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The Simple yet often Forgotten Key to an Empowered and Successful Team – Get to Know your People!

Do you want a team that is excited to work, passionate, and effective in their day to day tasks? Well, there’s a simple first step that will help you to cultivate this, the first thing we need to do is get to know our people! We need to learn their strengths and we need to learn what areas they need to develop. We need to learn their aptitudes, their personalities, their drivers, and their goals.

I have worked with many executives and sometimes when I begin this discussion I get a bit of an eye roll followed by a statement similar to, “Yeh, I know, it’s just about finding the time to do it.” My response to that is always the same, I understand you have a lot to do, but trust me, putting the extra time in now will save you much more time later when you have less issues and mistakes to deal with!

Tip 1: Know their Strengths and Areas for Development

If we want our people to be successful, we need to learn their strengths as well as the areas which could use development. There’s a theory in motivation, the Expectancy Theory, which was introduced by Victor Vroom from the Yale School of Management quite a few years ago. One prong of the theory states that if a person is confident that they can complete a task (vs not believing they can do so), they will be more motivated to complete it. Simple, right? So, as managers and leaders what should we do? Quite simply, we should make sure our people have the training they need so that they can feel comfortable and confident in the tasks they are assigned! If they are trained and confident, they will be more motivated and thus more successful in completing their work!

Tip 2: Know their Goals

There are many reasons people go to work each day, and even more reasons they will work their hardest, smartest, and best for us. We don’t want a team who comes to work with the goal of making it to the end of the day, we want a team that comes to work and gets lost in their jobs because they feel connected, proud, and passionate about what their doing. To cultivate and maintain this type of team we need our people to believe in something…whether it’s the task they are doing, the organization they are a part of, or the manager they are working for. If we can get them to be happy with all three we’ve hit the trifecta!

This discussion will be continued in future blogs as we delve into how to create a positive organizational culture, but for now let’s simply focus on understanding what drives our team. Some may be saving for a new home while others may be looking for a sense of fulfillment by working on a project that they believe in. Some may love their organization because they have a flexible schedule while others may like working with their colleagues. Some may want to become a manager while others may like being an individual contributor. If we want our people to excel we need to know first what they want, and more than that, what they need.

The first step in creating an empowered and successful team is simply to know your people!

Stay tuned as we delve into more ways to create a high performing and passionate organization, and if you’d like to discuss this with me personally reach out, I’m always up for talking leadership!

Keep Leading!


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