Travelling with staff can make or break your team
I have to say I was hesitant about bringing two of our team members to Sydney for the week, that haven't worked closely together, to work on a project. The reason was simple; they have distinctively different personalities. One is a happy, go lucky, incredibly loyal individual who treats the business as if it is his own, and the other is a newer member of the team that hasn't been exposed to all areas of our business, and is relatively reserved. The latter, we have only had glimpses of his personality, and really hadn't had the opportunity to get to know him.
The happy go lucky member of the team has spent a lot of time with me both in the office and on the road. We know how to roll and never have a tense moment. It's quite a fortunate relationship because he supports everything I do and makes my life easier. I can trust him. In return, I give him lots of training and development and nurture his interests in the business, giving him a great perspective of all areas of operations.
The new kid on the block has shown incredible aptitude for business, and he literally is a human encyclopedia. His memory is amazing and ability to write marketing strategies, one of the most impressive I have seen in years.
This is like a "human" experiment, on the road with Marketing Eye.
There are a number of things I have learned:
- It takes a day or two for all parties to understand the lay of the land
- When you are newer to the team you hesitate
- When you have been around for a while, you make fast decisions
- Being thrown in the deep end shows you how good of a swimmer the people on your team are
- Working as a team is easy once you know the goal
- Being away from home means you actually have to work harder and usually the hours are a lot longer, which can be testing (but not in this case)
- If you pick the right personalities, the trip can break down all barriers and all of a sudden you become a team within a team
- What people choose to eat and drink says a lot about their personalities
- When the going gets tough, you know you have the right team behind you when they all put their hand up and make whatever challenge in front of you go away, and turn it into an opportunity
- You see you've succeeded in bringing the right team when all of a sudden you realise that they are now "friends" and not just colleagues
- They succeed when you let them succeed. Holding people back is the biggest mistake many employers make
This trip has been incredible. I am thrilled with the outcome. We are all closer and luckily for us there have been no personality issues or hiccups. Every single minute of the day, we have been a team, and done everything together. They each took on leadership roles and included others at every opportunity. They became very responsible and I could trust that whatever was happening would be sorted. Both showed initiative all the time, and took the reigns, ensuring my life was as easy as possible so I could focus on the business at hand.
Basically, nothing went wrong. I got to know two people even better and I have subconsciously facilitated a new friendship and team spirit, that is going to make the many months that I am away from the offices in which they are located much more productive. I know they each have my back and I am their biggest supporter.
During the trip, the newer team member got to know me. They know how passionate I am about fostering an environment where people follow their dreams.
And... the inside jokes... well... priceless (but they cannot be disclosed I am sorry!).