Thirteen months ago we held a focus group for support team across the country in a giant attempt to figure out where the disconnect lies between the boss and the team when trying to reach a common goal within a small business.
We were just astounded at what we discovered. We want to share our findings with you, not to scare you, but to inspire you. We are hopeful you will hear the commitment of team with an honest, while respectful, cry for you to allow them to help you grow your business with joy and ease. Team members and bosses speak two distinctly different languages, which often leads to disconnect even though both sides want to achieve the same goal. Our hope with this blog series is to allow you an inside look into the thought process and voices of support team so you can better understand and communicate with yours.
The common themes of the conversation were:
• The team wants to be included in the good, bad and the uncertainty.
• It’s the inconsistent, unintentional (or lack) of communication that strangles all faith and hope, for you and for them.
• Once there is a willingness to shed the light on “what’s not working”, then and only then, can we can pave the path of possibility with discernment.
Another theme that made us so very proud to be a part of this industry was the deep, rich and eternal gratitude that each of these team members shared about how honored they were to be important enough to be included. And not one of them took this highly regarded responsibility lightly.
We’ve categorized the responses into three main categories, which we will share in a three-part blog series. The first, contained in this blog, is “What’s your great joy? What do you love most about what you do?” The second is “What are your biggest frustrations working with your entrepreneur?” and the third is “If you could change one thing about your job, what would it be?”
So, here we have it, the voice from the unofficial board room.
What’s your Great Joy? What do you love most about what you do?
a. The value of what we are doing when I explain to clients what it is that we can do for them. It is so powerful and empowering that I can have an effect on someone’s world and help them in such a big, big way.
b. When you step back and say wow, maybe I didn’t get everything I wanted done today or this week but a client just thanked me for eliminating stress in their life and taking care of things for them.
c. We all have that social worker in us and we all really just want to help people. Especially when you see things that go right, it adds fuel to that and makes you want to do it time and time again.
d. When the client at the end comes out from meeting with the boss and says “thank you.”
e. When you wake up in a.m. and you are very excited about going to work. It is such a positive thing to go to work for an entrepreneur that has this amazing ability to create things and bring you into the process. Knowing you had a part in that creation, that happens nowhere else in the world of working except with an entrepreneur.
f. As a woman “out in the world” (in business, the community and at home) people see you as a mom for so long. But when you go back into the work world with an entrepreneur and you are held in esteem, sought out, respected and looked up to for your opinion. It is a huge ego boost and very rewarding and satisfying. It provides such sense of importance and contribution, like nowhere else.
g. As women we get lost in being mother, your home life, and job but never seen as an individual. The individual always comes last until you work for an entrepreneur vs. a big corporation. That your work feeds, nurtures and cultivates your individuality.
h. The partnership of it. My boss doesn’t treat me as just another employee, he sees me as a true partner and values my opinion and even depends on it.
i. When we set a goal and we are able to take such pride when we meet that goal and realize we all had a hand in it.
j. When you see an entrepreneur depending on you to make key decisions it is very rewarding. Then you begin to look at everything with such ownership.
k. Working with someone that is so amazingly creative and that they ask you for your opinion is so very gratifying and satisfying.
l. Everyone has to work to live, but here we live to work because it is fun and we make a difference. You see and feel you make a difference by the personal connection you make with the people that hire us.
m. It is so great to belong to this community. You’re not alone. There is so much motivation in the emotions and stories the clients in this community share. It makes you want to help every family of the community.
Are you surprised at what team members think? Or does this serve as a good reminder of how to connect and communicate with your team? We hope so. In the next blog of these series, a crucial discussion comes up of what to do when you stop believing in your own boss. It’s a tough conversation, but a real eye-opener.
If you have a team you want to begin to feel this pride, ownership and value in their job, consider enrolling them in the Don’t Be a Yes Chick tele-training series to participate in conversations such as these. Next series begins May 30th – contact firstname.lastname@example.org to register or with questions.
Champions of your continued success,
Molly and Laney