For those of you who know me, you know I live on an animal rescue ranch. At any given time we have anywhere between 40-60 animals here of all ages, sizes, and varieties. Right now, we have three barn cats, six kittens, a puppy and her mom, two goats, two donkeys, one pony, one horse, four ducks, five chickens, and fish in the pond. Oh, and I also have my own three dogs and three cats.
As you can imagine, feeding time gets interesting. Everyone has their own bowl with their own special type of food, in just the right proportions to keep them energized, healthy, and doing their best. Prepping all these meals takes about an hour in the morning and again in the afternoon. As I’m making my rounds feeding everyone, I sometimes wish I could just give them all the same food at the same time – maybe a giant trough in the backyard with some type of all-species food in it. However, there’s no way I could do that. Not only is there no food that meets the needs of all of these animals, there are some things that some of them eat that would make the others sick!
And guess what? The same goes for you in the care and feeding of your team.
Although they’re all humans (I’m guessing so anyway) they all need different care from you to be energized, healthy, and doing their best. This means you need to take the time to get to know your employees to identify their needs. It means you have to spend time with them one-on-one finding out if those needs are being met and whether they feel motivated.
Unfortunately, too many leaders use a trough approach to the care and feeding of their employees. Instead of taking the time to spend time with each employee on a regular basis, they send out mass emails in the hopes that all will be motivated by the same messages or mass emails containing “constructive criticism” in the hopes that the few who need it will get the point. Although it seems a lot easier to take this one-size-fits-all, mass messaging approach to lead employees, when you do this, you’re going to find your employees aren’t nurtured, turnover will high, and morale will be low.
Once you begin to take the time to give each of your employees the specific, individualized care and attention they need, you’ll find your employees will be more productive, engaged, motivated, and dedicated to you and your organization.