Is Your Team Dragging Your Biz Down?
We’ve all had co-workers that were negative, didn’t pull their weight, or actively drug the morale of the team or company down (we’ll call these bronze players). And on the flip-side, there were those shining examples of teammates, managers, and employees that could kick ass, take names, and encourage those around them to do the same (gold players). Lastly, there’s a third section that the vast majority of employees or team members fall into - they’re able to do the tasks or job at hand, but may need more coaching and encouragement to get there (silver players). If given enough time, bronze team members can actually cause silver and gold ones to leave and create a toxic work environment and culture. In my past work experience, I’ve had the displeasure of being in a company that didn’t actively prune their employees to make sure the company thrived, and it impacted the quality of work they were putting out into the world and providing to their clients.
This is something that we as business owners need to be conscientiously doing as well. Reflecting on whether you’re needing to provide constant encouragement, corrections, or guidance to a contractor OR employee (particularly once they’re through any training phase). Paying attention to their attitude, reviewing how each team member feels about the others, and being proactive in coaching and correcting behavior can all lead to a healthier team and business. If you don’t take the time to have conversations that may feel a little uncomfortable at the time, you can end up losing incredibly valuable members of your business - potentially leaving you and clients in a lurch.
If you have employees, this can be handled on a regular basis by taking note of feedback from clients, other employees, and your own personal interactions with the employee. Using quarterly or annual reviews (having anonymous peer reviews, plus self reviews helps immensely). However, if you’re like a lot of business owners, your team may consist of some kick ass contractors or vendors that you work with regularly. In that case, you don’t get to dictate how they work with you and your business, but you DO get to decide if you choose to continue working with them. A big part of deciding to work with a contractor is handled by my OBM. She is the core of my business operations, and over the last few years, it’s become apparent that anyone I bring in needs to have both of our stamps of approval, particularly when I’m not going to be the one working directly with them.
Having a clear company mission and vision statement can help align you with contractors or employees that will be a good fit for where you’re driving your business, and can save time and heartache later down the road. While keeping clear and open lines of communication, and collaborating with existing team members to confirm everyone is on board and excited for any new additions can also help to ensure the success and health of your company culture.
Have you ever experienced bronze, silver, or gold players in your work or business? Comment below and let me know!