Attracting and nurturing top talent is the most crucial part of any growing, ambitious business. We know from our own experience over the years that the right person in the right role makes such a clear impact on the business as well as the wider team; it is something you can’t afford to get wrong.
Last year we introduced our new company values: we own it, we are unstoppable, and we thrive on positive energy. These values were decided upon by our entire team as statements that reflect how we feel about our outsourcing clients, our SmartPAs (our virtual assistants) and our colleagues and leaders. But introducing the values is only half the battle, then you have to nurture the team, encourage these behaviours and live and breathe the values that best reflect brand culture.
Firstly, to create an unstoppable team, you need to recognise that everyone is different. Some people react to incentives, others to praise, others to tough feedback. Working out the pressure points for different people will help you bring the most out of individual members as well as your team as a whole. Accepting that peoples’ differences is what gives your team its strength will help here; you do not want a building full of clones. Different personalities bring different opinions, different ideas and challenges you might not have thought of. They are to be embraced.
You also need to be very aware of the humans around you. People are susceptible to ups and downs, stresses and worries, emotions and irrationalities. If you want a team to be fully motivated and unstoppable, there needs to be an element of awareness and care here. If you are prepared to invest in someone going through a challenging time, they will be eternally loyal when they return to peak performance. It can be very easy to turn to dismissiveness and frustration when a once-strong performer is lagging, but this may result in burned bridges when they realise your respect only goes so far. Increasing the pressure on someone who seems to be at breaking point is not a clever strategy; instead, try having a discrete conversation to understand their situation. Often understanding the problem is half the battle, then you can work on a solution together. Communication is key! This is applicable to both leaders and their teams, so it’s important to be self-aware, as well as tuned into those around you. Once you have a handle on who your team are as people, then you can lead the unstoppable charge towards success.
Sometimes, to maintain that unstoppable nature, it is important to take a step back and reflect on why you do what you do. It can be easy to get lost in the churn; tunnel vision is a common side effect of the daily grind. We, at SmartPA, believe in making a difference. Whether it is improving the work/life balance of entrepreneurs and business leaders or empowering a working mother to run her own successful business, we’re making a positive impact. A common goal is always a unifier and can be a fantastic way to increase performance and encourage unstoppability(a new word, but we like it!)
The final thing to remember is that some people won’t feel how others feel. Being unstoppable, committed and utterly driven to achieve for a brand is often something individuals either have, or don’t have. It is unfortunately the case that this isn’t something you can teach, but thankfully, it is something you can spot straight away. You’ll know if your team members are clocking in and out to collect a paycheck, or if they genuinely care for their career and the team around them. These are team members to nurture and protect, for they are the ones who will drive your business growth and achieve long term, sustainable success. The former team members are best given a generous severance settlement and shown the door.