As a sports enthusiast, I have watched many teams play at their best and for some, at their worst. The way in which players on the field either synchronise their efforts for success, or fail to achieve a unified execution, is no different to employees in the workplace. Steve Jobs once said, “Great things in business are never done by one person; they’re done by a team of people.” The bottom line is, without mastering team work in your business, you may lose not just a few opportunities, but Rands and Cents as well. To combat this, take these tips into account:
As a leader, you set the standards and pace at which your team work. You need to build your credibility with your team through your actions and integrity. Be sure to “walk the talk”.
As a leader, being aware of your own character traits, including strengths and weaknesses, can aid you in understanding your team members better. Similarly, it can assist you with adapting your leadership style to bring out the best in each team member.
- Common goal
As with the sports analogy, there needs to be a game plan. This is your business plan and strategy on how your business will achieve its vision. A common goal should exist for each team within your business. Without this, they will have no direction and sense of meaning or purpose. Clearly define the vision, operational goals and team targets in 2018. This should be reviewed annually and communicated to all.
- Clear roles
Clarify each team member’s roles and responsibilities. There is nothing worse than hearing another team member say: “I thought that he was going to do that”. Communicate each member’s role in the team to ensure that they are aware of each team member’s function in achieving the set goals.
- Good listening skills
Good listening skills will help you to ensure that you have communicated your message or task to your team member effectively. Obtain the views of your team members, extract their pertinent concerns and address them timeously.
Trust is a key ingredient to building a sound relationship. Be honest with your staff.
- Mutual respect
Promote mutual respect among your team members. Address disrespect in your code of conduct.
- Value the input of each team member
During team briefings ask for input from each of your team members. Listen and implement their ideas, where practically possible. Never forget to thank your team members for a job well done.
- Empower your team
Encourage your team to undergo training and develop further in their career.
- Celebrate team successes
Celebrate team successes can be done via public announcement on company notice boards, via the website or other forms of social media, with an awarded a certificate or floating trophy handed to the team. This act helps you to recognise each team member’s efforts made towards achieving the common goal.
Your team may come from totally diverse backgrounds and have vastly different viewpoints about how a problem should be solved. This can be used to your advantage as the problem is looked at from a number of angles, bring a more holistic solution.
- Inspect what you expect
Hold weekly meetings with your team, to review progress on the work done in the week prior and then focus on identifying the plan and priorities for the following week.
Provide feedback to your team regularly and timeously about their performance.
Policies and procedures assist with setting the standards expected of employees. Apply the rules fairly and consistently.
Most of an employee’s day is spent at work so it’s important that teams remember to have fun. Inject this element by incorporating some ice-breakers during your team meetings.
In closing, as the business owner, you are in the driving seat for building a great team. All of the best.
Article supplied by Terrine Lott-Cupido, Managing Director at EmpowerLink Services, a Human Resources consulting company, focused on providing HR solutions to small business.
This article first appeared in the June/July 2018 issue of Your Business Magazine. Read the online issue for free here on download to enjoy later!