Putting an all-star team together can be a challenge. Not everyone comes to you exactly where you want them to be. The wonderful thing about this is that you get to develop your team members and employees after getting to know a bit about them, their strengths, weaknesses, and areas for growth. Sometimes the best you can do is meet each employee where they’re at and work toward developing each in various ways that will ultimately contribute to your company’s bottom line.
Everyone Understands Their Roles
First and foremost, everyone should have a clear understanding of their role in the company. Ideally, this is clearly outlined prior to making an offer to your employee, but if it is not, then it should be discussed before the employee starts work. If they’re not sure what the expectations are of them, how will they ever rise to the occasion, and how can you, as the leader, hold them accountable?
Give a Little
Employees should be given all tools necessary so that they can be successful in their role. Offering ongoing training, coaching, and activities focused on continuous development to build on employee’s experiences and help shape competencies will benefit your firm in the long run. Offering such employee development is also one way of building a positive employer brand.
Development and Coaching
We’ve all heard the old adage; “if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.” Your team is no different. To develop a team means to watch them make mistakes but be there to correct errors and further refine each team member’s goals and objectives. Mistakes are the inevitable part of being human, but also where your employees have the greatest opportunity to learn from their mistakes and come back better than they were before. Employees need developmental experiences, time, and constructive feedback in order to learn from their mistakes and be able to hone their responsibilities in a way that provides the opportunity for personal and professional development. As their leader, allowing employees the space to do so is crucial.
Space to Grow
Giving employees space to grow also includes offering versatility within their role and various opportunities within the company. This may be offering a promotion into a leadership role or a lateral move into another department that best fits with the employee’s objectives or talents.
Incentivize Leadership and Desired Behaviors
If you decide to promote an individual into a leadership role, it is important that you recognize those leadership behaviors that contribute to the team’s success on an individual basis if you want to reinforce those behaviors. Team success is great for everyone, but an individual’s contribution to that success is just as important and should be separately acknowledged as such.
Acknowledging other desired behaviors from your employees keeps them motivated, helps strengthen the bonds between team members and their employers, and encourages employees to take more responsibility and feel more attached to their work.
Regular Meetings and Check-Ins
Regular meetings and check-ins are a valuable tool for both employee development and accountability. Meetings are best used to clarify and discuss company goals and strategies. They are also a good time to provide employees with constructive feedback and an honest review of their work. Meetings should be utilized as a time that employees and management collaborate on similar objectives and rediscover or reinvigorate a new game plan for each employee and the team as a whole moving forward.
A game plan is a blueprint or road map that your team can follow in their efforts toward accomplishing their objectives. Game plans can be quantified in the short-term, such as weekly objectives, or more long-term, quantified monthly or yearly. When employees and management are on the same page it helps avoid confusion and keeps everyone on task. When it comes time to meet to go over accomplishments and deadlines, each employee should know what to expect and what is expected of them based on the aforementioned company game plan.
Developing your team is a lot of trial and error, but mostly organized planning. Ensuring that your employees know what their role and contributions will be and allowing them space to grow, make mistakes, and prove themselves is imperative to their development. It is also important that employees are recognized and incentivized for their efforts and leadership capabilities, as this will contribute to reinforcing positive behaviors. Ultimately, meeting regularly with team members and having a game plan for future development and company growth should set you on a path toward employee satisfaction and company success.