"How can I give back to my team?" Assessing your options
We hear “I want to give back to my team but I don’t know how or what that looks like” more often than you think. If you’ve said this to yourself, don’t feel alone.
Here is our quick and dirty guide to get straight into creating a plan to give back to your team in a way that will actually mean something to them!
First up is to just ask them what they want. Work smarter, not harder. Here are questions we recommend asking your team.
- What area of your life do you feel you most want to improve?
a) Work and professional development or growth
b) Yourself as a person
c) Your family
d) Social, friends, and weekends
- What area of your time at work do you feel could use the most improvement?
c) Learning and development
d) Your role and day to day tasks
e) Your manager or the leadership more broadly
f) The organisational culture
Yep, it’s as simple as those two questions. From the answers, you can get a sense of direction for where you should spend your time, effort, and dollars.
The answers to question 1 might be a little harder for you to address, as you’re limited by what you can do as an employer for your team’s time outside of work. But there are some great examples of how other companies have done it.
For the employee as a person:
A learning and development budget that can be used on any skill or topic they like is a great place to start. The key with this is to really advertise to them that they have that budget, and highlight when it is used. Saying Kelly did a cooking class at TAFE on the weekend will encourage the other members in your team to use this budget as well.
For the employee’s family:
Adding an additional paid day off per quarter, introducing flexible working hours or work from home policies, and even allowing kids to come into the office will go a long way here. There aren’t any direct costs with initiatives, but if you did have some budget to spare, consider using tickets to cinemas, theme parks, zoos, events, or vouchers for event organisers as ways to reward your team in a way that they can share with their family.
For the employee’s social life:
Having a clear distinction between work hours and non-work hours is super effective here. It’s impossible to relax over the weekend when you’re checking emails, terrified of every notification that comes through, and “just getting a head start on the week” on Sunday night. Draw boundaries, lead by example on them, and set standards for what counts as an emergency worth breaking the rules for.
The important thing is that once you know what area you should be focusing on, you work collaboratively with your team to decide on a course of action. If you pick something no one wanted in the first place, it will have the opposite effect of what you were hoping for!
The answers for question 2 are a lot more straightforward and your reaction to them should be a lot easier to decide on.