Philie Group Blog

Three Steps to Strengthen Your Team
By Mike Philie

You’ve got a great team of people at your business. In fact, you tell your customers and prospects every day that your staff is the strength of your business. As the leader of your organization, you have a responsibility for nurturing and coaching that team each day to be their best. While this is a shared responsibility with the employee, as the leader, you’re driving the bus. Your focus on resource allocation helps to ensure that the right people are in the right jobs and that their skillset and development is keeping up with the growth and complexity of your business.

Expand the Aperture

Your team has been with you for a long time and are immensely loyal to you and the business. And while they do their very best in their current position, their exposure to new ideas and new ways of thinking about the job at hand may have been limited.

“We know what we know, and what we know is made up of our collection of experiences, who we hang around with, what we read, watch, and listen to.”

You could open and expand their skills aperture by sharing new ideas and providing a path for them to learn and grow in their roles. This goes beyond on the job training. This could be helping them to think differently. It can be in the form of outside speakers or sending them to events where they can expand their network and discover new ideas. Talk with your suppliers or your professional advisors, they’ll be able to offer several ideas of how you can expand your teams’ knowledge base.

Right Person, Wrong Position

You’ve got great people, right? And the business has probably grown over the years, right? Are the people that have been in their roles for a long time still able to keep up as the business has grown and become more complex? This isn’t a slam on these folks, it’s the reality that sometimes the jobs grow bigger than their current toolset can handle. Your role as the leader is to identify these inflection points and help to mitigate them.

Your options usually come down to three things.

  1. Help that individual be successful in the current role by providing the skills training and insight necessary for them to excel. This also requires them to want to take on the challenge. This should always be the first option to consider.
  2. If you both agree that they should stay on and help the business, if possible, move them into a role where their skills are needed, and they can feel good about their accomplishments.
  3. If the two options listed earlier are not viable, then it’s time for a difficult conversation. Has your time together run its course? You’re responsible for the success of the business and for all the other employees on your team so you can’t overlook dealing with this.

Make the Call

In the book “Traction,” by Gino Wickman, he simplifies this challenge using his people analyzer tool. The questions are: Do they get it, want it, and have the capacity for it? Tough, direct questions that need to be asked. Your job is to make sure you have the right folks, in the right bus, in the right seats. As the bus driver, you need to make that call.

Reviewing this on a regular basis will help determine what level of additional engagement or direction your team could benefit from. You’ve got a great, loyal group of folks that work with you. Help them continue to learn and grow alongside the growth of the business. Don’t let them fall behind. You’ll benefit from it, you’ll have a more engaged workforce, and your customers will appreciate it. Good luck and keep at it.

Mike Philie can help validate what’s working and what may need to change in your business. Changing the trajectory of a business is difficult to do while simultaneously operating the core competencies. Mike provides strategy and insight to owners and CEOs in the Graphic Communications Industry by providing direct and realistic direction, not being afraid to voice the unpopular opinion and helping leaders navigate change through a common sense and practical approach. Learn more at www.philiegroup.comLinkedIn or email at

Originally published in Printing Impressions.


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