“But,” you say, “they might take what we teach them and leave!” Maybe. They are free to do as they please and may leave you regardless of what you do or how well you treat them, but it comes down to this: People are more likely to stay where they feel they are valued. Here are just a couple of ways you can do this:
Show the Way
You know the direction you want things to go, what kind of culture you’re trying to create, what you expect from your team. Show them. Don’t just tell them, lead by example. If you want your team leaders to be approachable, be approachable. If you want others to value your opinion, value theirs. If you want your employees or volunteers to be friendly, helpful, and upbeat – then be all those things! When your people finally figure out who you are and what you are about, they will respond in kind. If you are the type of leader who cares about your people, your people will care about you and will give you their best.
Share Your Vision
Share your vision. Let them know you are in this together. Maybe you’re thinking, “But it’s MY company, so why should they care what my vision is?” Simply put, if your people haven’t bought into your vision, they have no real reason to invest their time and energy into it. They will simply go through the motions and it will never be anything more than a job. On the other hand, if you share your vision with them, and let them develop ownership in the process, they will invest their time and energy with gusto! An ounce of enthusiasm goes a long way, so get excited about where you are headed!
Encourage & Facilitate Growth
Help others meet their potential. Your goal should be to develop other leaders, so don’t limit them! Show them you care about them personally, not just in words, but in actions. Provide opportunities for personal growth; training to develop new skills, or fine-tune existing skills; chances to use their new skills; and offer support by mentoring them personally or providing one to them.
Value the differences. Each individual is unique. Building an effective team means embracing varying perspectives, strengths, skills and approaches.
Let people do what they’re good at, to whatever extent is possible. If you have a secretary who is a graphics genius, find a new secretary. Then move this hidden gem somewhere they can put those talents to use. Otherwise, you will find they’ve moved on to another organization who realizes what they’ve got to offer.