Building a corporate team that cares and wins

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One of the best compliments that any organisation can hear is that "Everyone in your company is so caring." A team that cares is a team that will rally behind each other and will also build tremendous customer loyalty that wins all the time. 

Experience compels me to question why some organisations have an entire workforce of caring and winning people, while others seem to possess only a few exceptional people with these dispositions. 

Let us discuss the following ways to build a team that cares and wins.

All of your leaders have to care

If your leaders don't care, you can pretty much guarantee that your average team member won't either. All employees need our kindness, and all deserve our kindness. We can give our employees too many “things” and we can award them “pleasures” they do not deserve, but these pleasures only serve to make them feel empty if they were not rightfully earned. When we show kindness with “perks” we nurture entitlement and laziness within our employees who later show poor motivational habits. 

What we can never give too much of is our kindness. Kindness is simple; it is nonmaterial and the feeling we give our employees of our acceptance and/or approval. People work harder for acceptance and approval more than anything else according to Sherrie Campbell. She continues with the following facts that as leaders our most valuable assets are our employees, not our customers. We must take care of our employees so they will be inspired to take care of our customers. Yet, so often out of our own needs and desires, we forget the people who work for us, focusing largely only on getting numbers. 

Sometimes due to our own stress and anxiety, we can become controlling or coercive, robbing our employees of the freedoms they need for their individual growth and success. Leadership requires that we find the balance between overseeing our employees and disciplining them. We must allow them the necessary confusion and suffering essential for their self-discovery in a bid to find their own path to success. All employees have some very basic needs which, if given to them in the correct balance, help them develop the resiliency and skills necessary for their motivation and success.

There's no "this isn't my job"

The winning and caring team clearly doesn’t have to do what employee do as a part of his/her  "job," but the employees simply do it because it was the right thing to do and they cared. 

An IT professional shared this story: 

“About six months ago, I started working in a large IT department, reporting directly to the CTO. I’m not the youngest or most junior person in the department, but I am the only woman. Because of the availability of cubicles (or lack thereof), I ended up on the desk that’s right in front of my boss’s office. I didn’t really think anything of this arrangement at first, but as time went on, I noticed that more and more people were acting as if I’m my boss’s assistant or admin. 

"Often, when people come by to see my boss, they’ll stop at my desk to ask if he’s available, what his calendar looks like for the rest of the day, etc. People will call me asking me to schedule a meeting with my boss, the front desk will call me first when he has a guest, and the transport department drops off his mail/packages at my desk, this is not part of my job description - I’m a mid-level technical specialist who was not hired to perform any of these duties, however, I am enjoying it for the benefit of the whole organisation’s growth and success.” 

This is the posture and attitude we all need to possess for a formidable team and for the good of all.

Seek team members who don't care about receiving credit

 I've seen teams where people step up and go above and beyond when everyone is looking. The special ones, however, do so all the time without an audience. Are you building an 'audience team' because of reward they will get or a team in which everyone goes beyond the extra mile whether people are watching or not? 

There is little leaders can do to slow down the pace and reduce demands on their employees. So leaders' efforts are better spent on equipping employees with the capability to cope with demands, create a supportive environment with high-quality relationships between peers and inspire people to be good organisational citizens. This will help create an environment where people go the extra mile even in challenging situations.

Look for personal recruits

A personal recruit is when someone on your team recommends a friend or acquaintance to interview for your organisation. This can prove to be particularly valuable because if you have a healthy culture, your team members know the expectations of new hires. 

Because of this, they are invested in the company's success and will only seek out personal recruits that are exceptional and also caring. Building a great team is high on the priority list for nearly every company. But employers no longer have the upper hand when hiring. Today's most talented professionals have their choice, with companies fighting for their attention and services. 

Attracting that talent to your organisation is a challenge that must be met head-on, in innovative ways. Money is important, but it's not the only thing top talents want. They want a work environment that challenges them, allows for innovation, makes work fun but also provides work-life balance. This could mean paid time off (PTO), the ability to work from home, time to volunteer in their communities or the ability to take unpaid leave to pursue interests, to name a few. 

Personal finance writer Kevin Mulligan said your company needs to create an employee value proposition (EVP) to use as a selling point with candidates. This should describe what sets your organisation apart and why people should want to work there. 

"The more attractive your EVP is, the more likely you will be attracting the cream of the crop to your company," Mulligan wrote.

Have a very low tolerance for bad attitudes

This last one might be the most important. Human errors, learning new systems, handling stress are all things that you will likely want to emphasise when coaching your team and will require some patience. However, a bad attitude should IMMEDIATELY be addressed with a team member, and it should not be allowed to exist for long. 

Quickly identify who the right people are, get them in the right positions and part ways with the sour grapes sooner than later, but this should also be the last remedy. Adhere religiously to this approach and soon your team will be full of radiators, not drains as expressed by Marty Fukuda. 

Let us summarise this week's discussion on building a corporate team that cares and wins with the following:

1. Every single person deserves to be treated with respect, dignity and a caring heart.

2. Let them know that it’s not all about the money and teach them that their work matters.

3. Hire Smart - hire and keep only people who are sold-out passionate about your cause.

4. Recognise your team early, and watch them strive to achieve more and more.

5. When you create a culture that cares, anything is possible because building a company that cares leads to fanatically loyal winning team members and customers.

It’s never too late to put your company above the usual, The power is yours.