine its own failures.
One example is their human resources manager, who had started in sales but lacked motivation. Fetsch saw that she connected well with people and really wanted to stay with the company. So he moved her to HR and it worked out great.
Strive to hire and motivate people who bring something extra to your company beyond the ability to perform certain tasks. Does your company have any mentors? They’ll naturally share their knowledge with others, which saves training time.
Knowledge seekers want to continue learning, whether it’s on the job, through extra training courses or going to graduate school. They’ll offer invaluable insights that can help advance your company. Other employees might be capable of juggling many different kinds of tasks that can give you more time to hire another person. Or, you might want to recognize the “reality check” on your team who helps cultivate healthy debates and discussion.
Developing successful teams requires connection-building skills, says Michael Lee Stallard, author of Connection Culture and leadership coach.
Here are five of his suggestions to help employees thrive and perform at their best:
- Learn about the people you lead – Spend time with them individually, share your struggles, joy and pain, and be there in times of need.
- Be fully present – Show that you’re engaged and interested by asking questions and follow-up questions to clarify.
- Mutual empathy – We have mirror neurons in our brains that allow us to feel the emotions of others, which in turn make us feel connected to one another.
- Emphasize positives – Recognize tasks and character strengths and cite specific details to show you’re paying attention.
- Autonomy – Monitor progress and help your direct reports, but refrain from micromanaging
Caren Burmeister is a retired newspaper reporter turned freelance writer who enjoys yoga and caring for her two fat cats.