When you are growing your flower beds and the other landscaping plants, you need to give them nourishment in the form of fertilizer and water. You can not just plant them in the ground and ignore them or they will never grow. This same philosophy can be applied to your team. You need to nourish your team members to help them grow. The nourishment that I am talking about can be provided by doing the following.
Provide the tools to do the job
Reward, Recognize and Respect
Eliminate the weeds on the team
When was the last time that you asked your team members what they needed to do the job that you are asking them to do? Too often, we think that we have all the answers. We feel that we know the best way to do a task. Your team is doing the job day in and day out. They probably know a better, more efficient way to get the same results. It may just require a couple of items that would make their jobs easier. Sometimes, not having the proper tools, is in the form of knowledge. You can never train someone too much.
People love attention. Reward individuals and teams for a job well done. Studies have shown that people do not feel that their wages are the top reason to stay with an employer. They want to feel appreciated for a job well done. If it feels like you do not care for your staff, it starts to affect their work performance. Respect is one of the top things that you can provide in the work environment. One of God's greatest commandments is written in Mark 12:31 (NIV) "The second is this: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no commandment greater than these." I go into more detail on Reward, Recognition and Respect in my book "Faith Guided Leadership"
The last item is to eliminate the weeds. Nothing is worse than looking at your landscape in front of your house that you have spent so much time on and see weeds popping up. If you do not regular pull the weeds, they can slowly take away from the beauty of the area. Eventually, if not addressed they will ruin the landscape. This is the same thing with poor performers in your organization.
If you have team members that are obviously not in the right field of work, the issue needs to be addressed. Do not carry these people for years on the team if they do not fit into the long range plan. Do yourself and them a favor and eliminate them from the team. They are probably not enjoying going to work each day, but they have been there long enough that they just accept it. They do not go looking for other work. The rest of the team will step up their performance if they do not feel that they always have to carry the weak ones.
Overall, the landscape of your team will flourish. Remember that it takes both nourishment for the team to grow as well as pulling the weeds out of the landscape. What do you do to nourish your team?