Commitment or Compliance
As a small business owner, how do you lead your employees? Are they committed to your company, or are they just compliant with you?
The truth is, your company can function well with both types of employees, but it will thrive with those who are committed to your mission, your values, to you. As an entrepreneur, there is risk involved and that can feel scary. What if you invest time, energy, and resources into an employee who turns out not to be as committed as you originally thought?
Here’s the difference: a truly committed team member passionately says,”I will do it!” or “I want to do it!”. A compliant team member says, “I can do it if I am told to.” And then there’s the non-compliant team member that says, “I will not do it.” Those team members usually don’t make it long-term.
So, how do you get your team to be “all in!” vs. “simply going through the motions”?
Unfortunately, there’s no secret Koolaid to drink and instantly, all employees are committed. It will take work and intention on your part. Think of it as taking on a journey. As long your business exists, you’ll be leading your team towards excellence, and you’ll be continually communicating the vision behind WHY you do WHAT you do. People will follow processes, but what will earn their commitment? When they follow values, vision, YOU! Here are two keys to a committed team.
You know communication when it comes to running your small businesses. But in the frame of commitment, we’re talking about internal communication.
Do you know each of your team members? Truly know them? Of course, you don’t need to know every nitty-gritty detail of their lives, but do you know their passions, goals, and interests? Once you do, you’ll be able to lead them better, communicate better, and ultimately earn their genuine commitment because you care.
Stay connected with your team members! When you are interacting with them on an individual or group basis, it’s easy to get distracted with the busy-ness of the day. Stay connected, develop a focus on your team that lets them know how much you care. Take the relational risk of caring first. The long term dividends are huge.
As a small business owner, you know the culture of your workspace is ultimately up to you. You hired employees because you can’t do all the work yourself. But when it comes to culture, it’s up to you to set the tone. You need to create a “culture of commitment” for your team. We recommend you start by sharing your own values/company values (see our blog on Core Values) and then put it in action but your own personal habits Every. Single. Day.
You’re leading by example. If your employees agree with you, and like what they see, you’ll have the most loyal, most committed team around.
Another part of the culture of commitment is entrusting your employees with jobs that offer real and lasting meaning to the work of your team. This again has an element of risk but it’s so important. Who wants to show up to a job and punch a clock? But showing up to a job where you know you’re valued, it’s a key shift that will affect your company culture for the better. Your team members will know their contributions play key roles and are key to the business’s vision and purpose.
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