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How to Look After Your People So They Look After Your Business

Imagine being supported in your business by a team that were reliable, competent, communicated effectively with clients and colleagues, had heaps of initiative and a great attitude.

No, this is not a pipe dream. It can happen for you. However it takes an investment of time and energy on your part to create a strong, supportive and valuable team - It doesn't happen by osmosis.

In many of my public workshops on How to Have Less Mess, Less Stress and More Success we often have disgruntled employees attend. It's not that they don't want to be at the presentation, in fact they gain heaps of benefit from being there. They are frustrated in their workplaces because their bosses in many instances do not care or look after their people.

Many employers think it's good enough to provide you with a job, let you know when you're not performing, and if you're lucky, take you to lunch for your annual Christmas bonus!

Jerry's Story
Jerry was the Head of Department in an educational institution. He was headhunted to this position one year ago. He was made many promises including having his own personal assistant as he would be responsible for 5 team members.

The Principal promised a salary review in six months and flexibility in hours. Jerry was informed there would be some after hours activities involved but these would be minimal.

Ten months later Jerry had no personal assistant. He had to do every single administrative task himself. He spent more time addressing the needs of his team at the detriment of his other responsibilities. Extra curricular activities ate up an extra 12 hours a week on top of the 50 hours he spent at school just to stay on top of the workload! He couldn't take time off in lieu for the additional hours he worked as his department was already understaffed. Overtime wasn't part of his salary package.

Jerry had constantly spoken to the Principal who agreed to lighten his load yet hadn't taken the necessary action to do so! Lack of action from one person often forces the other to react and take control.

Jerry had enough! He tendered his resignation after successfully applying for a position in another school.

The Principal from his old school promised Jerry that he would make the changes he so desperately wanted. Unfortunately for the Principal, the staff and in turn the students, it was too late. Jerry had enough. He decided to take control of his situation and not be reliant on the actions of others.

Since leaving he was so much happier. His health and personal relationships improved dramatically.

Jenny's Story
Jenny worked in an accounting practice. As a manager she had many responsibilities. Not only was she supposed to manage a team of people and deal with all their issues, she also had to bill seven hours of chargeable time each day.

Jenny was constantly stressed out. She would often stay late so she could work uninterrupted and catch up on what she should have done during the day. There was no way she could reach her targets and manage her team if she didn't do that.

She tried on several occasions to explain to the partners of the practice that the workload was unrealistic. She had a number of solutions that would help not only her situation but eventually make the business more money, however the partners would say they would implement these changes and never followed through on her suggestions. They were too busy being busy.

Eventually Jenny left. Not only did she resign, so did four members of her team. Also some of Jenny's clients followed her to her new place of employment. That equated to thousands of dollars lost in that business not to mention the time involved hiring and training new people.

How to Build and Retain a Valuable Team
Before I share these tips with you, be aware that it is extremely important to hire the right type of people for your business in the first place. See our newsletter How to Hire the Right People. Many employers have the 'hire and hope' mentality. After the person has been hired the employer hopes they work out.

1. Regular Performance and Incentive Reviews
Measure your team's achievements on a regular basis. Formally appraise the performance of each individual twice a year. Salary increases, bonuses and incentives should be based on these performance reviews.

2. Weekly Team Meetings
Learn how to run an effective meeting and have these weekly with your team.
Have a set time each week. Ensure the agenda allows for their input. See How to Have Successful Meetings

3. Personal and Professional Development
Invest regularly in their development, both technical and non-technical skills. The new-found knowledge can be extremely valuable to your business. By learning and developing your people, they will also be more motivated.

4. Develop Your Own Leadership Skills
Turn yourself into a Masterful Manager. There are many skills required to be an effective manager 'delegation, organisation and communication etc.

Participating in specific programs such as our Masterful Manager's Intensive Coaching Program will turn you into a powerful leader that gets results and maintains a happy, productive and high performing team.

The Final Word
Looking after the people in your business is vital to ensure it's ongoing success'whatever 'success' means to you.

A happy, skilled and motivated team if managed effectively will have a huge impact on productivity.

To continue doing the same thing and expecting a different result is the definition of insanity. So if you want to achieve different results, take action today!

Have a great week

Lorraine Pirihi

About the Author
Lorraine Pirihi, principal of The Office Organiser is Australia's Personal Productivity Coach. She specialises in working with businesspeople showing them how to dramatically boost their productivity, reduce the stress and the mess in their lives and have more time for enjoying their life.

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