A note from the editor: This blog, and others you will see on the R&R website throughout the summer, was written by our intern, Nick Drabant. He will have a digital presence during the summer of 2017 as he learns more about the world of publishing and editing! You can read more about Nick in his bio at the end of this blog. Cheers!

A chain is only as strong as its weakest link, and your job as a leader should be to make sure that there is no weakest link. Here are some simple, yet effective ways to foster a spirit of teamwork and accountability within your restoration company.

  1. Realize everyone makes mistakes

For some reason, it’s drilled into everyone’s head that failure is the worst possible thing that can happen, but it’s really not. People make mistakes all the time, and as a leader it’s important for you to realize that. Not everything can run like clockwork 24/7, sometimes things just happen and mistakes can be made. If a member of your team makes an honest mistake, and trust me when I say that you will know the difference between a mistake and an honest mistake, help them learn how to fix that mistake rather than berate them for making it in the first place. And once that member of your team knows how to fix that mistake, they’ll be more willing to pass off that knowledge onto the rest of the team, fostering a system of teamwork.

  1. Be clear about what needs to get done

A little self-explanatory, but nonetheless important. Make sure your team knows what they need to do and when it needs to get done. Help them prioritize and plan. If your team knows what they need to do, they will do it. And make sure your team knows they are just that, a team, and do not have to tackle a project alone if they truly feel they need help.

  1. Don’t be a micromanager

Nobody likes someone looking over their shoulder. All it does is add unneeded pressure that lowers the quality of what’s being produced and make your team members feel as though they are in competition with each other. Similar to the last tip, as long as your team knows what they have to do, they will do it together. You need to trust them. That doesn’t mean just leave them entirely to their own devices however, just don’t monitor them like Big Brother.

  1. Set a good example

It’s the age old phrase “monkey see, monkey do.” How your team acts is a reflection of you, so try to set a good example. If you take hour-long lunch breaks, they will as well. If you spend half your day browsing Amazon for the latest deals on shoes or movies, they will as well. Taking your work seriously is the first step to making your team take their work seriously. Acting cooperatively with your fellow workers is one of the best ways to instill a sense of cooperation and teamwork within your own team.

  1. Help them succeed

A chain is only as good as its weakest link. Your job as a leader should be to make sure there isn’t a weak link. Those people who now work under you, should one day surpass you and you should help them do that. Encourage personal growth, help them get past their own individual weaknesses, and encourage teamwork. Your team is going to be looking towards you to figure out what to do: so help them. Make sure they know that the key to success is working together and not butting heads. You are their leader now, act like it.