Care and Feeding of Your Team
Updated: Mar 18, 2020
In my job description as Managing Director and Team Lead, Employee Communications of Cheer Partners it reads, “responsible for care and feeding of employee communications team.” This sentiment and responsibility were raised in my discussions about the role multiple times. In fact, it was made clear that this was equally – if not more – important to Cat Graham and the Cheer Partners Leadership Team than client relationships.
It made me think of these idioms that you hear frequently about self-care, but in truth serve as the foundation for employee relations.
"Charity Begins at Home” “You Can’t Pour from an Empty Cup” “Put Your Oxygen Mask on First”
You have a business marketing plan, a customer relationship management system and a sales strategy. As a leader, you know that your company would not be able to function without these core elements. This is one reason you are successful. But not the only reason, because without the care and feeding of your team, your success may come, but it will not come as easily as it could.
How do you do this:
It starts with you…
- Think about who you are, what you need and what others need from you to be successful:
Consider what type of manager you are and who you want to be
What boundaries do you want to have – personally and professionally?
How do you plan on connecting with them on a more intimate level?
What are your skills and plans on providing a construct for feedback – both positive and negative?
Focus on the individual…
- Book an hour with each team member 2-4 times a year to talk about the following.
- Prepare for that meeting as you would a client meeting and even consider preparing (confidentially, of course) with a trusted peer or coach, to help you see your team members from a different perspective.
What brought them to their current role?
What unique background, experiences and perspective do they bring to the table?
What are their career aspirations, have you taken the time to review that, separate from the annual review discussion?
What motivates them to be productive and go above and beyond?
What areas of growth do they have in technical experience and soft skills?
What resources do you have, or do you need to be able to support them in their career path, even if it veers them from their current direction or role?
Bring it together with your team…
- Meet with your leadership team and/or your entire team to consider:
The values, behaviors and attitude that your team brings to work each day
Your expectations of their working relationships with each other – up, down and across the team
How they want to build these constructs and live them every day
How will you measure their satisfaction and the success of these constructs continuously?
Take the time to thoughtfully consider your team from a holistic point-of-view and define a plan to cultivate those relationships. It is guaranteed to result in a stronger team dynamic and more motivated, productive and engaged employees.