How To Make Your Team Feel Significant, Part 2 of 4 in The 3 Things Everyone You Lead Want

by | Jan 14, 2013


Your team needs to know they are significant.   A significant team is a forward moving team.


Image courtesy of [stockimages] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net


I don’t want my team to feel significant, I want them to be and know they are significant.

I’m going to be bold here; if you are a “leader” and you don’t care if your team feels significant.  Go find another job.

If you do want your team to be and feel significant, here are some suggestions.

  • Make sure they know their work is significant. Why would you pay someone to do something that isn’t?  I run a summer camp.  It’s easy for our kitchen staff to feel they aren’t part of delivering our mission.  I’ve heard comments like; “I just wash dishes, how is that helping someone find Jesus?”  We work to show our kitchen staff that without them providing healthy food coming from a clean and sanitary kitchen, there would simply be no residential camp.
  • Check your vocabulary.  Most camp’s have “support staff” and “program staff”.  We now have “foundational staff” and “program staff”.
  • Give equal attention.  We make sure every department has pictures in our end of summer slide show. At our Friday Celebration Meeting, we share success stories about lives being changed.  I make sure to connect how the foundational staff contributed.  The amazing thing is, after the second meeting….I don’t have to do this, whoever is sharing a success automatically adds a connection to another department.
  • Everyone is represented at the decision making table.  At my daily staff meeting, a representative from EVERY department is there.
  • Know and use your teams Language of Appreciation.  (Get the book here) For example; If you give gifts, know your team well enough to give what would mean something to them.  You don’t want to give a gift card to a restaurant the person hates.  Or to Walmart just because it’s easy.  Know your team well enough to be creative.  If you give words of affirmation, how and when you deliver them is as important as what you say. Just because you might want to receive praise in front of everyone, doesn’t mean your team does.  You’re leading other individuals, not your clone.  Side note: If you are thinking, “I have to many people I lead to know details.”  You are leading to many people.  I no longer allow anyone to have more than six direct reports.
  • Connect with the people your team care about and appreciate them.(tweet that)  I sent flowers a couple years ago to my maintenance director’s wife saying “Thanks for allowing us to have Rick on our team.  He is amazing at his job, and we love having him here.”  The next day, he teared up thanking me.  Turns out, the day before his wife had been diagnosed with Leukemia.  It made her feel like gold knowing her “man” was appreciated and significant to us.  You are leading people with lives.  Don’t be afraid to be a part of them.

What do you do to ensure your team knows they are significant?

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Other Post In this Series

Part 1 The 3 Things Everyone You Lead Want

Part 3 How To Make Your Team Feel Accepted,