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Are you getting the best out of your team?

Variety is the spice of life, as the saying goes, and this certainly rings true for the workplace. We all bring different skills, talents and personalities to the table, and it’s important that companies not only identify but embrace these individual strengths.

We’ve all heard the odd horror story of bosses not appreciating or valuing their staff, but with 66%* of employees saying they would likely leave their job if they didn’t feel appreciated, the power of feeling like a truly valued part of the team shouldn’t be underestimated.

*Robert Half office team survey

Great working environments allow employees to flourish, regardless of where they see themselves headed career-wise. We can sometimes be guilty of thinking management is the only route to success, but we need to recognise that not everyone will fit into the traditional role of manager and success comes in many shapes and forms.

Businesses are not just built on products or ideas, but their workforce. To keep employees motivated, engaged and performing at their best, they need to be able to learn and grow without feeling under pressure to follow a certain path.  

If people take on a role that doesn’t suit them or their personal goals, we run the risk of creating stressed employees. A recent survey revealed that for a huge 59%* of people, work was the most common cause of stress. Feeling stressed is not only bad for morale and wellbeing, it also has a knock-on effect on productivity.

Interestingly, stress at work was most common among millennials (26%). As new generations enter the workplace, we need to be doing all we can to reduce this pressure and focus on creating a happier, creative and more fulfilled workforce.

*2018 UK Workplace Stress Report

It’s a common misconception that promoting star performers into a managerial position will equal instant success. But people who are promoted without necessarily having the emotional intelligence or interest in managing others could cause stress not only for themselves, but their entire team.

Data by Gallup found that as many as 50% of employees leave their job because of their managers, while 70% said managers are responsible for how engaged they feel at work. A lot of companies create positions and then find people to fill the role, but should we be looking at it from the other way? Should we be shifting our mindset and trying to find the right role and environment based around someone’s skills and talents?

Caring for employees’ long-term growth and happiness is all about creating a culture of trust and openness, where staff are encouraged to talk freely about their likes and dislikes. We may come across things that we’re unable to change and having an open and honest conversation is even more critical in these situations.

Taking time out to speak to employees regularly and building an open and two-way channel is also invaluable when it comes to motivation. It doesn’t call for formal meetings; it can be as simple as having a chat at their desk or over a coffee and discussing their thoughts on the job. What does the ideal role look like for them? Are they happy in their current position? What would they like to achieve? What more can be done to help them? Regular chats and timely feedback should be the norm, not the exception.

Working together successfully as a team means making it a personal experience, where everyone recognises each other’s strengths, can build relationships and work well together. Team building workshops using psychometrics that tell us about preferences at work are a great way to develop those skills and help team members bond outside the confines of the workplace.

This also applies to managers themselves; to successfully lead a team, managers need access to the right resources and tools to be able to do so. Becoming responsible for a team is a huge task and in many instances, people are thrown in the deep end without any formal training but time and skills are often the biggest barriers to effective leadership. To help managers thrive in their role, companies should offer the right training and ensure they have enough time to individually invest in each team member so they can reach their full potential.  

Ultimately, giving all employees time, energy, encouragement and the resources they need to grow will make the team a success.

Give yourself and your team the best chance at success

As a DBA member you have access to an enviable host of resources to support you on all aspects of the business of design. From contracts to client opinion, legal updates to HR support, DBA resources give you instant access to expert advice and tools to help solve a wide range of business challenges. Find out more about your member services here.

Part of the DBA’s mission is to keep you at the top of your game. Explore the workshops on offer below for the chance to develop new skills and practical tools to get the best out of your team. Take a look at all upcoming events here.

About: Aliya Vigor-Robertson, Founding Partner, Journey HR

Aliya started her HR career in 1996 and co-founded JourneyHR in 2010. Aliya works with Founders and business leaders in the creative industry and advises them on creating sustainable and creative cultures where their people can thrive and their businesses get great results. 

Aliya is also a DBA Expert. Find out more about the DBA’s experts register and how our specialists could make a positive difference to your business here.

Image credits:

Josh Calabrese, Unsplash
Aliya Vigor-Robertson


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