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What is the “Key” to a Team?

By Kraig Ware , VP of Operations, TYGES International

If you’re like me, you have often wondered what is the most important thing you can do for your team? What is the key? There is no doubt that people are the most valuable assets we have regardless of our size, location, or industry. So, what could be done to make the company more attractive, its best, for the team? Many things probably come to mind: Money, Benefits, Office Environment, On-Site Child Care, Continued Education, Systems, and Processes to name a few. But isn’t there always “more” money, “better” benefits, or “nicer” offices?

Let me ask you this…who is your best friend? Why are they your best friend? Is it because of money, benefits, or the home they live in? Ok, some of you may not want to answer that question. But seriously, of course not. There is a personal value, a connection, a relationship…it’s just fun to hang out and do life together.

I recently read a book, “FIRST, Break All The Rules” by Marcus Buckingham & Curt Coffman. Basically the book is based on a Gallup study that was conducted on over 80,000 Managers in over 400 Companies. There was a correlation between employee opinion and business unit performance, across many different companies. Second, this study revealed that employee opinion was not consistent within a company; yet, it was consistent within each business unit they worked for within the company.

“This means that the team’s immediate manager had more influence than the overall policies and procedures of the company.”

Perhaps this Gallup study confirms the gut feeling that it is not just about the money, benefits, office space, and all the perks. They are important things; however, the “key” is the manager…the human touch if you will. This person provides value, connects, and helps to do work-life together. If you are fortunate enough to be a mentor, teacher, leader, manager of people in any capacity, know that you are the “key” to your team. As Gallup concludes, the manager is ultimately responsible for the success of the business unit and/or company.

Perhaps your not the touchy feely type. OK, we can put down the tissues and grab the P&L. The study showed that positive employees are more productive, on average 4.56 percent over their sales budget and generally hang around longer, which equates to less turnover. What would it mean to exceed your budget by roughly 5% vs. underperform? How much does it cost your company to find, hire, onboard, and train a new employee? What about down time in the process? You can do the math.

One of our values here at TYGES is, “To respect and value the team above yourself.” In this context, what can we do as leaders to make sure the folks we have been entrusted to, perform at their highest potential? There is no silver bullet and we all have different styles. However, here are six questions (a sample) contained in the study that we should all strive to obtain a score of five. One being the worst (Strongly Disagree) and five being the best (Strongly Agree). These questions may seem overly simple; yet, wouldn’t you agree, sometimes that’s the kind of stuff that gets overlooked.

  1. Do I know what is expected of me at work?

  2. Do I have the materials and equipment I need to do my work right?

  3. At work, do I have the opportunity to do what I do best every day?

  4. In the last seven days, have I received recognition or praise for doing good work?

  5. Does my supervisor, or someone at work, seem to care about me as a person?

  6. Is there someone at work who encourages my development?

Hope this helps…Best of luck in 2017.

I encourage your feedback as I focus on striving for excellence within the business world and within our personal lives.   Let’s stay in touch and connect  on LinkedIn. You can also follow me at twitter @SKraigWare  Learn more about TYGES at, on Twitter @TYGESInt, or here on our blog.

Our mission is simple:

We’re here to make good things happen to other people.


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