For those who would like to build a team in which team members feel cared for, there will be some costs associated. The costs of caring, which can be seen even in the simple gesture of the photo (left), are:
Time. Time is precious. To care for your team members you will need to spend some time with them, show interest in their lives and ask them questions. Yes! This will mean that you will have to stop rushing around and you probably won't get as much "work" done. However, if you value your team members, your "work" is to care for them and not just give them a passing grunt as you fly past them in your whirlwind of efficiency.
Energy. Many people are unwilling to care for others as they know that by caring there will be things for them to do. Going the "extra mile" means that you will have to go an extra mile.This may mean staying back late to help a team member with their work or just arranging something special for the team.
The energy that is required for caring is not just physical, as caring will draw on your emotional energy as well. It can be very tiring to care for people in their needs. In getting closer to people we also become more vulnerable and have to take some risks, as sometimes reaching out to others can end with disappointments.
Money $ € £ ¥ There is often a dollar value to caring for team members. There is not much point telling the team how much you care about them if you are not prepared to invest money into showing it. It costs to be as generous as possible with salaries, providing the best work resources and little treats and rewards for exceptional work.
Having gone through the costs involved, I would strongly encourage all leaders to invest in caring. The benefits far outweigh the costs as:
- your team will be more effective and happier.
- you will feel stronger to know that you are adding value to team members and helping them.
- it will help to develop a "culture of care" within the organization.
How much time, effort and money do you spend on caring?
"People do not care how much you know until they know how much you care"
- John Maxwell
Steve Bagi is the principal of Actuate Consulting and a consulting psychologist and speaker who has over 25 years of experience in leadership and organizational development. He specializes in helping staff teams to understand and develop their strengths, leading to greater individual and team effectiveness. Although based in Australia, Steve works with leaders throughout the world.