Investing in your team is the best investment you can make because when you invest in your team, your team is more likely to invest in your business, which benefits everyone. And it goes beyond profitability. It’s easier to solve problems, rally around your vision, and celebrate successes when we’re all aligned and focused on the same goals and same investments.
Here are 13 ways to invest back into your team that will pay off dividends for your people and your business.
1) Support Continuing Education
Especially in 2022, the younger people in the room (Gen Z and Millennials) prioritize development in their careers. They’re less motivated by money and more motivated by learning. Invest in their growth by providing access to:
Help your team become the best versions of themselves.
2) Invest in a Coach For Your Team
Coaching is the art of creating the ideal conditions for people to cut through the noise, focus on what’s important, and live the life they dream of. It’s great for business owners, but also a great approach to leading other people. The employees and contractors of today want a boss who’s less of a manager and more of a coach. When you provide your people what they need to succeed—guidance, goal setting, engagement—you’re investing in their future success.
3) Promote and Prioritize Self-Care
Work-life has evolved over time, and with the rapid changes of the last few years, economic pressures, and the explosion of virtual work environments, there’s an even greater need for people to find a balance so they can do their best work. If you invest in your team’s self-care, you make it clear their health and wellbeing is a priority to you. People want to work for companies that recognize and prioritize mental wellbeing.
4) Indulge in Random Acts of Appreciation
Especially in work environments, it’s important to show you appreciate your people. Expressions of gratitude shouldn’t be isolated to yearly reviews; make them part of your culture. Send a quick Slack message acknowledging an employee’s effort on a recent project. Incorporate kudos into your internal newsletter (we do just that at Brainchild Studios). Call out the good stuff.
5) Acknowledge and Activate Love Languages
There are five love languages–words of affirmation, acts of service, quality time, physical touch, and receiving gifts. When you know your team’s love languages, you can communicate with them in ways that hit the mark, over and over again. If somebody’s love language is quality time, sending them gift cards, while well-intentioned, won’t help them feel cared for as much as offering your time. Meet them where they are.
6) Survey them and then do Something About It
Your team has valuable insights into your business that you don’t have because your perspective is different. Asking for feedback is a great way to invest in your team because it shows you value their input. Send out regular surveys asking for their two cents and to solidify your investment, follow through on the feedback and make changes.
7) Say “yes” to Summer Fridays
No matter how old you are, summer is a sacred time. In Wisconsin, we’re all cooped up in the winter and need to soak up the rays as much as we can, when we can. Give your team the day or afternoon off so they can enjoy the afternoon beer garden hangs, bike riding with their kids, or drinking an iced tea on the patio in the afternoon sun.
8) Encourage and Help them Set Boundaries
Your employees have limits, too, and should be welcome to advocate for themselves. Burnt out employees are just not able to contribute the way they want to. Pro tip: start by modeling boundaries yourself. Share with them how you make sure you eat dinner with your family or how you won’t be working for the last two weeks in December for some necessary decompressing time. It starts with you.
9) Ask About their Dreams and Help them Achieve them
If you want to invest in your team, ask them what their dreams are and help them achieve those dreams. Sometimes people don’t like the word “goals” but everyone has “dreams,” so rephrasing might be well received.
If you can connect them with somebody from your network, do it. If you can create a pathway to a promotion, do it. If they want to open their own business someday, give them opportunities to develop the skills required to do so.
10) Schedule Meaningful Team Bonding Activities
One of the best ways to invest in your team is to get your team together to relax and have fun. All work and no play… well, you know the story. It’s important to make your team bonding activities opportunities to connect. Here are some ideas to get you started.
- Team retreat
- Spa day
- Clothing swap
- Happy hours
- Holiday parties
- Team dinners/lunches/breakfasts/brunches
11) Support and Celebrate their Lives Outside of Work
Your team members are more than just what they do, they’re also who they are. Invest in your team by showing you see them, really see them, and that means supporting and celebrating their lives outside of work.
In 2020, our team at Brainchild Studios surprised our Managing Director and cheered her on during her birthday half marathon. When team members have babies, you can bet they get a basket of gifts for their new addition. Show them you see there’s a lot more to who they are then the tasks they complete on the job.
12) Let them Control their Time (within reason)
It’s not reasonable to make everybody work the same way. Some of us (myself included) do our best work later in the day. You probably have early birds on your team, too. Some people HAVE to work in collaboration or others, and some people do their best work solo. Embrace the differences and let your people control their time, as long as they’re hitting deadlines and it doesn't conflict with the general operations of your business.
13) Write Handwritten Thank You Cards
Don’t underestimate the power of a handwritten card. When you take the time to handwrite a thank you note, you show your investment in your team through effort, intention, and the thought you put into your words. It’s a special touch that shows you care.
If I had to recommend one way to start investing in your team, I’d point you towards coaching. It’s a mindset shift, but one that can revolutionize your work environment and it’s a gift that lasts a lifetime since you’re literally helping people achieve their dreams. If you want to learn more, let’s talk!
Kiley Executive Coach & Consultant
Kiley Peters is a serial entrepreneur, national speaker, executive coach, and small business consultant. Having personally counseled over 100 small and medium-sized businesses on operations, business development, digital marketing, and consumer behavior analysis over the last 17 years Kiley is incredibly passionate about serving small business owners. She is the Founder and CEO of Brainchild Studios, a research and business strategy partner for small businesses and mid-market executives, and also created the Work From Home Playbook, a series of online courses guiding aspiring entrepreneurs through the steps of starting a virtual business. With these experiences in her back pocket, she understands the challenges and struggles small business owners encounter.more posts by Kiley →
Small Business, Life
Small Business, Life
Executive Coaching, Small Business, Life