“None of us is as smart as all of us” – Ken Blanchard
The importance of teamwork in reaching goals and objectives has really been highlighted in recent weeks. England, France and Italy have all crashed out of the World Cup despite being made up of fantastic individual performers and other nations who are not blessed with many individual superstars have come through as a result of a superb team ethic.
Park City have put together this guide for employers that may give you some ideas about how you can form a successful team at your workplace and ultimately, increase your profits.
- Share a common vision, a common strategy and common values – If your team is sharing a common vision then this can be translated into operational goals and drive individual performances. You could also take the balanced scorecard approach by identifying financial and non-financial measures and attaching targets. For example, these measures could be based on finances, customer perception, your internal business processes and your ongoing learning and growth.
- ‘Walk the talk’ – You need to have total commitment and instil trust from your employees. Your staff members will observe how you behave and what you actually do. Contrary to what many managers believe, employees will gain much greater motivation from what you do than what you say – don’t just ‘talk the talk’ but ‘walk the talk’.
- Make your employees stakeholders in your company – If you can get your employees to buy in to your company’s ideals and objectives, then you are likely to gain much greater commitment and trust. One way to do this is to make your employees investors in your company by offering them shares in your company or by offering them incentives for good work.
- Harness your peoples’ skills and experiences – Every member of your team will have had different experiences and therefore have different expertise. Your employees will have varying skills and use differing techniques. Allocate your staff members’ roles depending on these skills and experiences and your productivity levels will soon rise and individuals’ morale will also increase.
- Determine what makes your company special and focus on this – Your team members need a common goal and objective. As a leader, you should determine what makes your company better than the competition and get all of your employees focusing on this end. Teams without a common goal will never reach their full potential as individuals will be continually striving against each other to reach their own personal objectives. Give your employees a common purpose and you will beat the competition.
- Make sure people learn from their mistakes – Everyone makes mistakes. Rather than overly criticising your team members if they make a mistake, use this opportunity as a learning mechanism. But – do not make the same mistake again.
- Ensure your team uses 360-degree feedback – Each member of your team should regularly receive 360 degree feedback from other members of the team. Each employee’s 360 degree feedback should come from peers, managers, subordinates and sometimes customers and focus on strengths as well as weaknesses. This assessment must then drive personal development plans and drive personal change activities from each member in the team.
- Find out what motivates your team players and focus on this – Each of your employees will gain motivation from different things and you should try and find out what these are. Some team members may be motivated by amongst other things: personal achievement, recognition or by being given responsibilities. Whatever these may be, as the team leader you must use all the tools available to you and your personal instinct to get the best out of your people.
- Conversely, determine what de-motivates your employees and try to minimise this – Once you know what elements of your team or working environment de-motivates your team members, try and minimise the effects of these. This could be done by allocating different roles within the team or by employing a slightly different leadership technique. It is, however, unreasonable to suggest that all your team members will be satisfied all of the time.
- Believe in your team, employ different management styles and you will achieve the ultimate goal of more profits and productivity from your team – Douglas McGregor formulated his X – Y theory of motivation in the 1960’s. ‘Theory X’ stipulated that employees avoid work unless under a threat of punishment and therefore, team members require authorative, repressive and directional management. In contrast, ‘Theory Y’ suggests that workers are motivated to work, need to be liberated and seek responsibility.
As a team leader, you must decide which management style is required with each employee in your team. Some team members will need directional management whilst others will need more freedom to be creative and imaginative. By mixing your leadership style and by knowing your employees well, as a team you will achieve your ultimate goals and ambitions.
“Do you want a collection of brilliant minds or a brilliant collection of minds?” – R. Meredith Belbin
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