I have heard about the historic low unemployment rate from nearly all of my news sources. Regardless of the sources or the specific unemployment number, that number translates into competition for talent.
Since your team members are a customer set of your organization, there should always be an interest in the satisfaction of the team. In most organizations, I believe, the recognition of the team members customer set has evolved far beyond the “unit of production for a unit of pay” management model.
There has been a great deal of management advice on the importance of offering your team experiences that enhance team building. Additionally, there are numerous examples showing team members can work better together when there are activities that build community. Also, an increasing number of workers are interested in community-based experiences and appreciate their organization engaging with the community — for example, Habitat for Humanity or United Way.
This is Memorial Day weekend. To my mind, there is real significance to this holiday. Here are three ideas that might provide a combination of team member engagement and a connection to the community.
— Contact your nearest Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) post and find out when they will be placing flags on the headstones of veterans in your area. When you have this opportunity, I suggest that you pause for a moment and read the headstone of the veteran you are honoring with a flag. When the team finishes their assignments and perhaps shares a cup of coffee with the other volunteers, I can almost guarantee that there will be new learning in the team.
— The American Red Cross is an organization that goes about its life-saving work with relatively little fanfare. To my understanding, there is a constant need for blood of all types. If you or a loved one have received blood for any reason, there is a high probability the Red Cross supplied the blood. Depending on your area, there may be multiple blood donor organizations that also collect and provide life-saving blood to hospitals. Your organization could go as a group to donate blood. I have found the Red Cross to be very efficient and considerate of donors’ time and schedules.
— The last team-building and community connection idea is to attend a movie together. This weekend is the beginning of the summer blockbuster movie season. The good news is that there is always a variety of movies across all rating levels. You can start with the team, move on to their significant others and family and consider sponsoring a youth group in your community to see the same movie. With some advance conversation, the local movie theater might be able to offer a discount on the admissions or on popcorn. Imagine your team in a talk-back session with a youth group after the movie. This experience could be a small thing that keeps a good team member on your team.
Cornell Wright is an author and trainer at The Parker Wright Group Inc. in Stratford. The firm assists clients to increase their market share by improved customer service. He can be reached at 203-377-4226 or email@example.com.