Building relationships, running staff engagement and team culture activities and even development conversations are often referred to as fluff!
In 2018? Really, that can’t be!
Yep it actually is. I’ve heard it used by several leaders over the past few months. Leaders who were in different states, different organisations and different industries…so yep, it’s still happening. If I’d just heard it the one time I wouldn’t be writing this blog. Hearing it repeatedly has led me to believe that building relationships and nurturing culture is still seen as less important than driving results.
So let’s talk about the important ‘fluff’. Let’s look at the impact on your team when the ‘fluff’ is an afterthought or seen as a task that is simply ticked off your list.
Where to start…ooh how about this…If I don’t know you, like really know you, then I’m unlikely to trust you. And if I don’t trust you then I’m not going to share how I feel about my work. I won’t offer suggestions to improve things and I’m certainly not going to tell you when you’re about to make a huge mistake. Nope…if I don’t trust you then I’m just going to stay quiet.
And I’ll watch the train derail….then…I’ll say, to my colleagues, “I knew this would happen” but you’ll never know, because I don’t trust you enough to share what I’m thinking. Patrick Lencioni talks about trust being foundational in teams. It is the key to success and if you don’t get it right from the beginning you’ll spend a large amount of time trying to catch up later…and it’s the ‘fluff’ that helps to build this trust.
When I wake up in the morning and I’m not feeling 100%, guess what? These slippers are staying on my friend! I’d much rather spend the day consuming countless hours of Netflix on my couch than come into work, where you’re more interested in yesterday’s stats than you are about my health and wellbeing.
And, even when I am feeling 100% and I do come into work, I’m not giving you my all…no way. I’ll give you 60% because I’m pretty sure that’s all you’re giving me, well at least that’s the impression I get. I see you carry out tokenistic activities that you think I’ll blindly accept as genuine care! No no, 60% is generous, I’ll need the remaining 40% to continue coming back to work.
And finally, in case you didn’t know, I’m only hanging around until something better comes along. I’m not loyal to you or your organisation. I’ll go to the leader with the most appreciation for me and what I offer. And I’m unlikely to care about the impact this has on you because you don’t care about me.
So, if you’re the leader who calls building relationships and creating engaging cultures, ‘fluff’ then you’re likely to be feeling the impact of some of these behaviours. And if you do nothing to change the way you view ‘fluff’ then you’ll be working extra hard to get that 40% from your team, which they’ll never give, because you don’t deserve it.
Let’s be clear – you need your team more than they need you. If they’re not successful then you’re not successful. The ‘fluff’ is important so make it a priority!
Oh and if you’re wanting some hard numbers to go with the ‘fluff’, give me a call and I’ll talk you through it – there’s a direct connection!
Shelley Flett is a passionate leader with a keen focus on creating efficient and sustainable team environments through adaptable leadership. She is a Leadership Coach, Trainer, Facilitator, Mentor and Speaker who ignites vision and purpose in those she works with.
If you’d like to know more about her latest program on leading leaders please drop her an email firstname.lastname@example.org.