Show Me The Growth – Part 1

The New Mantra

In the Mid 1990’s the Movie Jerry McGuire starring Tom Cruise, Renee Zellweger, and Cuba Gooding Jr. was released creating your iconic catch phrases. Women swooned as Tom Cruise came into her living room and gave her a whole speech to which she replied, “You had me at Hello!”  But perhaps the most famous line from this movie came from Cuba Gooding Jr. trying to renegotiate his sports contract… “Show me the Money!”  This one phrase rang out too many young people as they searched for jobs over the next decade, but I am here to tell you today that this mantra has changed to “Show me the Growth!”

More than a paycheck

Generation Z is just beginning entering the workforce and the Millennials are just ahead of them. They represent generations with a drastically different focus than the X’ers.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that money isn’t important… It is that this generation has seen their parents have, and not have money and they realize that family, relationships, and life are more important than just slaving for a paycheck. These generations are about growth, and learning, and taking on new things. Remember this is the generation that was told by many of us, “You can do anything you put your mind to!” and they believed us.

Today’s economy requires a shift in how we manage

Combine this new attitude and direction from those entering the workforce, and those who have entered the workforce over the last ten years with the fact that we are smack dab in the middle of the lowest unemployment in our nations history and business owners and employers have a real conundrum: You can’t find great talent!  So now what?  Well – the answer is GROW IT!

6 Keys to growing your team and keeping your employees:

There are Six key things you can do to show your employees the G.R.O.W.T.H.   Over the next few weeks I will unpack this fully, but here is the overview of the process along with an acrostic that should help you remember how to do this.

These are highly interrelated, and each may take you awhile to master, but if you can master even a few of them I guarantee your business will benefit greatly.

G –  Get to know your team

R –   Recognize their Contributions

0 –   Offer to invest in their learning

W –  Welcome their ideas

T –    Train them in new areas

H –   Have meaningful discussions with them.


So, let’s look at this week’s focus:

G – Get to know your team.

Do you really KNOW your team? Like, know what they like, who their favorite sports teams are, what they like to do for fun, who is involved in their life?  This doesn’t mean you stalk them or are creepy – but small efforts and paying attention to little things can pay off BIG! You can learn a lot about this just listening to how they share with their colleagues. It’s not eves dropping to be nosy, it’s listening with purpose.

Here are some other areas you might ask about:

  • Do you know what their short/long term aspirations?
  • Do you know their history (where they’ve come from, what they used to do before they worked for you?
  • Do you know what it looks like to them to be recognized effectively (privately, publicly, with monetary or no-monetary rewards, etc.)
  • What stores they frequent (Ulta, Shoe Carnival, Target, Bed Bath & Beyond, Best Buy, etc.)
  • What they love (to eat, to do, to wear, etc.)

Let me share an illustration.  When I worked at Adobe, I had an employee on my team who LOVED Peanut butter Chocolate Chunk ice cream from Baskin Robbins.  We were working on a project that took several weeks and a lot of extra hours to get done. Being that she was salaried, I didn’t have to pay her overtime, but I knew she was putting in a lot of extra hours. I bought her a $50 gift card to Baskin Robbins and slipped it into a handwritten Thank you Card near the end of the project.  You would have thought I gave her a million dollars! She bragged about it to everyone. Facebook, in the office, to her parents, etc.  With one small action I became the world’s best boss… It wasn’t the value of the gift card, I assure you, it was the fact I had PAID ATTENTION to what she liked, and gave her recognition based on that. She felt known and valued and the long term affects of that were huge over the remaining year we worked together.

Don’t underestimate how KNOWING YOUR employees can increase their sense of feeling valued and in turn their performance.

Stay tuned for more in next week’s post as we focus on the second step of Recognizing and Appreciating their contributions.



Info about the author:
Ellie Gates is a Chief Result Officer with Lone Star Business Coaching in Waxahachie, Texas. Ellie works with business owners to help them build better businesses that are less owner dependent with a greater certainty of success; structuring their business to be a more profitable venture that works, without them. For more information or help around this article, feel free to reach out to Ellie at [email protected].


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here