31 May 2018

communicationAs team leader, manager or business owner, keeping every plate spinning can be a huge challenge. When you consider how many hats you have to wear, it’s no mean feat. But what’s the most important one? Invariably, it’s being a support.

Have you ever noticed a drop in someone’s performance? How did you handle it? Do you go down the disciplinary route or do you find a new incentive to motivate them?

For me, neither of these are the best option. More often than not, a drop in someone’s performance comes down to something in their personal life or a frustration they’re feeling in the workplace.

Communication is key

I’ve found that sitting down with a cup of tea and an open ear is the best remedy. Being a CEO it would be easy to have a big office with a closed door but would that get the best results? It’s incredibly important to be open to the team to speak with you. There’s no value in being a leader who doesn’t know their team!

As a leader there is no substitute for genuinely caring for your team. I often speak and write about ‘the supportive gene’ – it’s something that we recruit on at UKFast. Every member of the team is naturally supportive and caring.

That means that this behaviour is innate, the team naturally speak with one another and get to the root of an issue. It’s also one of the reasons we limit team numbers to six or less.

In a world where we’re increasingly communicating via email or text message, if you notice one of your team isn’t quite at their best, take some time to spend with them. Have a chat and get to know them.
I remember spending days in the mountains with one of UKFast’s first team members. His relationship had ended and he was at a real low. We spent a few days out of the office, chatting and talking things through – 15 years later he is still a huge part of UKFast.

Ultimately businesses are like families, so get to know your teams and be open and honest with them – then when the time comes that they are having a dip or low, a quick chat can be all it takes to resolve things.

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