John Maxwell said, “You add value to people, when you value them”. So how do you value your team members? Or, should I rather say, how do you actively show your people that you value them? What characteristics do you want to add to your corporate culture?
Don’t paint everyone with the same brush
It’s important to note that every one of your team members is a unique person and they need to be treated as individuals. Acknowledging them for their own individuality can be done through:
- One-on-one contact time: Never assume that everyone needs the same level of attention as you do. One-on-one contact or follow-up time needs to be scheduled at mutually agreed times. Think about each one of your team members. Which of them needs regular productive contact time with you and which ones are happy with weekly or even fortnightly contact time?
- Feedback style: not everyone will react positively to one style of feedback. Are you aware of which feedback techniques each individual team member reacts well too? If not, perhaps you need to investigate this further. Team members who ignore or react negatively to feedback or the manner in which it is delivered can cause damage to your business.
Listen to and acknowledge their ideas
What’s the main reason for these people being in the business? They are there to add value by drawing on their own areas of expertise and unique learning experiences. So why do we ignore them and shut them down? If you want to truly value your team, then stop talking and start listening.
The sad but true reality of the situation is that once someone experiences this type of treatment of not been taken seriously for their ideas and suggestions, or are regularly shut down, they just stop. They stop suggesting and being creative with business solutions and their motivation levels begin to drop. They become clock-watchers and stop being team players.
The power of acknowledgment and gratitude is incredible and the best way I can drive this point home is by telling a story…
A friend of mine had been working for a company for about a year. She and her husband recently shifted house and ended up moving an extra 65km away from their respective workplaces. When I asked her if she was going to move jobs due to the distance and possible inconvenience, she immediately said, “Absolutely not! I love my job and the company is so good to us. I will take on that extra burden of driving the extra distance because I wouldn’t want to leave them (the company).”
I would understand this answer coming from someone who had possibly worked for an organisation for a longer period. As there would have been more professional and/or personal time invested into the business. However, when I asked what it was that made them such an awesome company to work for, she simply stated that they looked after them. That the company went out of its way to publicly acknowledge their hard work. They were made to feel needed and appreciated.
This business had made such an impact on my friend that she was prepared to sacrifice her time for them. That type of loyalty is priceless.
It costs a business nothing to value their people. However, high employee turnover can cost a business thousands of dollars a year.