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How to make your team work

The workforce is the key component in any business. Having a skilled and happy team helps the business to be successful. Happy staff help to create happy customers.

So how can you achieve this? Firstly, you need to find people with the skill set you require and the right mindset for your business. That’s the easy bit! You then need to ensure that you offer them a role which is interesting and in which they can grow, this will help you to have a happy team.

But how do you keep them happy? Listen to them, listen to their ideas and suggestions, you may find that they can make great contributions to your business. If they are doing a good job, tell them. It’s not good enough to presume that they know you are happy with them, tell them, we all like to hear “Well Done” and “Thank You” and if any criticism needs to be said, make sure it is done in a constructive way. Keep your team passionate about their jobs and the company and be honest and open with them.

Often little gestures can go a long way, a tray of donuts during a meeting or a celebratory glass of something when extra effort has been demonstrated lets your employees know you appreciate them and the effort they are making. One day our CEO baked biscuits for the team and iced each team members name on a biscuit. This was really touching because of the effort he had put into making something himself to show his appreciation for the team and this gesture went down really well, (It helped that they tasted delicious too).

Let your team develop and grow in confidence as individuals. We believe that part of being a good employer is helping your employees to see where they could be in the future. Put your trust in your workforce and help them to have the confidence to make decisions and follow them through. By doing this your workforce will be more interested in the success of your business and will enjoy seeing the difference their suggestions have made and any improvements these bring. By allowing your team to grow you will be training them for new roles, making replacing staff internally easier.

Always keep in mind the importance of the mental health of your team. This has become even more evident since the pandemic when the work life of most people has changed dramatically. Many people have gone from working in a busy office to having to work from home and not seeing colleagues in person, only via a screen. Added to this we have had a number of lockdown’s where many people have struggled to deal with the changes to their life and the worry of what may happen next. To help with this it is important to have one to one’s with team members, to talk about work but also personal issues. Although this would ideally be done in person, if this is not possible then via Zoom/Teams is a good alternative and much better than putting it off.

If it’s possible to offer a more flexible working environment, then do. The years of 9 to 5 are gone, and many companies are allowing flexible hours and work locations. By doing this you are opening your workforce to a wider audience. At TheGivingMachine we offer flexible hours and before the pandemic we also offered the choice of working from home or the office. This is a great way to work and as the team is made up predominantly of parents with school aged children, this has worked perfectly. We make the most of their skills while offering them the hours to suit their families. Our team have the perfect work/life balance and as they’re happy, they work better. It really is a win-win situation.

Be interested in your team. With busy working days, it can sometimes be difficult to get to know your employees but this is really important in making them feel valued and part of the team. If you have team meetings, spend the first 5-10 minutes of the meeting asking everyone how they are and what has been going on in their life. By putting this time in, it shows you are interested in the people working for you.

To help the team bond, you could plan team building activities. These should be unrelated to work and involve the whole team. This can sometimes be tricky to organise because you must think of what would work for the whole team and although an afternoon spent climbing walls might be great for some it won’t be for others so think about the activity you want to do which will suit your whole workforce. This should be a fun event for everyone and not something which they endure, and it shouldn’t involve work in any way.


About the author

Luisa Gatward

Our Head of Operations, Luisa is responsible for the smooth running of all operations including marketing and partner relationships. Having started working for TheGivingMachine in 2010, she has seen our Charity grow and develop into what we have today.

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