A few months ago, while updating one of insureon’s blog properties, our Content Director leaned over and asked, “Hey, who is this ‘Rich Snippets’ character, and why is he asking me to configure him?”
We took the question to our in-house SEO guru, who informed us that Rich Snippets was actually not a well-dressed, fast-talking, Maserati-wheeling Hot Shot. In fact, he wasn’t a person at all, but a Google tool to help us with our SEO (search engine optimization) efforts.
But the idea of Rich Snippets as a person stuck. Just today we came across an informative and aptly titled article that we might have skipped over had someone on the team not initially mistaken Rich for a person.
Mistakes = Morale
Quite honestly, the addition of Rich to our marketing team has been fun for everyone – and we all agree that it’s easier to do work that is also fun.
Here are a few tips on how you can apply some of the lessons we’ve learned from working with Mr. Rich Snippets in your small business:
- Don’t be afraid of new technologies. By creating a personality to go with Rich Snippets, we were able to embrace something entirely new rather quickly: our Content Director’s enthusiasm for the tool (and really the tool’s name) made us all eager to learn more about it. In today’s global economy, being able to easily adapt to new web features can translate into greater profit margins.
- Embrace Mistakes. Through embracing our colleague’s initial misunderstanding, the marketing department ended up having an inside joke that created a fun atmosphere and boosted our team’s morale. (For more on the benefits on boosting company morale, check out "Employee Theft Prevention: Save Your Biz $4,500 Per Employee Per Year") By creating an environment where we accept and learn from our mistakes, we elevated our team communication. Plus, because she spoke up when she didn’t understand something, we all learned about a new technology we might have otherwise ignored.
- Get to know your colleagues. In order to get the most efficient work, you need to have the most efficient team. Through her mishap, our Content Director revealed to us a part of her personality that we hadn’t seen before – she’s always mistaking object names for people names. (Case in point: she told us recently about mistaking a package of Will Maker software for a biography of a man named Will Maker.) We were able to play off her personality, interact with her better, and give her the work she would enjoy doing the most. Get to know your colleagues – employees, customers, other small business owners – and improve your business by fostering a great environment and playing to each other’s strengths.
- Take the time to address other people’s problems. Everyone knows there is no such thing as a dumb question, but it might help to establish that there’s no such thing as a stupid mistake, either. Trust that your colleagues are bringing their best selves to the table. Try to actively listen to problems and strive to alleviate them before they happen. Clarify jargon like “Rich Snippets” on materials circulated throughout the company – Clear instructions and terms make taking on new tasks more accessible for people, even beyond their usual work responsibilities. It fosters new learning and can translate into higher productivity.
Slow down to get ahead
So although the Rich Snippets mishap might have taken out some of our productivity for that day, it actually created far more opportunities for our team’s growth. In order to best promote productivity gains, boost revenue, and improve morale allow you and your employees to make mistakes and grow as a team from them. To use a metaphor, don’t focus on the finish line. Focus on your team support and your running form. Only preparation will determine how fast you run.