One of the biggest challenges that Contractors and other business owners face is the constant pressure to build a team and get them working for you.
The concept is fine but it tends to fall apart in the execution. That’s because you’re not building a team of robots, but of humans – imperfect humans with their own unique mixes of strengths, weaknesses, and motivations. Getting your team moving forward and doing the work you need them to do may feel like you’re trying to direct a herd of stampeding elephants. Sure, they might follow some of your directions but not all of your directions all the time. And maybe when they do work toward a shared goal, they may not do so in the best or most efficient way possible.
Teams can be frustrating; even infuriating. So how do you get them working together, on the same page, toward the same goal, with everyone moving forward together with synergy?
Here are 3 ways to get your team to do anything together.
1. Give A Clear Target
You may give your employees individual goals, or a list of tasks they have to accomplish in the day, but how many contractors tell their employees about a specific business target that everyone should work together to achieve? Most of the time, employees are only told what they need to do and not given a glimpse into how their work fits into the bigger picture of the business.
It’s easy to give employees a list of things to do, but you’ll get more and better work from them when you inspire them to a greater purpose.
That target could be anything from customers served to revenue generated to referrals received to social media feedback given – any target that you feel is important in your business. Hold an all-company meeting and create a theme for the quarter around that clear target and then get everyone on the same page about what the target is and the importance of the target for the company.
2. Inspire Them
It’s so easy to just give your employees a list of things you need them to do. That’s fast and easy and seems efficient (although, in practice, it’s often frustrating). But there’s a quote by a man named Antoine de Saint-Exupery that may change your thinking. He said, “If you want to build a ship, don't drum up the men to gather wood, divide the work, and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea."
This powerful statement perfectly explains the better way to lead your team: it’s easy to give them a list of things to do but you’ll get more and better work from them when you inspire them to a greater purpose. The challenge, of course, is to understand what that greater purpose is – since we’re talking about contracting work and not ship-building. But it is possible to find that inspiration, whether it’s the safety and security of your customers, or a charitable cause, or even each employees’ own personal motivation.
#3. Create Leaders
It’s easy to think that your employees just show up to get a paycheck. However, they are really there for so many other reasons, and one of the biggest reasons is to make a contribution to others. That contribution often comes in the form of leadership and of helping others achieve their goals. Most people (often the very best employees) have an innate desire to have a larger, positive impact in the world by helping other people. So one of the best ways you can grow a strong team and get everyone moving in the same direction is to foster a sense of leadership and inspire your team to step up as leaders.
Some of this leadership will be formal, and could include titles, more pay, and perhaps a management position. But a lot of leadership can be informal, too, and you can help your employees love their job and work harder for you simply by giving them some leadership responsibilities. For example, have the more experienced ones train the newer and inexperienced employees in all aspect of work. Create opportunities for that training to happen simply by pairing the two together and giving them one specific thing to teach and learn while on the job. And don’t forget to train your employees how to lead others, to ensure they’ll improve those essential skills.
As a business owner, you can’t do it all yourself so you build a team to help you. That team can work as individuals, but if you want more success then you need to train them to work as a focused unit. To do that, create a clear target, inspire them to a higher purpose, and turn more of them into leaders. Do this and you’ll be amazed at how they perform for you.
Mike Agugliaro is the “Business Warrior” and founder of CEO Warrior, a business consulting and mentoring firm, providing tested and proven methods to defeat the roadblocks that prevent small to mid-sized businesses from achieving their ultimate success. He has played a key role in building Gold Medal Services’ success, as co-owner of the company. For more information about CEO Warrior, visit www.CEOWARRIOR.com.