Taking Care of Your Team is Also Caring About What They Care About
The most important asset in your organization is your team – the people who show up every day and accomplish the goals/deadlines/sales. As a leader, taking care of your team requires empathy and connection to show that you care. It’s one of the best ways to build trust, loyalty and engagement. But there is more. You also need to take care of what your team cares about.
As a leader, you have to dig deep and really get to know your team. Most workers want better pay, less work, or more interesting challenges. To care for your team, you need to know what they are looking for from life, what is important to them personally, and then try to satisfy that need.
I’m fortunate that I have a flexible work environment where most days I can schedule my work so that I’m available to greet my kids as they get off the school bus. I cherish the moments hearing about their day, getting them a snack, starting homework. That is one of my favorite parts of the day. As a trade-off, I’m willing to answer emails and work on projects after the kids are in bed or even during some downtime on the weekend.
My supervisors know this is something I deeply care about. They do their best to not schedule meetings that would require me to miss out on that super important part of my day. The mutual understanding that I get this perk means that I will make sure that all my deadlines will get met, but maybe not in the traditional 8-5 setting.
As a leader, you can offer incentives if you know your team members well and know what they care about. You can better target those incentives and have a more meaningful impact on your employees and their job satisfaction. It could translate that instead of a cash bonus, you offer time off, sporting or theatre tickets, a training course, or whatever it is that they care about.
Take care of what they care about. Meeting the cares of the team will create a stronger, more committed and mutual respectable team.