“A fraction of performance is worth pounds of promises”
The, above phrase, very aptly relates to team performance. If teams come together, work towards a unified goal with active participation, there is bound to be a winning outcome.
But is it that simple?
As a leader, bringing a group of employees together merely does not ensure the success of a team. Each of the members must be a contributing team representative and be an integral part of the group.
The team should drive in different gears so that your goal catches momentum and you reach the desired destination.
And what are the different gears you will say-
- Persistent learning
- Effective Communication
But a team cannot function without a leader, just as a ship can’t navigate through without a compass.
So what approach as a leader can you map out so as to get the best from your team?
Approaches a leader should practice-
1. As a leader you need to develop a strategic approach to effective team building:
- Identify & Invest in the strengths of your team
- Show trust & compassion
- Have healthy discussions
Narayana Murthy, co-founder of Infosys forever identified and trusted the employees and rewarded them from time to time. After the IPO, Infosys decided to share a portion of its equity (worth over Rs. 50,000 crores) to its employees. This helped the employees gain more trust and a sense of ownership towards the company and the leader.
2. How should you practice a strength-based leadership?
- Actively listen to your team members
- Have a foresight
- Be persuasive (not authoritative)
- Practice empathy
Warren Buffett, the richest man in the world learned the lesson of empathy from Author Dale Carnegie’s bestseller, which mentioned, “The only way on earth to influence other people is to talk about what they want and show them how to get it.”
3. Boost your team’s cultural competence
Cultural competence is a system in which individuals behave with the people of diverse cultures, language, classes, ethnic backgrounds, and religions. While leading a team you are bound to face by this process and a leader should proactively take into account this factor.
Vishen Lakhiani’s Mindvalley Academy has a talent pool from across the world. Everyone is in synergy with each other, irrespective of their cultural backgrounds. No wonder then, Mindvalley is touted to be the world’s single greatest workplace in Malaysia and this cultural mix approach has changed the way the world and Malaysians view the country.
4. Be a coach, a mentor, a trainer; go beyond the leadership phenomena.
- Do you experience lack of skills or knowledge in your team?
- Is the employee rigid in a particular approach?
- Is the employee showing a desire for long-term career development?
Mukesh Ambani, Chairman, and MD of Reliance Industries Ltd. has always empowered the ordinary to do extraordinary things, by training and mentoring them to give out the best.
How can you actually boost the employee morale of your team so that you get the best out of them?
We give you some insights on the same –
- Get the team on the same page-
Even though you have come together as a team, it is but obvious that you will tread different paths to accomplish the same goals. To get the desired result and drive the maximum output the team needs to be aligned together and walk in one direction. For e.g.- 10 people working together in the same direction will succeed more frequently than being disjointed and doing their own thing.
- Feedback is important but a constructive one
When it comes to feedback we are always at the forefront! (And that is how it should be). If you don’t have people challenging, asking, questioning about how the things are done, you will reach a roadblock. Candid but meaningful feedback’s pave the way for a creative outlook and divergent thinking. It helps the team expand. As a leader you need to encourage thinking which will benefit the team eventually.
- Ensure crystal-clear communication
Perhaps the most important element of a good team is, ‘Communication’, whether it is e-mails, meetings, phone calls, skype calls, and text messaging. Having open channels of communication is very crucial to a teams’ success.
- Set strategic targets
Layout reasonable goals for your team which are attainable and not staggering. Why? Bombarding them with overwhelming goals will make your team dormant and with no action, eventually losing out the enthusiasm.
- Strive for continuous improvement
As a leader, be alert and on the lookout of continuous improvement. Periodically review the team performance and members. Ask your team, “What else needs to be done?”, “can we do this in a better way’?
- Team Building Activities
Team Building activities are a fun way to promote team bonding and improve teamwork. You can carry out team building activities but the exercise should be carefully mapped out so that it meets your objective. However, before you go ahead it is important to identify your team’s biggest challenge. By doing this you can ensure that the team building exercise is a helpful one.
- Delegate tasks for everyone
Delegating tasks for every team member helps strengthen your team morale. Your team members need new opportunities to learn new skills and gain new experiences. When you delegate successfully you add value to your team. Posing a challenge to your team will improve people’s confidence and give them a sense of empowerment.
Now we focus on some less technical points but which are nevertheless important if you want to have a great team! They are-
- Do not hold unnecessary meetings
As a leader, it is important you should have team meetings with your members to brief them about projects. But at times this can be done via skype calls, emails etc. Holding unnecessary meetings will only waste time, bring down employee morale and will look extremely unprofessional. Unless you have a strong, solid agenda do not hold a meeting. Or in other cases even if you feel it is absolutely necessary to have one adhere to the time schedule.
- Have a fun atmosphere
A fun atmosphere can help get things done in a stress-free manner and most importantly work becomes fun.
- Define roles for a high performance
An efficient team does not come into existence by accident. There are various strategies you need to infuse to make your team a high-performance one. It all begins with clearly defining the roles and keep them on the same path and achieve targets.