Teams do not thrive unless their leaders make intentional investments in their development. Here are four simple ways to remember how to invest in your T.E.A.M:
Training: Invest Through Knowledge
Team members need the “know how” to accelerate in their given areas of responsibility. Training–conferences, seminars, workshops, university courses, etc.–provide the knowledge necessary to improve performance. As the old saying goes, “The only thing worse than training your people and having them leave, is not training them and having them stay.” I would also add that training needs to come from fresh sources (not just the sources we’re most comfortable being around). Without the regular input of knowledge from fresh training sources, we become victims to the disease of mindless mingling.
Equipping: Invest Through Resources
One of the gifts technology has provided for us is instant access to resources. Whether podcasts, blogs, DVDs, ebooks, or articles, provide your team with the resources to help them grow. Many of your staff could turn “drive time” into “growth time” if they had the resources to do so.
Application: Invest Through Opportunities
Our goal is not simply to pump our team members with more information. True leadership is learned on the job. As leaders, we need to give our teams responsibility that requires the exercise of greater leadership skills. There’s a big difference between delegating tasks and empowering people with authority. When you invest in your team by trusting them with greater responsibility, opportunity, and decision-making power, you are moving closer to empowerment. As Captain Michael Abrashoff said, “Empowerment means defining the parameters in which people are allowed to operate, and then setting them free.” If you struggle with empowerment here’s a five-step process to help you get started.
Mentoring: Invest Through Relationships
The Gallup organization discovered that 65% of people that leave a company are actually leaving their managers. I believe if leaders take the time to coach or mentor their teams, employee engagement would dramatically increase and performance would accelerate. Mentoring and coaching is essential to inspiring growth in others. Ultimately, coaching helps you take AIM at the potential inside of your team members.
Investing in your team is one of the greatest gifts you can offer. There’s nothing like working for somebody who cares about your personal growth and development. And if you want to help your team create a personal development plan, check out my free ebook, How to Create a Plan for Personal Growth.
Question: How can you improve the investment you are making in your team?