Humans have kept gardens for thousands of years. In fact, the invention of agriculture – gardening on a major scale – helped create the first civilizations, so the practice of cultivating plants has long been an integral part our culture.

Yet, the skills and know-how we use in growing flowers, vegetables and trees can, with equal effectiveness, be used to grow employees. By following the rules of gardening, you can turn a weak and delicate sapling of an employee into a worker of tree-like strength and sturdiness, someone who provides your business with stability and a fruitful harvest.

The first rule of team building is an obvious one: to lead a team effectively, you must first establish your leadership with each team member. Remember that the most effective team leaders build their relationships of trust and loyalty, rather than fear or the power of their positions.

As entrepreneurs, we understand the importance of company teamwork. We also recognize the challenges that come with blending individual talents and personalities.

Teamwork fosters collaboration and communication that make it easier for employees to handle their work. It’s the glue that holds a company together.

Taking an active role in the development of your team demonstrates confidence and concern for the future of the organisation. It also gives employees feelings of significance, community, and value. When you create a culture in which employees can reach their goals and know their thoughts and insights are appreciated, you boost productivity, morale, and engagement.

What’s the first thing you should do when planning your garden? Prepare your soil! Without fertile soil, you’ll never grow hardy, healthy plants. The same goes for your employees; everything should begin with a fertile environment. Create this by listening to your employees. By doing so, you can set up an environment where information is quickly and openly exchanged and where your employees are aware of their own value.

Choosing which plants to put in your garden is a bit simpler than choosing which employees to hire, because gardening stores conveniently label all their plants and affix tags to them instructing you on how best to care for them.

To make your hiring process more efficient you should use scenario-based interviewing.
In scenario interviewing, questions reveal the applicant’s approach to certain situations. When you use a scenario interviewing approach, you pose situational or “what-if” questions to job candidates that force them to draw upon their experience, knowledge base or common sense to answer. This gives you a better idea of how a candidate would perform if you hired them at your small business and supplies another dimension of the applicant beyond credentials and strictly work-related skills.

You need a coach’s mind-set: You have to believe in your people and want to help them succeed.
The purpose of coaching within the workplace is to improve an individual’s performance on the job. This involves either enhancing their current skills or through acquiring new ones. It is increasingly being recognised that individuals and groups perform better with coaching and that this performance translates into business results. When done well coaching can:
• Increase productivity
• Improve communications
• Increase staff commitment & loyalty
• Decrease levels of stress and tension

Give feedback to ensure optimal employee maintenance.
A feedback-rich culture, where people are comfortable asking for and receiving feedback from their colleagues and managers, can really change how a workplace operates. Though receiving feedback can be daunting for people, it’s also absolutely necessary if you want to create motivated and high-performing teams. Always-on employee feedback empowers employees and managers – and has an immediate impact on employee engagement.

Leaders must delegate effectively to develop employees.
Often, leaders think that they are delegating when they assign tasks to employees. Sometimes this is merely dumping on people. Real delegation is assigning responsibility for outcomes along with the authority to do what is needed to produce the desired results.
Why is this not done well in most organizations? A major factor is the failure of organisations to assure that the supervisors and managers know how to delegate effectively. Many managers have never received training in delegation.

In conclusion…
Much like plants in a beautiful garden, employees require the right care and skill from their managers in order for them to flourish. If you can consciously and skilfully tend to the, you will witness positive growth and productivity spread throughout your company.