By Eric Woodruff, CPA, CCIFP
Partner, Audit & Assurance Services
A leader is only as strong as the team behind them. As you continue adapting to how COVID’s changing the business world, you might want to step back and consider your team. Now is the time for your ego to take a backseat. During challenging periods like this, you shouldn’t try to do everything yourself. Admit your weaknesses and surround yourself with people who have the strengths you don’t possess.
Listed below are some tips to help you get started on the path toward embracing and strengthening your team.
Listen closely! Encourage staff members to speak up, point out the company’s flaws and offer suggestions for improvement. Don’t let them think they’re going to hurt your feelings or undermine your authority. Remind them that you’re all in this fight together. Creating a collaborative environment is vital, especially during a crisis like the COVID pandemic.
The best way to inspire your employees is to make them feel like their goals within the company are part of your own vision for its future. Where do they hope to see themselves next month or next year? Raising these questions will let them know you have their best interests at heart and that they aren’t simply serving your needs.
Invest in your people. Make sure they have all the necessary resources, including tools and training — not just in the beginning, but continuously throughout their time at the company. As more of us are working remotely, now is a great time to catch up on webinars, training programs, etc. The current workplace environment mandates that your staff continues to evolve and advance in the field. Coach your employees and motivate them to keep growing and thriving. But also be patient and give them the proper amount of autonomy and time to blossom. Focus on building upon each individual’s established strengths — don’t try and fit that square peg in a round hole!
Identify strengths and weaknesses. The most successful businesses have an effective talent management system for finding the perfect fits for each department. If competency gaps are opening up within your organization, perhaps you need to rethink recruitment campaigns, provide more training or delegate certain tasks to different employees. You should ultimately strive to create an eclectic team. Diversity of thought and expertise breeds success. Bold strategies and actions may be required in order for you to survive and thrive!
Again, keep your ego in check and lean on your team for support. Running a business isn’t a one-person show — it’s an ensemble piece! The successful business owner will surround themselves with team members who have complementary skills that enhance the enterprise.