This month, we’re focusing on the idea of being supportive—and who needs your support more than the team that’s behind you pressing linens and rearranging ceremony chairs every single season? As wedding planners, we often start out as a one-woman show, so, when we do get to the point where we’ve grown our business enough to bring on other professionals, we tend to become like a family with our team. We are, after all, trusting them with our business (read our baby), and relying on each other to put on large-scale affairs multiple times each season, which tends to make for a tight-knit group. Today, then, we wanted to talk about giving back to the team who gives you their all every day, rain or shine. Below, we’ve rounded up unique ways to show your team you care. Time to get that World’s Best Boss mug down from the top shelf and get ready to drink up a glass of gratitude—read on for unexpected ways to make your team the happiest one in the industry.
Help Them Sharpen Their Skills
When we think about thanking our team, we often automatically think of taking them to lunch or, if you’re like us, happy hour. And, while a great cocktail and some tapas is always a good idea, we wanted to challenge you to think outside of the box when it comes to showing your gratitude by investing in something that will last a little longer than a cosmo and some ahi poke. Why not send your team to an educational event that they’ve been wanting to go to as a way to show your support? Have someone on your team who can’t stop talking about wanting to learn calligraphy? Send her to a calligraphy class for an afternoon. Events can vary from a full-fledged weekend conference to an afternoon art class, depending on your budget and resources.
Take Them on a Field Trip
Sometimes, a little fresh air and change of scenery is much needed, especially in an industry as chaotic and demanding as wedding planning. We love the idea of scheduling a field trip with your team for some hands-on, out-of-the-office inspiration. This can be something fun or educational—or both. Visit that old antique store downtown for wedding-aesthetic inspiration, or check out the new exhibit at your local art gallery. Maybe you spend an afternoon visiting that new venue you’ve been wanting to check out, or maybe you head to the nursery and find some inspiration in the season’s latest blooms. Local field trips are a great—and fairly inexpensive—way to give your team some fresh air and help them breathe new inspiration into their work.
Write Them a Note
Especially in the age of all-things digital, nothing shows gratitude more than a simple, handwritten thank-you note. Think back on all of the jobs you’ve ever had and try to remember a time your boss has ever written you a thank-you note to express her gratitude. Chances are, this probably hasn’t happened—which is why this simple gesture is so meaningful. The next time a team member stays late, shows up early or goes the extra mile for a client or project, take the time to write down your gratitude. They’ll likely remember the gesture—which costs you nothing more than ten minutes—for a lifetime.
Give Them a Bonus or a Raise
Sometimes, our team deserves more than just a lunch out or a thank-you card—and that’s when it’s time to give your star players a bonus or a raise. When we keep our team happy, things tend to go much smoother for us as leaders—we’re able to take a day or two off every now and then, and can rest easy handing over the reigns to a team we trust. Keeping our team happy, though, often is rooted in their paycheck. An extra $5,000 may sound like a lot for your small business, but if it’s the difference between keeping your second-in-command on (so that you can see your children’s faces a few times a year) and her leaving to join another team (which sends you back to working 80-hour work weeks)—it’s really not that high of a price to pay. If you can’t afford annual raises, small bonus checks here and there are always an option, especially around the holidays when people need them most.
Listen to Their Goals And Help Them Get There
The next time someone on your team impresses you by going above and beyond, schedule a meeting with them to go over their goals—and then take the time to outline a plan to help them get there. We so often ask our team to do things for us, without ever asking them what we can do for them. There’s no better way to show someone you care than asking them what their ideal future looks like and how you can help them get there. This sends a message that you’re human, that you’re invested in them as an individual and that you care about where they end up outside of their role in your business.
Overall, showing your team you support them is all about putting yourself in their shoes and thinking about what they want. Think back on old jobs you’ve held and what a difference it would have made if your boss would have written you a thank-you note, taken you out on a field trip, or—gasp!—invested in your future. As leaders, we’re so busy and wrapped up in our business and the events we’re planning that we can sometimes forget to step away from it all and see things the way our team sees them. If we can challenge ourselves to see things from our team’s perspective, though, we’re so much more likely to keep our crew happy and, as a result, keep their work up to par with our standards.