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Do you really know what your team needs? You may sometimes struggle to determine what motivates your team and how this affects their performance. The good news is that simple techniques give you a pretty good idea of what makes your employees tick. Here are five simple ways to find out what your team needs.
1. Look for the telltale signs
If you are unsure what your team needs, look for the telltale signs. Are they working long hours? Are they stressed? Are they not participating in office talks? Are they complaining about something in particular? If so, it might be time to take a closer look at what’s going on with your team.
It’s important to remember that every team is different, and many factors contribute to each person’s happiness on the job — which means you need to figure out what makes each tick.
Related: To Build a Strong Team, You Need to Address All of Your Employees’ Needs
2. Take a pulse check
One of the best ways to know if you have a healthy team is to take a pulse check. Set aside time for a team meeting, and ask each member to share what’s going well and what isn’t. It’s important not to criticize but rather listen and ask questions that help your team members share their perspectives without feeling like they are being judged or criticized.
And then, take a look at what’s happening in your organization right now, and ask yourself: What do we need right now? Then, think about how that need was met in the past; if it wasn’t met, why not? If it was, how did it happen?
Once you’ve done this introspection, you’ll have a clearer picture of your team’s needs and why they need it. This will help guide your next steps — whether hiring new people or making changes within existing roles — and help keep everyone on track with their goals!
3. Look at your metrics
You can’t figure out what your team needs if you don’t know how they perform. That’s why looking at metrics is so important. You can track things like employee churn and productivity, which will help you understand the strengths and weaknesses of your team.
If you want to try this out, here are some quick tips:
Figure out which metrics are important to your business and how to measure them
Set up a system for tracking the data regularly
Make sure everyone knows about it
Related: Your Employees Want to Be Heard — Listen to the Details That Matter
4. Listen to cues
Your team might not be the most vocal bunch, but if you pay attention to their behavior, you can learn much about what they need from you. If you’re constantly getting interrupted or having trouble getting your team to complete their tasks, it could be that they’re feeling overwhelmed. If they’re always late to meetings or don’t seem like they’ve got their heads in the game, it could be that they need more direction.
Whatever the case, listen to cues and try to address them with empathy and compassion.
5. Create a culture of feedback
It’s important to provide your team with clear, constructive feedback that helps them grow and improve. However, it’s equally important to allow them to give you feedback on how they feel about their work and what they need to be more successful.
One way you can do this is by creating a culture where it’s okay for people to share their thoughts — and not just when things go wrong. You might start by encouraging everyone to give feedback on each other’s ideas and projects or even just ask for direct feedback every day at the end of meetings or strategic points throughout the project cycle.
You can also create an open forum where people can anonymously share their concerns or ideas. The key here is creating an environment where people feel comfortable sharing their thoughts and feelings, so they know they’ll be heard and respected no matter what they say!
Related: How to Motivate Your Team Members by Putting Their Needs First
Well, well, well, if you’ve made it to the end of this article, then you must be serious about being a great leader. And let me tell you, great leaders don’t just assume they know what their team needs — they take the time to find out.
By implementing the five strategies outlined in this article — listening, observing, asking, testing and reflecting — you’ll be well on your way to understanding the unique needs and desires of each member of your team. And when you can meet those needs, you’ll be able to create a workplace culture that fosters growth, productivity and overall happiness.
So, to all the bosses out there, stop thinking you know it all, and start taking action to truly understand your team. By doing so, you’ll earn their respect, trust, and loyalty — and that’s the ultimate power move.
And never forget: The best teams have strong dialogue, rapport and trust. Because when team members know their goals and challenges, they can adjust their behaviors accordingly to meet their expectations.
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