When employees feel uninspired, they don’t think about how to improve the systems at their facility. They aren’t interested in sharing their great ideas, and they don’t care about really engaging their clients. They show up, do their jobs and put in just enough effort to mitigate performance issues, but they don’t extend themselves any further. You have to remind them to smile when they’re greeting members and remind them to call clients by name. Their bodies show up for work, but their hearts and souls are missing.
No one really knows the secret recipe for building a highly functional and productive team. If it were that easy to bring the right people together, every sports team would have the perfect mix of players. There are just too many variables to consider when you combine different personalities. There are, however, three elements that are consistently part of the mix:
- People want to work for an organization that genuinely cares about them.
- Employees stay engaged when their manager takes the time to help them continue to grow in their roles.
- Staff members want to feel as if they are contributing to a greater cause, which gives their work meaning and purpose and builds a sense of community.
We all share one simple need: to be loved. In a work environment, caring and recognition fulfill this basic human need. You can show people that you care by recognizing them for their efforts and appreciating them. If you ignore this, people mentally and emotionally disengage.
Teams that share ideas freely, tackle issues openly and communicate respectfully are unstoppable. This environment can exist only within a group that feels cared for, valued and appreciated. Your role as manager, supervisor or owner is to create this culture. If you want your staff to care about your business, engage other team members and connect to customers, then you must start by modeling those behaviors yourself.
Here are five things you can do right now if you need to change your team’s culture:
- Engage your team. Talk to your team members individually, and find out what gives them joy in their work. Provide cross-training opportunities in areas that offer the greatest fulfillment.
- Get to know the people on your team. When you take the time to connect personally with the people on your team, it sends a clear message that you care. Pay attention; remember important personal details that matter to members individually.
- Be accessible. If you say you have an open-door policy but your door is always shut or you’re never around, you are not being accessible. Your team needs an active leader, so be present for them.
- Demonstrate transparency. When people feel like they are in the loop, they feel valued. Don’t keep people in the dark about what’s happening in the business. Be open and inclusive. This builds trust and dispels rumors.
- Get results. Teams like to win. Playing on a team that continually loses, or doesn’t know that it is winning, isn’t any fun. A team can’t stay a team under those circumstances. Get results for your group, and show them they are on the winning side. Their motivation will increase, and they will want to push the team forward to more victories.
A high-performance team is today’s secret weapon for business success. Armed with the right people and the right attitude, your business can be virtually unstoppable.
For more information, please refer to the complete article, “Team Development: Re-Inspire Your Staff,” in the online IDEA Library or in the March 2012 issue of IDEA Fitness Manager.