5 Things You Can Do to Increase Your Team's Performance
There's a lot going on, and making it all happen on the job while keeping the bigger picture in mind can be a challenge. There are a lot of issues that can come in to play: fragmented teams, constant change of focus and direction, communication and cooperation, office politics, leadership styles, alignment, etc. Our job is to support your process and your results—and we like that job! What are the key things that you can focus on to make a difference?
Here are 5 areas of focus that can make a sustainable and significant difference:
Purpose is the big container that can make a difference in everything you do together. What is the purpose of your team? Is it connected to a higher purpose that is common among the team members? Communicate the purpose of the team with your people, and get to know and understand each person's personal sense of purpose and how it is served by their work on the team.
2. A Forum to Connect
Provide a place and time for your team to get together outside of the day-to-day running of the business—hold these events regularly, say, once a quarter. Make an environment available where they can express their opinions, brainstorm, get to know each other, and connect with the bigger picture. In this environment people can learn more about themselves and those they work with. As a group the can work on how they work together, not just on the tasks themselves. This enhances trust, respect, appreciation, and understanding.
Engage has several definitions in the English language (no diamond rings needed), but what we're talking about here are these 3 from Webster's dictionary: 1) To interlock with, 2) To hold the attention of, 3) To induce to participate. When someone is engaged, it means they are emotionally committed to their company and their work goals. They care about their work. They care about results. This makes them go above and beyond—to give discretionary effort. Strong employee engagement is dependent on how well employees get along, interact with each other and participate in a team environment. Developing a strong team environment can help foster engaged employees. Do this using your connection forums and bringing what is learned there to the workplace.
4. Become self-aware as a team/system
Using activities and review as a learning process can give powerful insights into the system and processes of a team. Organizations and teams don't belong to the mechanical world; they are much closer to living biological organisms. Looking under the hood (wait, that's a mechanical metaphor...) of the team to see how it operates, and making conscious tweaks to the team system is a powerful way to impact performance/results, engagement, ownership, and motivation.
Back to Webster's dictionary: "Mojo: a power that may seem magical and that allows someone to be very effective, successful, etc." It's doing things that are purposeful, powerful, and positive, and making an impact that stands out. Mojo happens when you're getting happiness and meaning from what you are doing. A team with mojo is taking care of business and having fun doing it. Purpose, innovation, collaboration, and performance.
Crank "Got My Mojo Working" and get to it!
As as leader you can focus on unlocking these dimensions in your teams in a unique and potent way; bringing more of each person into the team process, and releasing that performance potential into the job at hand.