As leaders, one of our priorities should be to learn what’s important in the personal and professional lives of the people on our teams. We can learn these things through informal conversation, or we can learn them via a more systematic process like having regularly-scheduled, “How can I serve you?” meetings.
Once we learn what’s important to team members, another priority should be to help team members do the things that are most important to them.
I recently had a chat with Kristen Hadeed, the CEO of innovative commercial cleaning company called Student Maid. The company only hires college students with a GPA of 3.5 or better, which inspires confidence in clients.
Student Maid’s most disruptive innovation is their incredible workplace culture. The leaders at Student Maid invest a lot of resources in developing team members both personally and professionally, and building authentic relationships with team members.
The culture that Student Maid has built is probably its greatest competitive advantage.
Most cleaning companies experience incredibly high turnover, only able to retain employees for an average of a few months. Student Maid retains employees for an average of two-and-one-half years and, in most cases, the employees leave only because they have to, when they graduate. They cannot be a team member at Student Maid if they’re not students.
One of the most important elements of the culture at Student Maid, is the level of care the leaders demonstrate for team members. The leaders at Student Maid realize that a team member’s personal life is just as important as her life at work. If a team member isn’t happy at home, or in his relationships, or is struggling in school, he is certainly going to bring at least a portion of the problem to work, and that is going to affect his performance.
During my discussion with Kristen Hadeed, she mentioned the newest initiative at Student Maid, which is a wonderful, systematic way of helping team members in their personal lives. Inspired by Matthew Kelly’s book, The Dream Manager, a new position was recently created at Student Maid, called the DreamLeader.
This article originally appeared on the Huffington Post, to continue reading, please click here.