5 ways to successfully develop your team

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Finding the right team may feel harder than ever right now. So keeping the great team you have, should be a top priority.

Studies have consistently shown that employees who feel they work for employers that are committed to their development, training, and long-term success are more engaged and less likely to turnover. All good things. Not to mention the improvement in the quality of your work product.

Here are five ways you can contribute to the development of your team right now:

1. Define roles and goals

A great quote goes like this, “If we don’t know where we’re going, any road will lead us there.” If you want your staff on a specific development track, it is your responsibility to put them there.  You cannot assume every team member you have is aware of exactly what their next step in growth should be.

Make sure everyone has clearly defined roles and responsibilities for not only their current role, but the one you want to see them grow in to. If I don’t know what the responsibilities are of the next position I am working toward, it makes it a lot harder for me to develop the skills needed to manage those responsibilities.

2. Provide coaching

Assign more experienced staff members to those who are newer. Coaching should be more focused on soft skills development rather than technical development and it helps to assign coaches to a coach who is also not their direct supervisor.

Skills such as time management, effective listening, relationship development and leading a team are great topics to work on during coaching meetings. It will not only help your team to be highly engaged, but it will provide support beyond just their technical learning.

3. Empower your team

I know how easy it is to slip into “I’ll do it myself” when it feels like it is faster to just complete the work than delegate it to someone you have to provide training and oversight to. Not only does this ensure your team’s technical skills will not grow, it also does not empower them to challenge themselves or make their own decisions.

If you want delegation to be easier in the future, you have to put the work in now.

Training your team that they can communicate in a constructive way, offer feedback and share what they need to be individually successful will produce much fruit in the long run.

4. Incentivize leadership development

This does not always have to be monetary. It can come in the form of a bonus or pay raise but may also come with extra days off, the ability to have a flexible schedule, or the ability to work remotely so many days a week. It helps to ask your team what motivates them as not everyone is motivated by money.

The prize is not as important as the offer to give it. You want to make sure you reward hard work with merit points. We all still cognitively function like little kids that want the gold stars on the teacher’s blackboard, our stars are just a little bit more grown-up now.

5. Communication

If you do not effectively communicate as a leader, neither will your team. Make sure you are developing your communication skills and setting the tone for what’s expected. Communication is critical from their 90-day action plan to achieve their development goals, to check-in conversations, coaching and feedback.

Make sure feedback is two ways. You want your team to communicate with you as much as you communicate with them. Fostering an environment where they are comfortable coming to you when something isn’t working is critical in your road to success, it gives you the opportunity to address issues before they get worse.

Training your team that they can communicate in a constructive way, offer feedback and share what they need to be individually successful will produce much fruit in the long run.

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