Hopefully, you spent some time polishing up your personal PR skills after last week’s post. This week, I want to focus on the value of promoting your team. If you happen to be the one in charge, you can set the tone for two-way communication that keeps your stars rising and gives you positive news to share with your own boss or board of directors.
That’s why, as we begin working with any new Intesa client on communications strategy, we encourage leaders to adopt a Team First approach that fosters consistent messaging, builds rapport and gives individuals a chance to shine. The members of your team are the first line ambassadors for good business both internally and externally.
Depending on the client’s needs, we suggest several different ways to keep the lines of internal communication open. Here are three of my favorites:
- Executive message touting successes. Once a month, send out a short email thanking everyone for his or her hard work. If you’ve heard good things from other departments or know someone has overcome a project challenge or won a difficult client, share it. It motivates achievers to keep achieving and provides incentives for others on the team. Just don’t play favorites.
- Regular presentations on projects. Carve out 10-15 minutes in the monthly all-hands or staff meeting for people to share how they overcame a particular challenge or won a new client. Ask team leaders to nominate presenters, but keep the pressure low. This should be a reward, not extra work.
- Simple rewards for jobs well done. Keep a small box or jar in a central location and encourage your team to drop in short (two-lines or less) notes giving props to a team member for a kindness or a job well done. At each staff meeting, pick a compliment lottery-style and give the winner a small gift card for a nearby coffee shop. Tip: this works best for small teams, but with a little ingenuity, could easily adapt for a larger organization.
A former (very good, well-respected) boss once told me, “When somebody on your team does something great, give them credit. If somebody innocently screws up, take responsibility. The people who matter know what you’re doing. You get credit for being a strong leader and you keep good people on your team who keep getting better.”