June 26, 2018

Three E's to Developing Your Team
Leaders are meant to lead and empower their team. It is one of the most important jobs as a leader (if not the most important). Here are three practical and easy steps you can take as a leader to begin to steward your team well!

Three E’s to Developing Your Team

I have always been a firm believer that as leaders, one of the main roles (if not the most important role) is to develop and take care of our teams. People are important and they are often our greatest investment. How we treat them and empower them makes the difference of whether we have people who in return invest into the vision of the team or not. Here are three easy steps to ensuring that you as a leader are developing your team effectively;

  1. Empower People:
    • Recognition and appreciation- recognizing and celebrating accomplishments on an individual basis or as a team are vital. It can be as simple as making a special announcement, thanking the team or individual, having a congratulatory moment, or even a celebration lunch out. People who feel appreciated work more effectively. Never underestimate the power of gifts and food! People love to receive (and even win) gifts – even if it’s small. Have staff appreciation lunches, or bring donuts to a meeting, or an appreciation gift such as a coffee mug for each staff member or team member. These little moments go a long way for people.
    • Use constructive language- the tone and language we use have a major effect on the people we are leading. Even in times of discipline, it is just as important to use constructive language as it is when recognizing and appreciating the team for major accomplishments. Our ultimate goal as a leader is to empower that person to develop and be the best that they can be. When we approach them with empathy and empowerment, instead of being condescending and angry, we can correct them with the intent of improving and building their self-confidence.

 

  1. Equip People:
    • In-house training- as a leader you need to ensure your training process in-house is adequate and effective. If you have a new employee coming in and they only spend one-day training- chances are you will set them up for failure. Make sure you invest in the orientation and training of new employees so that they start off right. As well, it is important to create ongoing training. Whether it be to develop new skills or brush up on processes and procedures, you want to start people off on the right foot and continue with everyone prepared and equipped for changes or opportunities.
    • Out of house training- give an opportunity for your team members to get training at outside workshops, conferences, and seminars. Your investment in them is never a waste. Insightful people add a wealth of knowledge and skills to your team and organization. Allow them to use work days for these trainings and work it in your budget to provide financial support for them. Creating these opportunities for your team members shows them you care and are invested in them. Many employers provide an opportunity for their employees to continue their education in the field they work in. This is a great way to invest in your employees. This does not mean you have to pay for their entire tuition! You may help pay a portion of it, or maybe you allow some work time for class or schoolwork. This can be a powerful way to attract people to your organization while bringing in new skills and knowledge. (You will want to write up a contract that if you are investing into their education, they have to commit to a certain time of employment or something along those lines).

 

  1. Enable People:
    • Leadership opportunities- Some employees may not be ready for a promotion or maybe there isn’t an opportunity at the present time, but you can create opportunities where they can move into leadership roles. This could be through leading a new project, leading a team through changes or new processes, or maybe even leading elements of a meeting. It all depends on the structure and objectives of your organization. If you give people with leadership abilities the opportunity to lead, you will see them flourish. It will also release you from tasks, and in return gives time for you to continue to set goals and visions, and stay on track with the purpose.
    • Release the How- Create an environment that promotes progression, not stagnation. People are a valuable resource not just in time and tasks, but also in ideas and brainstorming. People can contribute to the advancement of the organization by being heard and having the opportunity to share their thoughts and ideas. Some of the best suggestions come from frontline workers. As leaders, we sometimes get removed from the day to day process, procedures, or working directly with customers and people that we don’t see things our team, employees, or volunteers do. On the agenda at staff meetings, a suggestion box or one on one time with the employees are great ways to hear your employees’ thoughts and ideas. Make sure to take the opportunity to actively listen to them and take into consideration their contributions. Make sure when implementing their ideas, you give them recognition- never take an employee’s idea and make it yours!

People who are stewarded well, work well. They are more likely to stay committed, focused and content in your organization or on your team. Using the three E’s- Empowering, Equipping and Enabling, people can improve their confidence and attitude. You can help develop and expand them into new areas, and enhance your organization and team!

 

 

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