Read time: 4.30 minutes

When you are a team member of company you expect them to always have your back, and your best interest, in mind.

Why? Because as a team member you always have that company in your best interest. You always have their back, because you work for them and care a great deal about the company.

There are companies that have their priorities mixed up though. Upper management may act like a hierarchy in the sense that you are just a number to them. They make you feel as if you are replaceable, even if you are the best of the best.

The truth is, all team members were hand chosen for a reason. They shined bright in the interview and got hired to perform tasks asked of them.

Here are three reasons team members must be treated with care by upper management.

1) Your Team Members Are NOT Replaceable

Sometimes upper management, especially those new managers, think team members are replaceable. I want to point out how untrue this way of thinking is.

Each team member has something to bring to the table. Something that another person doesn’t. Not one single person thinks exactly the same as another. Obviously, each team member was brought onto the team for a reason.

Having a diverse office of each generation can offer insight into the way other people think. This can greatly benefit the office and business.

Back to the members of management that are new to the game. When someone has never managed before takes on a management roll they may get a power trip. I think this is where a lot of management members come up with the whole “replacement” thing.

I have personally worked for managers that think like this. It makes the work environment toxic and all the team members can think are one slip up and they get fired. Performance will decrease and no one will want to work for the company.

Once management realizes every team member is unique and has lots to offer they will get past thinking like this. A business cannot run on a management team thinking this way. It is just not possible!

2) Team Members Are More Than Just a Number

Sometimes, management tends to think team members are just a number. They are a pay check and all they deserve are a desk and that check.

This is just wrong!

Team members are people, just like management is. It is important for all businesses to remember this. The best way to show your team this is by having some fun in the office. After all, all work and no play makes for unhappy workers.

If you treat your team members like they are just a number, you are asking for a crew of zero to work for you. Take time to show you care about your team.

Plan fun things for the office once a week, bi-weekly, or even monthly. It can be as simple as a morning breakfast, going out to lunch as a team, or having happy hour after work.

Get to know your team so they are not just numbers and a liability to management. Showcase them on the company website and hold fun contests within the company. It keeps the office light-hearted and shows your team members it is acceptable to have fun at work. Not to mention, productivity will likely increase.

It is also important for upper management to realize people in the office will become friends. Let’s take a second to look at the numbers.

Your team spends 40 hours, at least, a week together. This averages to about 160 hours a month and minimum 1,920 hours a year. That’s a lot of time with one group of people!

Friendships will happen and this is important for upper management to realize. It is not a bad thing and can build an incredible team of workers.

Being a millennial I can personally say many millennials love the sense of a “work family”. After looking at the hours you spend with the people you work with it shows how much time you are with team members. Millennials tend to want to bond with the people they spend a lot of time with. This is a good thing! 

3) They Have Your Back So You Should Have Their Back

When you hire people to work for your company, you are hiring people that think like you do. These individuals have the same interests as you. They also have something else to bring to your company, which is why you hired them in the first place.

When you build your team, you build it with trust. Therefore it is important to have your team members backs. They are fighting to prove they belong with your company. By showing you have their back is important to them and helps them have confidence in their work.

It also shows you have faith they can perform the tasks you ask of them. Individuals that are not meant to work for you will come and go. No matter what, always prove to your employees you trust them from the start.

While it can be hard for upper management to let go of tasks that they have performed prior to bringing on new team members, there comes a time when they have to hand over the reigns.

For example, I have worked where a member of upper management was the only one that had performed certain tasks. After my training was over I would be asked to work on a project. I would put in the time, ask questions, and complete the task(s) to get the response it was already complete. There was no communication from the person whom assigned me the task to let me know it was complete. Not to mention, I would regularly ask for updates.

This type of behavior breaks the trust between the team member and management. Team members are eager to complete a new task that they have never done before. It is exciting and makes the team member feel important to be assigned something new.

However, if the person assigning tasks does not have the team members back it will break trust that is in place. Asking someone to do a project and then turning around and doing it yourself wastes time and money. The team member more than likely succeeded, but they will never know. Their work was most likely tossed out because management completed it first.

Building trust with team members is crucial if you want your company to succeed. So is showing your team that you truly care about them.

What other tips do you have for upper management to work well with team members? What is a situation you have been in that has hurt your work relationships with management? Would love to hear your thoughts! 

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