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IT’S a tough world running an agribusiness if you’re surrounded by people who have a poor work ethic, are not skilled enough and think they are entitled to a pay rise every month.
When you’re yearning for growth, increased profits or even just consistency, how do you find and build a team that is just as enthusiastic as you, and more to the point, how do you keep them?
Here’s the major piece to the puzzle. Before you do anything, go to a mirror and take a good hard look at… yourself.
Whether you like it or not, as a small to medium enterprise agribusiness operator, you have created what’s around you.
If your business is running exactly the way you like it, achieving the dream, growing, developing whatever your vision is – congratulations. If it’s not – then spare a minute or two.
Your business is a reflection of you – if you don’t like what you see, the good news is you can change it. It’s said one of the most important assets in your business is the people who work in it. But how did they get there in the first place?
Here are five key steps to leading a great team:
Step 1: You
The first step to better leadership begins with you ‘being’ the example, not ‘setting’ the example. If you expect your team to be in on time, then you commit to the time you’ve set for yourself too. If there is a certain expectation over how a job is done, do it that way yourself – then you’re the standard personified.
Grow your skills, step out of your comfort zone, develop yourself personally, and never stop.
Step 2: Attract
Set about creating an attractive environment to attract great people. How can you expect to have a five-star team with five-star productivity if your work place is just a two-star facility? Ensure your team-members become ‘raving fans’ of working with you and your business, because of the environment that you have created for them to succeed.
Step 3: Start them off right
Don’t just throw your team-members into the deep end when they start. Get them inducted properly with job descriptions, team-player handbook, share your vision regularly, provide regular training and goal-setting. Set your team up to succeed from the start.
Step 4: Feedback
Feedback is essential for any successful business. People’s intentions are 99pc good, it’s just their actions that can tend to go astray. Let your people know how they are going. Praise and acknowledge regularly and reprimand effectively when required.
Step 5: Acknowledge
Many agribusiness owners think that staff only want more dollars as an incentive. Not true. Praise and recognition is very powerful, and only a small percentage of people are driven to perform by giving them more money. Everyone is different.
Do you know what your individual team players like to be rewarded with? If not, ask. For some it could be a dinner for two with their partner. For others, a day off to spend with their family, or to make a long-weekend to attend a distant event. What gets rewarded gets repeated.
And most importantly, celebrating your team accomplishments or when they exceed goals – be sure to recognise and celebrate the wins.
The hallmark of an outstanding team is camaraderie. The team’s success will build on itself, and your team and your company will be the better for it as the team takes on more responsibility.