Investing time and attention in team members can help bring out great results from them. It’s the people of the organisation who are defining the business instead of the other way round. It’s the individuals who are making contributions to drive change and foster growth. They are the influencers and moving the people to the centre of the organisation’s growth strategies gives them that extra encouragement.
As a leader or the head, many a times one tends to forget that it’s very important to invest in the team and the individuals who constitute this team – the team that runs the show and meets the demands of the stakeholders while facing everyday challenges. Helen Keller, no stranger to overcoming significant challenges during her lifetime pointed in that direction when she noted that “Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much.” We often forget that the team is the biggest asset.
While driving business and striving for the best result is the core focus of any leader, it is also the prerogative of the leader to ensure that s/he is committed to the team’s growth.
Every individual should be able to visualise a scope for individual growth within the team and the leader should be able to act as the medium for the growth of the individual team members. Here are a few observations I have culled from my experience of almost 15 years in the PR community.
- Make work more fun and engaging – Time and again various reports have suggested that PR as a profession is one of the most stressful jobs. So, all the more reason to make work more fun and engaging. For example, an everyday routine of reading newspapers and keeping a track of the community (an important element of PR) may not be an exciting routine for many. However just by introducing a system where the team gets to discuss and maybe debate about the stories (something that interests them) with other teams (through perhaps a friendly competition) could boost their confidence and can simultaneously help the leader in inculcating the habit of reading newspapers regularly among team members.
- Constant feedback shows you care – Feedback is definitely something that we should work on. How do you help your team or an individual improve if you don’t share feedback? Bill Gates, a person who would know a thing or two about building teams rightly observed that“We all need people who will give us feedback. That’s how we improve.”Also how you share the feedback is critical. Are you providing enough examples? Are you putting across the feedback constructively that would help the person grow and become a better professional? Are you ensuring that the person’s confidence and self esteem are not undermined?
- Take the extra step to help your team members walk that extra mile – are you motivating your team members enough? While criticism and feedback are important, the team needs to be regularly applauded and appreciated when a task is done well. Constant appreciation is therefore something that we should consciously show. A team member who feels appreciated will always do more than what is expected.
- Help team members re-invent themselves– Mireille Guiliano, a French-American author said “Just as established products and brands need updating to stay alive and vibrant, you periodically need to refresh or reinvent yourself.” As a leader, one aspect of the team that should not be overlooked is giving the members the opportunity to learn. By recognising the necessary steps to re-invent a team, there is an opportunity to take the team’s performance to new heights. As a leader one can consider enabling team members to attend conferences, workshops, business awards, and courses. Even if the organisation doesn’t look into this area, the leader can and in his/her own capacity push the team in this direction and let the team operate from their strengths and be creative.
Some words of wisdom from Vince Lombardi, the head coach who has never had a losing season in the National Football League and has always stood for his team members,“Individual commitment to a group effort–that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilisation work.” As the head it is important to invest in individual team members so they feel appreciated and get appropriate and quality feedback to improve their work and grow as a professional. One also has to put in work to make the team a cohesive entity so that individuals understand what they bring to the team as a whole and what being part of the team could bring to them. To help them grow together.
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