Creating a successful team isn’t easy – it takes good leadership.
The current Deloitte research suggests that companies are continuing to move from a traditional hierarchy in business towards a team-based model of operation.
This move reflects the nature of work today; as repetitive individual tasks give way to a preference for solving complex problems in creative ways, it’s much more beneficial to use the ‘hive mind’ – benefitting from a combination of experience, skills, capacity and insight that a group of people brings together.
However, teams come with challenges, unique motivations and their own personal ‘map of the world’ and therefore require guidance. If yours is struggling, it’s down to you, as the manager, to solve the problem.
There are many reasons teams fail, but today I’d like to look at some of the most common, and ask is your team struggling, and if so, how can you rectify it?
It starts by asking a few questions to get clarity around what your team might be struggling.
Does Your Team Understand Their Purpose?
Do your team know the purpose of their work?
It’s not enough to simply be given a task. Knowing the end goal and the aspiration for the business will encourage, motivate and inspire your team to work together.
So, clear communication that defines your purpose is critical in aligning individuals to achieve group success.
Failure to provide clear communication can result in assumptions, erratic understanding and incorrect conclusions being drawn by your team. This will inevitably lead to a decrease in productivity, demotivation within the team and a lack of progress.
Clarify the core purpose, focus on outcomes and enable individuals to contribute to achieving success. Once you’ve clarified purpose, you then need to look at the ‘role’ conversation.
Do Your Team Have Clear Roles?
Does everyone in your team know the part they play and who is responsible for what?
If roles are not clearly defined and explained, there is the danger that individuals will struggle to know if they are doing the right thing or what they should do next.
When this happens, it’s easy to get caught up on small tasks where an individual may think that they are being productive, only to discover that the work they’ve been doing is either unnecessary or has been duplicated elsewhere.
To avoid this scenario, it‘s vital to have clearly defined roles, with no overlap – and equally, no gaps in the process. Each individual should know their key responsibilities, KPI’s and targets alongside how they fit into the overall process, and their individual deadlines.
Do Your Team Have to Wait For Your Decisions?
Are you making decisions in a timely fashion? Or do you have a tendency to spend too much time considering options before making a decision? Are you in danger of lacking the ability to make and stick to decisions?
Perhaps you spend too much time mulling things over?
If decisions are not being made in a timely fashion, the whole process will be slowed, resulting in both confusion and delay for your team.
Remember the stages of decision making:
- Gather the information
- Identify the options
- Weigh up the evidence
- Choose the appropriate action
- Approve the decision
- Communicate the outcome
Streamline your decision-making process by eliminating unnecessary steps, involving only those who need to be part of the process and keeping your team up to date with transparent communication.
Do Your Team Have a Growth Mindset?
The most dangerous phrase in the language is “We’ve Always Done It That Way.” – Grace Hopper.
Some companies simply don’t like change – and are consequently stuck in the same way of doing things.
But failure to harness the team’s capability and innovative ideas will hamper growth – for them as individuals, for the team as a working organism and the company as a whole.
Success relies on a growth mindset that allows you to embrace the new and untested. Even ideas that may seem impossible or unlikely to work can result in the serendipitous discovery of quicker and more effective ways of working.
Those teams that embrace innovation and are willing to risk failure will see more overall growth in knowledge and will gather new skills and techniques during the process.
Do Your Team Have the Right Resources?
Finally, a lack of resources will hamper success for even the ablest team.
And morale soon begins to dip if people don’t have the resources they need to complete tasks.
It’s crucial to remove obstacles wherever possible, procure the required resources and ensure your team has the right materials, training and instruction to carry out its work.
Failure to invest is one of the significant holdups of success for employers who are unwilling to spend on resources. But by providing your team with everything they need to complete their work quickly and efficiently; you will find that your investment pays dividends with a timely and productive outcome.
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