Sales managers often ask us how to create the kind of atmosphere where talented people want to be. To create a sales culture that attracts and develops top talent, jobs need to contain an element of fun. Fun isn’t all about ping pong tables and fluffy couches—there are so many other ways to create a fun and inviting culture.
Fun can be spelled out many different ways. Here are just a few.
F = FAMILY
Why is a sense of family so important? We spend more time with those we work than we do our relatives, creating a “work family” setting is very important in producing a sense of belonging.
When an environment is built to focus on everyone’s success and potential, it opens the door to this atmosphere. Invite ideas from the entire team and be transparent about the goal and mission. Have your team’s back before you have the back of the outside world. Group outings and team building activities that your “family unit” can participate in together are vital and create a stronger sense of team. Most importantly, don’t forget to manage your team with care and feeling, just as you do a family.
U = UNDERSTANDING
Do we really understand the goals and dreams of each person on our sales team? Do we know what motivates them? Do we walk in their shoes when a deal goes extremely well and celebrate with them? Do we show empathy when things don’t go as expected and pick them back up?
Understanding each person’s talents on a team also allows you to effectively delegate projects to others. Giving responsibility and true ownership over tasks builds trust and provides the feeling that they are making a difference. Write down what each person on your team does well and refer to this list often. Just remember to tell them WHY they are the right person for the job and WHY you chose them. This shows you understand who they are as a person.
Don’t forget to perform an Individualized Management Questionnaire (IMQ) with your staff at least once a year. The IMQ gives you the opportunity to learn how each person wants to be managed and will open a window into how to develop them.
N = NEVERENDING LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES
Growing and developing as a person is a monumental desire of those with top talent. Can learning be fun? Sure it can! Identify the areas in which each individual wants to grow and provide training in that specific area. This is not training for training’s sake, but training that moves the needle to success and happiness.
Give opportunities for people to teach others what they have learned. This will add to their responsibility and it also leads to another growth opportunity—teaching them to train others. When a person has added responsibility they feel they are growing and making a difference.
Take a few minutes and consider what type of “fun” environment you have cultivated with your team. Too often, we think it has to be a “Google” type of atmosphere. Their concept is more than the fluff; it is creating an environment where people feel they are making a difference and have that sense of belonging. Make this your year of FUN and build a culture in which your team will flourish and grow.