How to get your team on side

team building

Team building. Oooooh. It can be a grisly word, and somewhat clichéd, but the truth is, if your team is not on side and unified, the impact on your business can be huge.

Why? Because like a body, or a nicely oiled car, your team needs to be working and functioning together in order to perform at its best.

Disgruntled, miserable employees will perform well below their optimum level. They will be grudgingly doing their role in a haphazard, uncaring manner, and this will translate into poor customer service and poor growth of your business which in turn will affect your profitability. This can be worse if your team is forward facing and dealing with clients on a day to day basis. Your clients will pick up on the dissatisfaction, sarcasm and disunity, and they might well take their custom elsewhere. It will reflect badly on you, the leader, as they will assume that you are not treating your team right, and let’s face it – no one wants to do business with uncaring companies, who don’t look after their staff. So how can you get your team on side, motivated and working together? Well, you can start by following the tips below.

Rehearse the vision and mission

What do you do? Why do you do it? How do you do it? Why do you do it that way? What is your company all about anyway? If you don’t communicate your brand values, your team will not have a clear vision. They will have no idea what you stand for, why they do what they do, and they won’t be able to communicate it to others. Your vision is important, and your brand values matter. It is the foundation of your business, and no great team can be built in the absence of a good foundation. Take the time to communicate your vision and values regularly, and incorporate fun into your communication and training. Also, there is immense value in having a catchy mission statement, as it helps to engrain it into the company culture.

Create a sense of belonging

As people, we were designed and we are eager to belong. Everyone wants to feel like part of something as we were not created to be in isolation. Create a sense of belonging by talking to your team members individually as well as in a team. Let them know that you value them. Praise in public and correct in private and avoid criticising a team member to the other members as it could seem like you are trying to play the team off against each other. Creating a sense of belonging goes beyond team building days – it’s in the everyday interaction, creating open social spaces for lunch, and taking care of the seemingly small things. There is a health club in North London, and the manager is always very visible talking to team members. He is not locked in an office – he is on the ground, hands on, not in a micromanagement kind of way. In an “I care” kind of way. Create a sense of belonging by showing people that you care.

Pay them accordingly

The term “money talks” is true, and paying your team what they are worth can help to get them on side. Money is ultimately an exchange. Paying low salaries and perhaps paying late can communicate that you don’t value your team. Money is an exchange for their hard work. Some people don’t like talking about money, but you need to be open and real with yourself and with your team members.  If it pains you to pay certain team members, you need to have an honest discussion with yourself about their performance. If they are not performing, give them an opportunity to change. If they don’t change, then make the cut. There are some team members that I would happily pay because I realise their value and I appreciate them being on my team. Financial reward is definitely a motivator, as is being valued.

These are just a few ways that you can get your team on side. The key is to be consistent. Your actions should not be just one-off events. You should be consistently wooing your team with fair pay and incentives, clear vision and goals, encouragement, private corrective guidance when necessary, and showing your appreciation and value for their contribution – aiming to get the best from each of them every time. Be sure that your business will run smoothly as a result; your profits will increase and your team will be much more committed.

Acknowledgement and appreciation go a long way

Also, statements such as: “Well done for being so creative.”, “Thank you for working late yesterday on this project.”, and “You are a valuable member of my team.” go a long, long way. Remember that everyone has a need to be appreciated and valued – some need it more than others, but we all need it nevertheless.  

Anthony Fleming, Business Growth Coach