Creating that Winning Team

By Julian Campbell

With the constant changes in business and the associated confusion that is often produced, it is vital that you ensure your team is all pulling together. Yes, the success of your business is totally dependent on the quality of people you have working for you. The perception of your business in your market place is the direct result of everything your company says or does which in turn is a direct reflection of your attitude and that of your staff. What reflection is your team currently giving?

Unfortunately, I constantly hear employers blaming their lack of business success on poor quality staff. But who really is at fault? Many managers try to run their organisations under the illusion that people work for money alone. Whilst others are still in the dark ages and try to control with a master/slave approach.

A survey was carried out a few years ago to determine the most important features of a job. Managers considered good wages to be number one, whilst the employees polled stated that appreciation for good work was the most important. In fact, they listed good wages as number five. This survey has been backed up with subsequent surveys which show attitudes in the workplace really have not changed.

Obviously people need reasonable recompense for their labour because they have to pay their bills. However, being given a pat on the back regularly does more for self esteem than an extra dollar in the pay packet.

Do you show your staff appreciation for a job well done? Do you realise that showing your appreciation to your staff has a direct effect on your bottom line? Acknowledgment can develop and improve attitude, which significantly increases productivity, job satisfaction and customer service.

But what if a team member does not deserve a pat on they back? What if their attitude is always poor? Again, the way we handle the situation will determine if a change of attitude can be produced. I find that in many cases the employee is not given any clear direction as to what is required of them or any firm milestones to report against and therefore has to do the best they can. This situation often exists for years in some companies leading to growing staff friction which obviously has a negative impact on the company's image.

This leads us to the subject of 'empowerment'. In a recent edition of the Harvard Business Review this subject was examined. It outlined how managers love empowerment in theory, but the command-and-control model is what they trust. It concluded that a mix of both processes is the ideal, depending upon the employees position and their needs for external or internal commitment.

Which ever way you choose, make sure each of your team knows you really care about them. Listen to their needs, give them clear, meaningful direction and watch those positive attitudes grow. Then you will truly have your best asset working for you, your business success will be assured.

Copyright © Julian Campbell 2007

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