If you put a tight grip on your team, you are going to find you do not have much left to hold on to.
My role as a point leader is to help my team achieve their dream jobs. In my own organization, our team reports to be working in the 90th percentile of engagement. That means all day long, all year long, individual team members are spending 90 percent of their time on things that give them energy.
What does this mean? It means that they are working in areas of their passion. They are using their strengths to make the things that they want to achieve happen. They go home at night exhausted, but cannot wait to return the next day. Helping somebody achieve the job of their dreams should be extremely gratifying for all leaders. By empowering team members to achieve what they are hard-wired to do, leaders enjoy four key results when this becomes a reality.
- Your Employees Know Their Worth. I want people to know what they are worth and that the market appreciates them. They will have other opportunities and when that happens, I want them to choose us, but if there is an opportunity that is better for them and their family, I want to be on that job reference for them. I want to be quoted in the press release that talks about them taking a new job and how proud our organization is of them.
- You Retain Talent. When we deal with people in their careers and their growth, I love the analogy of a handful of sand. Being open-handed means that you get to keep great people, and you get to gather resources. If you put a tight grip on your team, you are going to find you do not have much left to hold on to. For Southwest Michigan First, if we want to retain great talent, we know that we can only retain people by giving them lots of choices and lots of opportunity. They know they are valued, and they know the marketplace values them. They are empowered to make conscious decisions and do not feel like they are stuck.
- Your Team is Efficient. Part of our hiring and onboarding strategy is to put team members in roles where they get exposed to everything in the organization. By strategically doing this, we are telling them that part of their job is to design their own job—to design what “great” looks like for them. After a year or 18 months, we find them coming back saying: “Here is what needs to get done in the organization. I can take ‘this’ off these people’s plates and combine ‘it’ with what is not being done. By doing so, I now have a full-time job that fills my soul and expands the impact and influence of the organization.”
- Your Company Gets Recognized. Our company has been recognized as one of the best small workplaces in America by groups like Best & Brightest Companies to Work For, Outside Magazine, and Crain’s Detroit Cool Places to Work. These groups measuring from the outside have told us that our culture is different enough that it puts it among the elite of all organizations in the U.S. in terms of productivity and results. The results are based on the feedback of the people leading at our organization and their commitment. If you want to win in the future, invest in your people today.