As a manager, having a cohesive team is real pleasure. I’ve worked with self-motivated people that seem to leap at every challenge and it made me proud to be part of a such a group.
How energizing is it when you have a big workload, you’re kinda scared of what’s ahead, and your team are like “Yeah! Let’s get this done!”
How can we make these high points happen deliberately?
Let’s focus on what we can implement TODAY.
1-on-1 time for each team member
The research tells us 1-on-1 time for all your direct reports is a major boost.
Whether that’s grabbing a coffee, a scheduled meeting, or just a quick pow-wow. You’ve got to start somewhere, right?
Don’t ask them for an update on their work, start by just getting to really know them.
If this is difficult; try asking them something that will get them leading the discussion
“How could I help you be more successful?”
“You’re too busy for this” I hear you say? What if you start by giving just 20 minutes to each of your team members? That’ll probably be 1 or 2 hours a week/fortnight/month…
Have a little peak at some of the research behind 1-on-1s here . Your team will feel heard, and have a greater sense of psychological safety.
From my experience whenever I’ve put a greater focus on meeting and talking to my team, I’ve felt the vibe of the team significantly improve. People are more engaged with each other too.!
Near term objectives
Often, annual goals become obsolete a few months after they’ve been agreed, causing your team to work on things that may no longer a priority.
Here’s how to turn it around:
- Start by coming up with 3 team objectives for the quarter.
- Communicate them to your team members and ask them to come up with 3 objectives that are aligned with your team or company ones.
- At the end of the quarter collectively review the goals and any learnings.
This is a very high level summary of OKRs (objectives and key-results). By empowering employees to come up with their own objectives and by doing this quarterly, you’re setting your team with a much higher chance of success.
You’ll be left with humans striving for goals they’ve been empowered to chase.
A Great Feedback Culture
The more feedback that your team gets throughout the year - the better the chance they’ll have to be successful.
This isn’t easy. It involves building a feedback culture in the team where people feel safe to give and receive feedback.
1-on-1s and quarterly objectives will already help you to increase the level of feedback your team is getting. The next step is to sow-the-seeds to cultivate your feedback culture.
Start with praise - call out the good behaviors as soon as you see them.
By building up a good feedback culture you’re making huge headway to develop great psychological safety within your team. Google’s research found that was THE biggest indicator of a high performance team.
High-performing teams don’t have to have the best people.
They just need the right environment to give them their mojo! (Project Aristotle by Google proved this).
By trying these tips today with your team, you’ll be fostering the type of environment where they’re going to be the best team you ever had.
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