When it comes to your employees…do they work as a cohesive unit — or are there factions, backbiting, slacking off, and complaining?
There is an important principle a Business Owner MUST understand if you want to create a work environment where your people can feel empowered to operate at optimal efficiency:
THE IMPORTANT DISTINCTION BETWEEN MERE “STAFF MEMBERS” AND A REAL TEAM.
In the workplace, a real team is a group of people who work together towards a common goal. That sounds really straightforward, but the reality is that it’s not easy to put together a strong team.
Many business owners are so busy chasing results that they overlook the fact that each team member is an individual.
People come with personalities, quirks, talents, skills and experience. They aren’t machines that come with skills alone. Knowing how to build effective teams by understanding the individualities within a team is what makes a good leader.
Team success isn’t a given, and you can’t just round up a bunch of employees who have the right experience and tell them to go for it; it’s unlikely that they’ll yield the desired results.
Each team must be made up of strategic roles that have a specific purpose. These roles must be filled by employees who not only have the right experience but also have the right characteristics. If you’re in doubt a psychometric test will quickly help you make the right decision.
Here are six ways you can tell if you have a real team or not…
1. team members honour each other’s differences. Effective teams recognize that not everyone functions the same way and support members’ individual strengths, as opposed to forcing them to fit a rigid mould. This creates team members who are engaged, passionate, loyal, and willing to “play nice” with others.
2. Communication is open and respectful. People feel free to express their feelings without reproach. They do so directly in non-aggressive, non-subversive ways.
3. Disagreements are civilised. When disagreements arise, they are civilized and handled without smothering, avoiding, or suppressing the conflict. At the same time, once a decision has been made, team members move on. (Notice that this doesn’t say there are no disagreements — wherever there are people, there will be disagreements. Rather, successful teams know how to handle them well.)
4. There is a clear vision that everyone buys into. Where there is no group vision, there is no team. In effective teams, everyone accepts the vision and works toward it.
5. People are invested in the outcome. People feel a sense of ownership over the desired outcome and are highly motivated to do their part to achieve it.
6. The team demonstrates a healthy balance of autonomy and shared objectives. Effective teams provide enough flexibility for members to work in ways that best suit their individual needs while at the same time never losing sight of the overarching goals.
Here’s an interesting exercise for you. Take an honest inventory of your employees. Are you a team, or do you have a group of individual staff members working separately and out of sync with each other? Identify which of the six areas mentioned above deserve to be improved in your business.
If you’re concerned about staff problems, reach out to me. I’ll be happy to walk you through how business coaching can help.
You can book an initial complimentary 15-minute call with me at TimeWithShane.com.