In the last part of this series, entrepreneurship guru Nikki Viljoen looks at the importance of sharing information freely within your business, and providing a forum for your team to brainstorm and raise legitimate issues without fear of recrimination. Following on from last week, here are the last few tips on how to get the best out of your team.

 I know that as children we are taught to ‘share and share alike’.  Be it food, or clothing, or toys – whatever, we are taught to share.  Sadly, many of us lose this quality as we grow older.  We become fearful that if we share we will lose it all. We become fearful that someone will ‘steal’ it from us so we hide it from view.  We tell no one, we share it with no-one or we play the cards ‘close to our chests’ so that no-one can have a ‘look see’ for fear that it will be gone. Nowhere is this truer than in the work place and nowhere is it more important for us to share, especially information, than in the work place.  No matter what the information is, or whether we think it is important or not, it should be shared; it may very well be important to the work that someone else in the team is doing.  Not only will knowing the information that you have be valuable to them, but it may also add intrinsic value to their task and therefore make them more effective in terms of their performance.  Sharing the information will also show them that you trust them and again, this creates an environment that is motivated and strong.

Having regular meetings to ‘brainstorm’ is also of vital importance.  These meetings should be positive, and staff should be able to feel that they can raise issues such as problems that may arise from time to time without them being attacked for doing the wrong thing.  There should be no ‘recrimination’ at this type of meeting, as it should be seen as an opportunity for everybody in the team to look for a solution to the problem.  Often we are ‘too close to the wood to see the trees’ and having an outside point of view may be all that is required to find a solution.  Creating a ‘safe’ environment for people to share not only their accomplishments but also to seek assistance for their challenges will go a long way to creating a strong and efficient team who will always be successful in any project.

It’s about creating and providing your team with the right conditions for them to work in.  It’s about giving them the correct tools with which to perform their tasks.  It’s about trusting them and guiding them and working with them.

Nikki is an Internal Auditor and Business Administration Specialist who can be contacted on 083 702 8849 or or

Small Business Forum

The Small Business Forum is an independent network of entrpreneurs and small business owners established to encourage and support the creation, growth and development of small business in South Africa.

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