On today’s episode of The Render Podcast, Cam sat down with guest Tracy Autem of Tracy Autem Photography to continue our In Conversation with series! Tracy has over 18 years of experience as a photographer and leads a team of associate photographers under her business and brand. From weddings, events, head shots, and any other type of events that may need photography for, Tracy and her team capture all of those special moments for your event.
On top of everything that she does within her business, Tracy is a mom to 3 kids, serves as the Vice President of WIPA – Dallas, does speaking engagements and provides educational content to her audience. Tracy has worked incredibly hard to build up her brand and establish a name for herself. In today’s episode she shares her experience with building a healthy work team that you can depend on to accomplish the task at hand and how to set the tone of this culture at the very beginning.
When you make a new hire and are working on building your team, making sure that they are seamlessly integrated into your work process is a crucial step in ensuring that your team can run how you would run your business. Introducing the new team member into your flow and working in a training process or apprenticeship process to learn your systems and processes is a smart way to set your team up for success. Knowing that they are being trained in a way that best suits and works for your business is crucial for your continued success. We want our team members to work in our systems the way that we do and learn not only why we do certain steps that way, but the why behind it as well. Ensuring from the very beginning that the steps are done the way that they are, you will have confidence that your team member will interact with your customer on your behalf in the way you need them to.
As the boss or the leader of the company, it is so hard to look at your busy schedule and see all of the things that you need to get done and also entertain the idea of training on top of that. While we know this can feel daunting and overwhelming, you have to take the time to do this with your new employees so that they are set up for success and your business is healthier in the long run. Think of it like this — having a new team member joining your company or business can be rejuvenating. You get to go back to the ‘why you do what you do’ phase of your business and it can help reignite that spark and joy of your core belief in your business and dreams. Taking the time to sit down and educate your new hire is going to be a good strategy to make sure that your new hire is the right fit for the role and will also bring longevity and cultivate new ideas and create a new added element to the role that you are filling.
If you are in a role and you are seeing that your job tasks need to be shifted in some way or perhaps the job could have some tweaks to the process, it is certainly important to mention it to your leader or the boss of the business. As tasks shift, you may learn of a better way to transition the workload and working to “work smarter, not harder” is a nice way to continue setting yourself up for success. Tracy talks about how one of her longest team members, Amanda, has been with her for 13 years and how in the early days of running her business, she was not the best at leading or guiding the team.. She knows that through her long years of running her business, her longest employee has stuck alongside her and has seen her grow and continues to support her in her business. Having a team member who sticks with you is a nice way to make adjustments and improvements along the way.
Another tool to have in your back pocket is knowing what your employees goals are. We can assume that they always know what your business goals are and what next move you want to take, but what do your employees want to accomplish in their own lives? Do they have the goal to become a homeowner that year? What about taking a nice, long vacation? Knowing what your team members’ dreams and goals are will only help you become an even stronger leader and help guide your team in the direction they want to go within their career.
Understanding that roles and objectives can shift as the business continues to grow is a nice mindset to continue having as you get further into your career and in your business. Knowing and recognizing what has changed in your systems and processes along the way is also important to keep up with. What works? What does not work? What needs to change? When your team members who have been with you the longest can pivot alongside you, that is when you know that you have a good team that is open to change, too. We all need change at some point whether it be in our personal lives or our work life. People don’t want the “ same ‘ole same ‘ole” day in and day out. They need that next level. Give them the opportunity to level up in their job roles, or what about offering a salary increase? Incentivizing them is a nice way to continue keeping the team members that understand that change comes as the business or company grows. Are they the ones to move with it too or no. The longer that you have been with the team, you are able to pair that team member to the client or the job that is the best fit for them and meet who they are as a person outside of work. Meeting your employees needs outside of them just being a team member is a big component for keeping them on your team and allowing them to grow.
We hope that you enjoyed today’s episode and are enjoying the content we are bringing you with this new series! We are excited to host some of the best and most inspiring in the industry on The Render Podcast and are so grateful that you are here! You can connect with Tracy Autem here and be sure to follow her or reach out with any photography you may need! As always, thank you for being here and we will see you next week!
Raven Scott | Podcast & Marketing Coordinator
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