See Less of Your Team - and Let Go the 'Face-Time' Mentality!

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How you measure the contribution your people make? Do you count the number of hours they spend at work? How well do you measure their contribution while they’re present?

If ‘face-time’ is what matters to you – the time your people spend at the office - ask yourself why. That is, why does the time they spend at work influence your perceptions of their performance? And should it?

We’d say no.

FACE TIME – IT’S NOT THE FUTURE


All too often I meet leaders who believe that hard work means long hours, and that long hours are the only recipe for commitment and success. The reality is quite different. It’s the outcomes people are able to achieve which are the true reflection of their value.

Placing value on someone’s willingness go the extra mile from time to time is natural, and it’s important your people are willing to be there when the pressure is on. But expecting them to be there at all hours and live at the office to demonstrate their commitment – just isn’t.


FACE-TIME CULTURE – SHOULD BE IN THE PAST


A ‘face time’ culture that permeates your workplace can have very real financial consequences for your business – and we’re not talking beneficial ones. For example, it’s common to find that people regularly work overtime to boost their income. Others might be ineffective in their roles and flying under the radar of accountability by doing extra time.

A lack of capability, focus, ability to delegate or share responsibility are common reasons why people work long hours - and business owners pay for it. Good value? We think not.

GET THE BALANCE RIGHT


A team who are willing to put the hours in when the job just has to be done – that’s invaluable. It’s especially important to build a culture that inspires people to roll up their sleeves when the chips are down. However it’s unquestionably in everyone’s best interest to maintain a balance.

Working long hours and regularly making personal sacrifices for our job is detrimental to our health, wellbeing, relationships, productivity and performance. Allowing people to reach a point of burnout is not only irresponsible, it’s also unwise. When people are exhausted and stressed the consequences for them, their families and your business are serious. Mental and physical illnesses are very real costs of unreasonable workload and demand.


FACE UP TO WHAT MATTERS


If your people are spending a lot of ‘face time’ at work, you need to understand why. If it’s a challenging time and they’re driven by dedication, then value and reward their behaviour. But if employees are measuring their own success by the hours they spend in the workplace, you must set clearer expectations of their outcomes – achievements, not hours.

Managing for outcomes and creating a performance-focused culture takes five essential steps:

1. Inspire
Create a clear and compelling vision for the future. Make it clear that you expect your people to influence overall success – with their talent and dedication, which matches your own. Build confidence and energise your team’s spirit with the strength of your leadership.

2. Direct
Get specific. Give clear guidelines for each individual and every team - and then let them get on with the job. What will their contribution be? How will they influence your success? Create specific aims, and communicate them.

3. Empower
Allow each person to take ownership of their role. Empowerment is essential if you want to hold people accountable for their performance. Give them room to make day-to-day decisions for themselves. Be clear about the number of hours they need to meet the needs of your customers and deliver on their objectives.

4. Coach
Influence your team’s approach and capabilities through regular coaching conversations. Give feedback about what works well and how they might approach a scenario or task differently. Aim to give them the spirit and capability to take full ownership of the task - and achieve a great outcome.

5. Accountability
Put mechanisms in place for measuring the standard of performance achieved along the way. Set milestone goals, and measure and reward progress. Long-term objectives are important, for sure, but breaking them down is an important way of maintaining focus, motivation and momentum achieved.

 

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Good Coffee: The Fastest Way to an Employee’s Heart

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Coffee. For many of us it’s a ritual, right? And that means it has to slot into the working day, somehow.

For some employees, a quick fuel-up at the desk can kick-start the day. For others, the coffee break is a momentary escape. It’s a chance to connect with others – and great things can come of it.

The idea for Gmail was dreamt up by a small group at one of Google’s workplace cafes. So says Katelin Todhunter-Gerberg, a senior associate on Google’s communications team.

So if your team does some of its best thinking over a coffee, doesn’t it make sense to do some thinking over the coffee and the equipment that brings it to them?

Let’s nurture the coffee break and take a look at how your business can benefit – and what some of the considerations are.

Help yourself to your choice of brew, and let’s go deep into coffee territory! 


RENT OR BUY, KNOW YOUR MACHINERY 

The price of buying or renting a coffee machine for a business is comparable. It’s generally thought that renting or leasing is preferable, as it provides greater flexibility and maybe frees up your capital for more pressing things.

Rental Packages – what to consider

As with any rental agreement, there are things to consider before moving a top-of-the-range barista-ready model into your lunch room. Here are some of them.

  • Does the rental package include a minimum quantity purchase, or specialised products?
  • Will there be model updates prior to the end of the lease?
  • Is technical support and servicing included? 
  • What are the rental T&C’s? 
  • Is there a buy-back scheme at the end of the fixed term?
  • Are there any risks in a fixed term contract – are you able to opt out?

Besides the obvious attraction of a latte or mocha whenever you want one, there are very real business perks to renting a coffee machine. You may be able to claim tax deductions for the rental expense every month for the lifetime of the agreement.

Buying Outright – benefits here too

Buy a coffee machine, and you’ll be congratulating yourself over your first office cappuccino, as there are many benefits to be had here too. Some things to consider first:

  • There are no monthly obligations or the T&C’s that come with renting a machine.
  • Is there an extensive warranty option available?
  • Is servicing included complementary or an additional expense?
  • What’s the ‘life expectancy’ of the machine? Knowing this helps you compare products.

Machines in excess of $1,500 are considered a business asset, and you may be able to write off depreciation as an expense. Anything under, and it’s possible that you’re eligible to claim the tax deduction for the full cost – just as long as you meet the prescribed criteria. A quick chat with your tax agent should clear this up.

The Benefits Beyond

Beyond the luxury of having great coffee on hand in your workplace and a few tax-incentives, you have to wonder whether it’s all just self-indulgence, or whether there are tangible benefits beyond the taste.
Turns out, there are.

Dr Suzy Green, founder and leading psychologist of Positivity Institute says, ‘Our brains do need to have a little rest - they just can't be on all the time. And it's often in the breaks where you get your creative ideas.’

Walking away from your desk for a coffee break can spark many cool things, including workplace engagement, cross-functional conversations and general idea sharing. 

As a business owner, it makes perfect sense to nurture such opportunities – with perfect extraction, great quality beans, and a café quality drop! 


IT’S THE LITTLE THINGS THAT COUNT

When it comes to rewards, employees appreciate the small things. Sure, sometimes grand gestures are in order to reward exceptional performance. But when we think about the day-to-day, most employees will tell you they’re really not looking for fireworks, but simple things that make a tangible difference and genuinely foster a great workplace culture.

You don’t have to provide barista training. But as a business owner, it genuinely pays to think about coffee breaks and the facilities you provide as an opportunity - for increased productivity and engagement.

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Emma’s Story Part 2 - Turning Things Around

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In Part 1 of Emma’s story, a chat on the bus revealed that talented, high achieving Emma was feeling directionless and unappreciated in her role. After Emma confided that she was unsure her manager had any faith in her, looking around for another role elsewhere started to seem like the best option. Missed Part 1? Catch up.


So here I am on the way to a barbecue on the weekend, and I’m thinking about how incredibly useful I am. With only a couple of phone calls, I’ve connected my clever friend Emma to an awesome job opportunity at my company, and she already has an interview lined up! I truly am a legend. She’s such a superhero, my company will be lucky to have her!

Buoyed up by my legend status, I start a chirpy conversation with a guy near the beer fridge. What is it with guys and beer fridges?

“So how’s your week been?” I like to keep openers simple, but I can tell he’s impressed by my bold ice-breaking move.

“Up and down,” he offers. A little non-committal, but I’m not easily discouraged.

“How so?” I ask. And then it all comes out. Just a little prompting was all it took. His name is Ash, he tells me, and he’s stressed.

“Work’s a rollercoaster ride right now,” he confides. “Everything’s changing. We’re working on a whole new product to meet our competition. I’ve got a great team, but it seems like some of them don’t have their eye on the ball. Our normal business is pumping right now and I can’t do everything myself. I need a team that I can rely on to get this new stuff off the ground. So, I’m having a few sleepless nights.”

“So you’re managing a team?” I say astutely. “It can be hard to get good people.”

“Well that’s just it, I do have good people, but it feels like they’re distracted or something.” He seems puzzled. “There’s this one woman, I was so excited when she joined the team – she’s really creative, fantastic communicator. People really respect her and she gets stuff done. But I’ve got her working on this new product and it’s going nowhere. I’m not sure what’s going on.”

That’s funny, I think. Emma was working on a new project wasn’t she?

“I had a friend who was in just that position,” I chip in. “She was saying just last week, she’s working on something new and it feels like she’s going nowhere with it. She’s a really high performer too.”

Ash looks mildly interested at the parallels, so I keep going.

“Thing is, in her case I really think it was her manager dropping the ball. She wants to do great things, but he’s just not there for her, so he’s definitely not getting the best out of her. She’s got so much to offer. But, um, I’m sure it’s a different situation.”

“So what’s her manager doing wrong?” Ash asks casually.

“It’s more like what he’s not doing,” I say. Well, he did ask. “Not letting her know why the project’s important. Not giving her feedback on how she’s going. Not including her in meetings. He hasn’t suggested any ways for her to pick up new skills the she might need.”

Ash looks thoughtful. I carry on.

“She’s pretty much decided she’s been sidelined and it’s really a make-work project. She’s really depressed.” I have a thought. “You’re a manager – does it sound to you like she’s being sidelined? The whole thing just seems so odd to me, she’s really talented.”

Ash is looking a little uncomfortable now. “Well, managers are always being pulled in different directions, and sometimes you miss things. You tell yourself that people are ticking along fine, and then it all goes wrong suddenly. You know, I don’t think your friend should assume she is being sidelined. Maybe she should talk to her manager, get it on the table.”

And then he says softly, as if to himself, “Maybe that’s what I need to do with Emma.”

I try not to react. EMMA? Are we talking about the same person? Beyond awkward! I’ve already said too much, but then I go and say one more thing. May as well!

“Yeah, maybe that’s the way to go. Except it’s too late for this friend of mine. She’s already looking at another opportunity.”

Ash has a really weird look on his face now. “Wow, I’m not surprised,” he says, a little flatly.

To be honest, after this he seems kind of distracted and I get sick of talking to him. But I keep thinking about it. Will Emma stay where she is, or come and work with me? And are the two Emma’s the same person, or is this a really weird synchronicity? I’m feeling like the woman who knows too much.

So, jump forward three days and I spot Emma on the bus again. We get talking. How she is feeling about the big interview at my company, I ask her?

“Oh, I’ve cancelled it, I’m going to stay where I am” she says. Whoa! What’s happened there? I delve for details.

“Oh, I really appreciate you making the introductions at your place,” Emma continues “I’m sure it’s a great job. But things have really turned around with my manager this week. We’ve had some great discussions, and we’ve completely changed how we work together. It’s so much better.” She seems puzzled and elated at the same time. “You know, I hadn’t realized, but the stuff I’m working on is actually a top priority, he just hadn’t told me. So I really feel like I need to stay and get it right. I think they’re relying on me.”

So there you have it. Maybe Ash is a good listener after all. Maybe my Emma was his Emma. Maybe he just needed to know how the wind was blowing and that he needed to change tack! Maybe he’s a pretty good manager after all!


Leaders of engaged teams:

  • Align teams behind a strong purpose
  • Build trust and are inclusive
  • Mentor and develop team members
  • Provide ongoing feedback

 

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Upskilling Your Team: How to Future-Proof Your Workplace

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Upskilling your team is a win-win. You get a more productive and loyal workplace, while your employees gain valuable skills and take on more responsibility. Put simply, it’s an easy and effective way to future-proof your business. But if you don’t know where to start, here are some areas to focus on.

HEALTH AND SAFETY

Training your staff in workplace health and safety is more than about ticking regulatory boxes. It’s about demonstrating how committed you are to their development and safety, as well as providing them with essential life skills. When your team is aware of risks and dangers in the workplace, they’re in a much better position to prevent accidents from happening, and react appropriately in emergency situations.

The great thing is, investing in training works both ways. Your employees feel safer, healthier, and more empowered. This makes them more productive, and less likely to run into trouble (which can cost you greatly). It doesn’t matter if you’re running a construction company, or a startup in a small office, there are risks in every workplace. And the more your team are aware of these, the safer your business will be – now and in the future.

BECOMING ACCOUNTABLE FOR INTEREST SECURITY 

Securing your business from cybersecurity threats often starts with employee education. The sad truth is, there are scammers and hackers determined to access your sensitive data and use it against you. And while having a strong firewall system in place goes a long way in protecting your business, training your staff in Internet security is equally as important.

But the thing is, unless your team understands the range of threats out there and how these can affect them – not just the business – they are less likely to care about data security, privacy policies, intellectual property, and data breaches.

To get started, make sure cybersecurity training is regular and mandatory. Your team should know how to identity basic threats such as phishing emails, and understand that passwords should never be shared. They should also be well versed on all the latest security threats, and be aware of the fact that many breaches are caused by human error. If they understand that scammers and ransomware don’t only target bosses, but employees too, they’ll be more inclined to pay attention.

Giving your team a healthy dose of cybersecurity education not only benefits the safety of your workplace, it arms them with actionable information to use in the office – and at home.  

LEARNING HOW TO NETWORK EFFICIENTLY 

While giving your team the tools and opportunities to network will expand their career prospects, it also helps your business connect with potential clients, learn new insights about the industry, and even gain new employees.

In an increasingly digital world, networking is often achieved online. To make the most of this, invest in training workshops in how to use online platforms such as LinkedIn and Twitter. Train them in how to write industry articles that attract attention, why it’s important to share their accomplishments, and how to connect with influencers and peers. With the right motivation and guidance, even the shyest of employers can learn how to network effectively.

You should also think about sending your team to conferences. This gives them a chance to get out of the office, meet new people, get excited and energetic about the industry, and even find new business. Not only does this inspire purpose and responsibility, it gives them valuable professional skills too. And the truth is, the more connected your employees are, the more connected your business is.

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When Your Talented Employee Loses the Plot – Did You Leave Them Stranded?

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Ever had a talented employee you saw as a core part of your team, only to find their attention wandered and they lost the plot and finally went elsewhere? You might find this story food for thought - because the problem could be you! 

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Emma and I always offload about work on the bus ride home. A few years back when we worked at the same place, we used to talk office politics. Now we’re in different jobs and it’s normally the nitty gritty. You know – projects that take too long, clients who won’t make decisions, colleagues with interesting personal habits. That sort of thing. 

So, I’m on the bus with Emma yesterday, and she’s getting more intense than usual. We’ve known each other since school, we’re pretty frank and I know when something’s getting to her. The thing is, stuff rarely gets to Emma, because she’s Emma the Wonder Kid. Always having a great time at work. Always getting quick promotions, big responsibilities. Everyone loves Emma, and there’s nothing she can’t do. It drives me crazy. She always was a bit of a champion. Until yesterday.

This job, she says, I’m just not into it. They’ve got me working on this roadmap for a new product, and I just can’t see how it’s going to fit in. It feels like I’m wasting my time. 

Yeah, I say, I know what you mean. I hate running round in circles too. I was being sympathetic. But really, Emma is such a talent, I find it hard to believe they would have her working on anything non-critical. Maybe she’s just got a manager who isn’t good at explaining how things fit together and what the end goal is.

So then she says Plus, I’ve got this feeling they don’t think I’m very capable. It’s like I’m not that useful to them. 

What the hell? There’s no way they think this about superstar Emma. So I ask her, Did your manager tell you that in a feedback session or something?

And she says, Nah, this manager never does feedback. You know, in the past the people I’ve worked for have always said good things about what I’m doing. Now it’s just this silence. I think he’s avoiding having to tell me bad news. 

I’m looking for a positive slant on things. But he must think a lot of you if he’s trusting you with the new product roadmap? Sounds like a tricky job.

She doesn’t look reassured. Or maybe he’s just sidelining me!   You know, sometimes he has meetings about this thing I’m working on and he doesn’t even include me. What does that mean? 

At this point I’m starting to wonder if maybe Emma is right. Could she be falling short of her manager’s expectations? Hmmm. Has he suggested you have extra training, or buddy up with someone who can work with you?

Well, no, she says, but then I’ve never noticed anyone else getting that sort of treatment either. That’s another thing he doesn’t do – training. I don’t know, it’s just so frustrating because I can’t tell what I’m doing wrong. What should I do?

Could it be that I’m smarter than Emma today? Because I think she’s missing something obvious! 

It just might be, I say, that it’s actually your manager who isn’t up to the job.

She says Well he’s pretty well respected. He knows this business inside out, manages the whole operational side.

He’s not managing you very well though, is he? I point out.

I felt bad getting off the bus and leaving her in such a discouraged state. And I couldn’t get the conversation out of my mind last night. It’s so unusual for Emma to be in a situation like this! Normally she knows exactly what she’s doing, and her employers give her heaps of great opportunities. I’m the one who isn’t sure if I’m useful! 

And then it hits me – there’s a role coming up where I work that would be perfect for Emma. So I make some calls. Because hey, whether the problem is her or her manager, maybe a complete change is what she needs. 

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Leaders of engaged teams:

  • Build trust and are inclusive
  • Align teams with a strong common purpose
  • Mentor and develop team members
  • Provide ongoing feedback

 

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Dealing with Workplace Hotheads

Hothead

Getting along at work is easier said than done.  Mutual accord amongst colleagues is a reciprocal thing – but sometimes it’s unrequited! 

A great workplace buzz relies on the collective valuing their relationships. It needs people who know how to build trust, and who aim to do so. When like minds meet and values are shared, we make productive connections.  There’s nothing like a sense of camaraderie for creating a platform from which your best work will be done.

That’s the best case scenario! But as we all know, sometimes workplace relationships just ain’t that simple. Worst case, they can be really challenging.  One person’s temperament - good or bad - has the potential to set the tone.  If things turn nasty – and sometimes they do - workplace productivity can really suffer, along with morale.  

WHEN THE GOING GETS TOUGH

Difficult employees create confusion. Talking incessantly, not listening, always having the last word, falling short of commitments – those are some of the traits we’re all familiar with. Even more challenging is someone who’s competing for power, privilege or attention.  Or all three! When these behaviours are left unmanaged, conflict begins to simmer - and when it erupts it’s always counter-productive.    

We all have ordinary moments at work occasionally. Maybe we’re going through a sticky patch personally, and impoliteness is a bi-product of that stress.  Usually it’s short lived. But when something goes on for longer, not everyone has the self-awareness to see how it’s impacting on others. And then, look out! 

The reasons behind bad behaviour are a secondary concern. Whatever they are, the behaviour must be addressed and resolved quickly - that’s best practice.  If someone’s behaving badly in your workplace, here are some tips that might help.

THE TOUGH GET GOING

Talk constructively with the employee and find out if there’s a deeper issue.  If they’re making barbed comments in one particular colleague’s direction, take them aside and ask them why. They might be apologetic – it’s possible they genuinely don’t realise it’s a problem. On the other hand, they might make excuses for themselves, or counter-accuse the colleague. 

Either way, you’ve begun to set the tone and put them on notice that their conduct is unacceptable, and you’d like things to change - for the better.  This type of conversation can be disarming for an employee – but can go direct to the heart of the matter. If you’ve handled it well, the calm and rational conversation you’ve just had will be a far better outcome than what may have happened if you’d let things simmer. 

 


THE TOUGH GET READY

When an employee continues to be problematic or destructive, the problem can lie beyond what’s happening at work. According to Mindframe statistics, 1 in every 5 Australians annually will experience a mental health problem. So where a behaviour seems emotionally charged or disproportionate to the problem at hand, it’s possible there’s a more deep-seated psychological issue.

Keep your cool. Get your thoughts together – be logical, rational and empathetic. Then talk to the employee. Calmly. It may be enough to de-escalate things.  Giving your employee the chance to be honest about what’s really going on may bring clarity to the situation, and a new level of awareness for them. What they say should put you on the path for managing the situation. 

 

THE TOUGH WEATHER THE STORM 

When you've tried everything to improve a difficult relationship but the employee still seems hell bent on making your workplace miserable, it's time to consider your options.

You can always try and ride it out. Forge ahead! But be candid with your employee about how their behaviour impacts productivity and workplace morale.  They need to hear it! 

No matter how challenging you find their personality, this alone is not grounds for terminating employment, and may lead to all sorts of allegations - including unfair dismissal. 

However, doing nothing - and allowing their behaviour to continue - sends a clear message to everyone else that their behaviour is condoned.  This can be a costly mistake - in employee engagement, staff retention and productivity.  Not to mention your duty of care under the work health and safety legislation.

The sad reality is that sometimes you have to make the best of a bad situation – and put up with them. Stay within the guidelines of the law, and set the tone for your employees – all of them. Be clear and direct about what’s acceptable workplace etiquette. Be especially direct with those who need to hear it. Avoid being re-active. Do what’s right for your business - and all of your employees!

 

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Keeping the Digital Nomads in the Tent

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Technology has changed the way we do things, right?  Even the most computer shy amongst us would have to admit it. 

Working norms have gone out of the door – the filing cabinet and the nine to five routine. Technology has come along and restyled our offices, our homes and our working lives. Access to information and the latest thinking, the most up-to-the-minute opportunities and systems are but one swipe away.  

It’s not surprise then that a ‘gig economy’ has taken off. A growing breed of digital nomads have abandoned secure employment conditions, and are flitting butterfly like over a meadow of more colourful opportunities brought to them by the digital age. They’re native in the world of technology. Why should they let you run the show when they can run their own from a tablet? 

Traditional hours and workplaces are on the outer for these guys. They’re running project work from their devices, eschewing the corporate career ladder for the new freedom of decentralized work, and freedoms that money can’t buy. 

Around 79% of millennial talent prefer a flexible working environment - one that comes with autonomy and transparency, and not necessarily money and status. It has a powerful pull and there’s a danger that businesses will increasingly lose employees to this new working landscape. Gone are the days when a counter-offer could be made or a bonus offered to an employee heading elsewhere. These days they have more in their sights than a better pay cheque. 

 

NEW-WORLD OPPORTUNITIES 

Digital nomads will soon become the norm. When business leaders regroup to take advantage of this pool of creativity and talent, and both nomad and employer can really start to enjoy the potential flexibility this new arrangement brings.  

Choosing a legal consultant from an online freelance platform might seem far-fetched, but it’s already a reality.  One quick search and a few swipes and clicks can give you access to a wealth of talent from around the world, well suited professionals and a choice for all  budgets and briefs. 

New studies indicate that one in three millennials have a gig alongside their day job.  They’re up-skilling rapidly, looking for projects they find pleasure in doing, and integrating work and lifestyle.  This new kind of work brings with it flexibility and autonomy, and something they can be truly passionate about. It may only require investment in a few simple devices or pieces of digital kit. It sound attractive to most of us – and it’s highly appealing to this nomadic workforce. 

 

REAL-LIFE HURDLES 

Seductive and easy though it sounds, this new style of work isn’t without its hurdles, and they’re ongoing. 

Establishing a career, even in the fast-moving digital age,  takes time. It also takes commitment and dedication, mature age skills and life experience, a wide ranging knowledge base, and bravery - to say the least.  

It’s ever-changing. That’s exciting, but it also means there’s no ground-hog day security - returning to your desk each morning knowing exactly what you need to do and how to do it. 

Hitting your stride can be enormously challenging  and requires super-human ability to focus, rather than get distracted by the domestic duties you’re surrounded by in a home office or café – the laundry, the conversation at table number four, the doorbell. 

 

KEEP THE NOMADS IN THE TENT 

So what does this mean for business owners and leaders? It means opportunity. It’s time to think about this demographic and determine exactly how they can support your endeavours. How can an employee with digital nomad inclinations be of benefit to your business? Can they bring their upskilled talents into the right kind of project under your roof? Are they gaining new talents outside of your business that you can bring in? 

And how can you hold on to that digitally enabled, bright, creative and forward thinking employee? Nourishing them might mean resetting your ideas about what rewards people for their endeavours. One thing’s for sure, as the song goes, it’s not all about the money, money, money. It’s about the freedom, flexibility and lifestyle. Acknowledge that, and it might be to your advantage. 

Stay a spectator in the digital age and we end up watching the talent swoosh by and not really ever grasping how to truly reach it.  But help is on hand – and it’s probably in your workforce. There’s a good chance a digital nomad works for you or may one day do so. So plug in now, and make good of this new and changing genus. 

 

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Inspire by Example! And Keep Your Team Tight in Tough Times

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Building a team is one of those things that doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time, consistent effort and energy. And here’s the rub - Rome wasn’t built in a day, but your team can surely dissolve in one, in these fast-paced, demanding times!

When you’ve invested in building a team culture that hums along with everyone working towards the same goals, the last thing you want is to come unstuck and find the team hasn’t bonded or doesn’t perform when you really need them to.

So how to keep everyone inspired, realising their true potential and producing great results all of the time – and coming through the tough times intact? Do you have a strategy that keeps the working atmosphere in tip top condition and the team outshining your competitors?

These few tips should help you achieve this goal.


GET TOGETHER! 

Nobody likes long and tedious meetings, but it’s essential to keep everyone in the loop. So run team management meetings, but keep them short and to the point!

And then break your own rule. Because team meetings shouldn’t just be about status reports. No, they have a higher purpose. They give you a chance to truly engage with your employees, learn about their ideas, inspirations and also their individual goals – which may well align with your own in the business.

Team members appreciate the opportunity to share their thoughts and insights. They also need that regular get-together to discuss and solve any issues they’ve encountered on project work or in day-to-day business.

Meet weekly or regularly as an integral part of your business and your team development,  and everyone feels like they’re heading in the same direction – and the right one.


STAY ON TRACK! 

One of the main causes of frustration and disenchantment among team member is undoubtedly a loss of direction and the lack of a sense of purpose. There’s nothing more frustrating for an employee than not knowing what their key roles and responsibilities are in a particular project, what’s expected of them to accomplish that next step in the project’s development.

Everyone needs to know where they’re heading! So keep them on track, ask them what they need to know. And then make sure they have the guidance, support and understanding they need to do the job.

When times are tough, you may need to handle such situations in more of a hands-on manner. Help out directly, offer extra guidance or provide the necessary specialised equipment for the job. Whatever you do, you’re helping your team to get the job done, and maximise their potential. That’s a win for you both.


GIVE PRAISE!

Teams can be encouraged in different ways. Providing essential tools and excellent working conditions resonates deeply with people and keeps team spirits consistently high. But make sure you top that up with the occasional word of praise. We all like to know that our work is valued, and that what we’re doing has a positive impact on workflow and ultimate outcomes. But we like to hear that we’ve done good as individuals too!

Get to know what form of praise and feedback each individual appreciates best. Some may get the biggest boost in self-confidence by being praised publicly in front of others. Make sure you have a good word to say for the team too on these occasions! Other individuals may appreciate a private thank-you note more. Either way, praise is a great motivator. It helps everyone in the team to feel they are a part of something bigger than themselves, and it stimulates us to invest even more of ourselves into a project.


INSPIRE! 

True leaders, besides having the right knowledge and skillset for the industry they’re in, should also inspire. And that goes beyond the rigours and requirements of the job. It means being a well-rounded individual, empathetic to others and caring of oneself. It means looking after your business, your people and those additional things which are no less important, like your health and mental wellbeing.

Sleep, stress and work-life balance are all easy to manage. It’s now well known that being a

t the top of our game in this way fires our creative processes and concentration. Lead by example and make sure your team are looking after themselves too in this regard.

Follow these simple tips and you’ll find yourself stepping into the shoes of one who not only leads but also truly inspires by example.

 

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