C-Suite Network™

Pay Attention to Support Staff and Behind-the-Scenes Employees

Giving Behind-the-Scenes Staff the Attention They Deserve.

What’s your commitment to your staff? Are you giving your support staff of employees who are behind the scenes as much attention and recognition they deserve? I’d like to give you five ways that you can pay even better attention to your behind-the-scenes employees, and show them how committed you are to their success.

I’ve been privileged to work with my Maria for over 12 years. Now, my Maria is affectionately called the “Queen of Neen” by all of my clients. I could never do what I do without my Maria. I have a position where I am so fortunate to have several people who work with me on my team. Now, notice that they work with me, not for me. These talented team members need to be acknowledged and recognized for the value that they deliver. So, how are you doing that with your support team? Here are five ways I’d like you to consider where you can be even more professionally attentive and committed to your support staff as much as your front line of support.

#1. Train.  First of all, training employees on your mission, vision and values is as important as policy and procedure and the protocols, but in your mission, vision and values.  Send them to conferences and development seminars to help them in their daily work. Encourage them, and provide for them, industry and position-related books that will help develop them.  Share TED Talks and blogs. Training your support staff and committing to their development makes them better at their job and makes your life even easier.

#2. Meet. Maria and I have regularly scheduled one-on-ones, and the reason this is important is not just for me to share with her things I need to be done. It’s for us to talk about her development, our strategy, review all of these things. She drives the agenda, not me. Can you schedule one-on-one so that your support team gets that individual attention from you? Maybe it’s by phone, face time or Zoom. Maybe they actually get to be in your office, but can you meet regularly with your support staff?

#3.  Seek. Seek their feedback and input because they get an unusual view of the world that maybe you don’t get to see. You see, support staff talk to other support staff. People who know me well know that I often say that, “Assistants rule the world,” and assistants do business with other assistants. When you are looking at your process, procedures, sales, and protocols, can you seek their input too? Furthermore, seek their feedback on your ideas and how they may be perceived by others outside of customer-facing teams. Ask them if there’s a better way to do something, a more clever, a more productive way because they look at the world differently to you and their perspective is so valuable.

#4. Review. Now, review in our world means that every summer we take time to review the way the business is going. We look at all of the ways that we organize things for a checklist, for travel, for client work, for invoicing. The team and I review everything coming up in the next six months, operations manual, and more. The summer is better for us because it’s a quieter time for me when many of my corporate clients are on vacation. But review processes do you have in place to truly pay attention and commit to your support staff? We want to always make sure that we are delivering the best value for our clients, and so for us, that means we have to constantly be in review.

#5. Celebrate. Finally, celebrate with your support staff when you’ve had a great win or a fantastic year or closed a sale.  For instance, when we released my book, Attention Pays, we were so excited that it was number one best new release on Amazon. We were super excited that it became the number one bestseller for 800 CEO-READ that month. Now, that was a huge team effort, and my Maria who has been with me for a long time, she and I went out that night and we celebrated. Celebrate your wins with your team too; because they work so hard to help you do what you do.

In conclusion, ask yourself: How are you paying attention to your support staff? What are you doing to recognize and acknowledge the work that they do? For some, it might be just a handwritten thank you note. Others may need a shout-out at the team meeting. It might be tickets to their favorite concert or sending them to a conference or maybe sending them some great books to review. Either way, it’s time to pay attention to those you depend on, your support staff.

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