As a former employee of some of the largest and fastest growing companies in the Twin Cities, I've had the chance to experience the awesome power and benefits that a culture of generosity can bring. The benefits of having a team full of givers is remarkable.
Adam Grants bestselling book, "Give and Take" showed us that givers are better networkers, influencers, leaders and collaborators. He describes three different personality types; givers, matchers and takers. Givers, give more and expect nothing in return. Matchers give and expect equal in return. Takers, take more and give less. Givers, matchers and takers can all experience success, but there is a vital difference in value each brings to the organization.
Here's the difference. Takers achieve a bit of success, but it is usually at the expense of others. However, when givers win, their winningness is not at the expense of others.
Their success cascades around them like a tidal wave and brings others up too. In fact, their peers are actually rooting and supporting them! This kind of environment enhances the success of the team dramatically.
Create a team of givers and you'll wonder why you didn't sooner. Now, how do you create a team of givers? Start here.
1. Get Your Team Involved with Your Community
Start by giving! Or what I like to say, "Get in the habit of giving." Consider volunteer PTO and make a commitment to volunteer once per quarter to a charity as a team or start a fundraising campaign and hand deliver that check to the charity. This will allow your employees to feel they're contributing to something bigger than themselves.
Giving passion and purpose to your team is one of the greatest things you can do. When giving becomes second nature, skyrocketing sales numbers will too. If you really want to amp it up, consider getting involved with organizations that will connect you to concerts that your team can go to and ticket sales go to a beneficiary non-profit. The night is completely about helping causes in the community.
2. Engrain Generosity Into Your Company DNA
At the heart of everything you do, relate it to the human impact it is having on your community. Encourage your team to set goals to benefit others. This will naturally embed a selfless attitude, a key ingredient for the giver mentality.
For example, a goal could be, "I'd like to increase my productivity by 20%, which will allow me to free up time once per week to mentor a newer team member and help them succeed." If we think of others, first, we'll think of others often.
Team goals are great too. Make your team and company goals align with the impact it can have on your community. "If we hit our goal of increasing sales revenue by 15%, we'll donate x amount to x charity allowing us to feed x children." Encourage your team to set selfless and non materialistic goals. Everyone wants to be a part of something exciting and feel significant. That's where real happiness lies.
3. Lead by Example
Nothing worth striving for is going to be easy. Creating and maintaining a culture of generosity is going to be hard. It's going to require time, effort and dedication to create this team dynamic, but I promise you it's worth it! Consistency, focus and unwavering character are the heroes here. Make sure to hit every quarterly volunteer event, maintain a laser like focus on fundraising campaigns and stick to selfless goals. If you don't it will give an impression to your team that its secondary and not as important as other things.
Empower your team to actively get involved in learning about causes in the area and get creative in ways they can help and let them lead the way. Great leaders stimulate participation, promote the growth of team members, and show their passion and enthusiasm.
Wrapping it all up:
The most effective teams are givers. They give greatest value to their customers. They give help to other team members. They give outside of the organization. Implement a culture of generosity and you you'll have the most engaged and best performing team around. Gallup found that employees in the top quartile for employee engagement were reported being 21% more productive and 22% more profitable (Gallup). Give to your team and they'll give back to you with performance.
Are you going to be a taker or a giver?
Please leave any thoughts in the comment section below or feel free to send me an in-mail. I'm helping organizations create a culture of generosity. I'd love to hear from you!
Text Copyright © 2016 Jeff Geier — All Rights Reserved
Jeff Geier is an entrepreneur and thought leader in the millennial community. Jeff is co-founder of Born Passion where he works with organizations to bring passion and purpose to workplaces.