Yikes, the season is underway and all hell is let loose. The boat isn’t ready yet, guests are due to arrive soon and you have only just been allowed to employ the rest of your team. Sounds familiar? I bet it does; it happens every year and creates all sorts of mayhem and stress for those involved. What do you do and how can you get the team familiarised and up to scratch as quick as possible.
Just like in business, a new employee needs purpose. Salary is important but most people want to know that they are making a difference and identify with the organisation and the people they are working with. Following some simple management techniques will help to get your team working clever, quicker.
Make the First Day Count
Do not just give them instructions and leave them to fend for themselves on day one even if they have experience. You need to make them feel appreciated and to get them engaged right from the start. Ok you are busy and time is precious but that first day will set the scene for the months ahead. You want to get them off on the right foot and show that you are invested in them in order to get them to invest in you. Milleniums want to feel valued and this is what will make them go the extra mile so you need to show you recognise what they can contribute to the team.
Go Back to Basics
When dealing with new crew and in particular, green crew go back to the basics and remember what you knew when you started – nothing!! This means you need to give some very basic instructions on your products, your equipment, the “how to” of basic cleaning and the “what not to do”. Do not assume they know, instead share some of your hard earned knowledge but at the correct level for where they are. It is very easy to assume that they will know what you consider to be elementary knowledge so give them guidance whilst being clear and direct.
Good communication will create and maintain a positive working environment. Start each day with a short meeting and set clear goals for the day with specifics for each member of the team. Define the goals and expectations whilst allowing everyone an opportunity to ask questions and clarify what is expected of them. This does not have to take long but be sure to express the level of urgency or the detail required to avoid confusion or misunderstanding and set the standard for them.
Give them a Reason to Shine
Nothing creates ownership more than allowing people to contribute to the common goal of the team. People want a voice so allow them the opportunity to speak up or even challenge how things are done. They also want recognition so give credit for work well done and what they contribute. Shining the spotlight on them in front of others is a way of showing your appreciation for their efforts.
Everyone wants and needs feedback on their performance. It is the core of personal growth as well as a way to help people get better at what they do. Make your feedback easy and effective by keeping it positive and related to what has been happening in the short term. Focusing on specific things and not being vague, whilst also giving it regularly will have the most impact on their engagement. It can be used daily but make sure you are being authentic and caring.
Commit to their Development from the Start
Personally invest in your team. Someone cannot do a great job if they are not trained properly or do not know how to do the job correctly. Ensure they have the proper equipment to do the job expected and then train them how to use it. Plan training with the team as well as the individual to foster collaboration and the right attitude to one another. Complete not compete with your fellow crew.
Finally, be sociable. Cohesive teams have a sense of belonging so early on in the season plan events or occasions where you can all get to know one another. If your team enjoy working together there is likely to be less tension and more satisfaction, so get to know them and their needs. At the same time, have fun and find opportunities to laugh together.
Work hard, enjoy your season and have a great summer.