The right people… every business needs them in order to be successful. In Part 1 of this series (from my blog ChrisLovesYou.com), we talked about how to attract talent. You attract talent by seeking knowledge, networking, and living like the people you want to attract. Today in Part 2 we talk about retaining talent for your business once you have them on board. This blog post is for team leaders who have to learn how to work their fellow teammates into the business flow.
Be honest, human and accountable
A few days ago, I spent an hour and a half setting player rotations on my favorite basketball simulator, XOHoops. Everyone has weaknesses and fantasy sports/simulators can be one of mine. I owned up to my lack of time spent focusing on my core tasks to our team client manager Lance. He chuckled, told me to shake it off and get back on the grind… and that I did. This was a crucial interaction because I was able to be 100% human with my crew and they held me up. This shows your team that they can come to you with their issues and weaknesses. It’s your job to hold them up when they need you. Your business is a family.
The myth of motivating
You don’t have to worry about motivating the right people. If you have a crew of self-motivated passionate individuals, your focus should be to not demotivate them.
Your best talent in the right place
Keep your most talented team members on your most important projects. Be careful not to shove “problem” clients/projects that have no significant upside on your best talent. Not knowing how to put your team members in the right position is one of the fastest ways to lose your good people.
Good talent needs to be empowered. Avoid micromanaging tasks and projects. You might learn that your team member has a more efficient method for completing a project. As the boss, it’s a blessing to be able to say, “I don’t handle that.”
The art of criticism
Mistakes will be made and they should be addressed immediately and directly. As a leader, you have to know the individual personalities of your teammates. There are unique angles that should be worked with different personality types. Do you know with whom you can be blunt? Do you know who takes criticism better in-person rather than over email? I suggest having a written or mental profile for each of your team members so you can know the most effective approach for each person. With all that said, positive reinforcement should be combined with constructive criticism for optimum results.