Does your team know that you value them? It's a simple question, really. And I don't mean, do you value them but does your team KNOW that you value them? There is a big difference.
In order to build a productive and empowered team, they have to feel that you value what they do, what they say, and most importantly the time they spend with you and your company day in and day out. It's not good enough to say they earn a paycheck, that should be enough.
Here are a few ways to show that you, as a Leader, value your team:
Empower them - Show that you trust your team to make their own decisions. If it goes well, you should thank or congratulate and if it doesn’t go well, you supportively work through a better strategy for next time.
Back them up - Support their decisions and be there when they need you. If they need help, be there to provide it or find someone else who can. Even when they make a mistake, it's important that they know you understood what their thought process was and help them come up with ways to not make that mistake again. (no blame/shame!)
Provide tools for success - Make sure your team has the tools they need to succeed. This could be training, coaching, or mentoring. Or it could simply be supplies or covered expenses.
Allow them to branch out - Provide your team with opportunities to grow. This could be taking on new tasks that are great ways to learn or let them pursue a stretch goal or their interests. With a small team, I sometimes find this one hard but I am trying to be more focused to make sure I allow them to grow. I know I wouldn't be very happy if I couldn't branch out myself, so this is important to me personally.
Listen - This would seem straight forward, but many leaders do not actually listen to their team. I mean, how do you show you have good communication skills if you can't listen? Do so in all of the various opportunities, team meetings, 1:1’s, and in casual conversations. Actually, listen and hear what they are saying. To show them you are listening, you acknowledge, repeat back and even put their ideas and feedback into action.
In conclusion, there a myriad of ways to show your team that you value them. Some of those listed above will work for you and some won't, that's ok, use what does and toss away what doesn't! How do you show you value your team?
Lead with greatness everyone!