All leaders hope for efficient teams. Strong teams deliver results while teams with low morale lag behind. Sometimes it seems like a mystery as to why some teams work and others fail. As CEO of Empower Network, and my previous positions with other companies I have seen teams that are exceptional, mediocre and need much improvement. Based on my experiences, I have some pointers that should help you and others strengthen your team.
Many people dread working on a team. Why?
Typically, their experiences with teams was anything but satisfying:
- They end up doing an unfair share of the work.
- They have difficulty communicating with colleagues.
- Their bosses aren’t exactly thrilled with the end result.
- They’re discouraged and unmotivated.
Luckily, there are some key strategies you can use to boost your team’s satisfaction and performance.
1. Define and communicate goals clearly.
You may think your goals are clear; you think about your goals daily, even at the end of the day when you’re trying to disconnect. But most likely, your team isn’t as aware.
It’s vital that you share your mission, vision and strategy with your team members. They are hungry to get the chance to invest themselves in the company’s future – people crave meaningful work.
Remember that even after you communicate your goals to your people, it’s important to remind them. Often.
2. Meet regularly.
This is crucial. Do you have regular staff meetings? Whether they are live or virtual, it’s beneficial to get everyone together. Not only will your people get to hear from you, but they’ll also have the opportunity to connect with their teammates.
Does everyone have access to the answers they need? Does everyone feel comfortable reaching out to leadership and colleagues? You’ll quickly find the answers to these questions when you meet with your team. If there are disconnects, you can correct them.
3. Explore roles and organization.
Chances are you have a diverse group of people with different strengths and personalities to manage. Understanding and leveraging these differences is the key to the success of your team.
Capitalize on who does what best. Once you are aware of who does what on your team, communicate these roles to your team members. Team members should know what their colleagues are working on and who they can direct their questions to. Foster collaboration.
4. Encourage accountability.
Without accountability, you will find team members playing the blame game, pointing fingers and making excuses for why a project failed. This results in a loss of trust between team members and leadership.
When expectations are clearly defined, accountability is the natural next step. It’s then fair to ask about project timelines and results. If everyone is aware of the commitments the team has made to a project, each team member should be able to work effectively to meet the goals.
5. Celebrate and reward success.
People flourish when they have the opportunity to succeed, especially when there is a chance for them to share in the fruits of their labor.
Define rewards for your team. They can be in the form of bonuses, time off, celebrations or other perks. While they aren’t imperative, these rewards can go a long way toward building the morale of your team.
Take the time to invest in your team. You will be sure to see ample return on it.
By Jonathan Cronstedt
Jonathan Cronstedt is the CEO of Empower Network, an affiliate company headquartered in St. Petersburg, Florida. A highly caffeinated businessman, he is enjoying traveling as well as his two passions of leadership and entrepreneurship. Connect with Jonathan on Twitter or on Facebook. Be sure to tweet and share your thoughts below. We’ll read and respond to each of them.