No matter what kind of business you run, the productivity of your team is essential to your success. As a founder, productivity comes easy to you - it’s your business, and you want to see it grow. You will do anything necessary to ensure your company is moving at the fastest pace possible. However, you as an individual can only take your company so far. As you grow your team, you will surely notice that the people you bring on board are not as productive and motivated as you are.
In this article, we will explore how to put your team in the same mindset as you in order to ensure maximum productivity from everyone in your agency.
Like I said, your productivity isn’t an issue (and if it is, this isn’t the article for you). So, why is that? As a founder, you have skin in the game. What you earn is entirely dependent on the success of the company - because of this, you’re always looking for the next thing you can do to make progress.
While employees are motivated to keep their jobs, they aren’t directly looking for ways to make the business grow - they’re looking for ways to impress their boss. This can lead to the appearance of productivity, while most things that are being done are purely for that appearance, and do not necessarily impact the growth of the company. There are 3 ways to put your team members in the mindset of a founder - money, reaching career goals and responsibility. Let’s discuss these 3 topics.
If you make the same amount of money regardless of how well the company you work for performs, what is your incentive to perform? Perhaps you will have hope in the back of your mind that you will get a raise or you will be promoted, but these are not situations that you are able to take actionable steps towards reaching. At the end of the day, that all depends on what your boss thinks. Now let’s look at another example. You, as an employee, get paid in direct proportion to the success you bring to the company. Every month, your salary is a reflection of what value you bring to the company. You can see exactly how well you did, and you are reminded every time you check your bank account. If you didn’t perform very well, you are constantly reminded that you need to do better. On the other hand, if you did perform well, you know exactly what you need to do in order to keep & increase your earning potential.
As an employee, you are now in the exact same frame of mind as the founder of the company - that being said, you know that you can only go so far with the job you’re doing. That’s where we get into the topic of reaching career goals.
The vast majority of people you work with have some sort of an idea as to where they want to be in 1 year, 5 years, 10 years, and so on. As a founder, understanding these goals is absolutely crucial when it comes to increasing the productivity of your team members. Let’s step back into an employee’s shoes for a minute. You’ve just accepted a job as a graphic designer, but that’s only your starting point in the overall journey, that is your career. Imagine one week after you get hired, your boss asks where you want to be in 5 years - you answer stating you’d like to be the creative director at a massive company, working on world-leading advertising projects.
After the conversation with your boss, they let you know that they have a good idea of how you can get there. They lay out a clear path for you to achieve this goal within the company. You’re going to leave that conversation motivated for what the future holds, and ready to get to work.
The increase of money & the heightened position sounds great in theory, but if your employee starts to feel that this path isn’t possible for them, the motivation will quickly dwindle. That’s where responsibility comes into play. You need to work 1-on-1 with your team members to give them actionable steps to achieving this goal (whether it is about money or their career), while making sure they are completely aware that their success relies on nothing more than their ability to take these steps.
With a clear plan on how to make more money and move to their dream position, your team member is now ready to work and will do whatever it takes to meet their goals - which means higher productivity across your organization.
You can’t apply this strategy to anyone. For this to work, you need to have a team member who is naturally motivated and hard working. Applying this strategy will allow you to determine which of your employees fit this role, and it will give them the framework they need to truly work to their greatest potential.