Team Development: 9 Tips For Organizational Success
Team development in the workplace is never easy. You’ve got to make a consistent effort to motivate and manage each worker. But developing your team should be one of your top priorities. Why? It’s what will make your business become more efficient and successful. Next thing you know, you’ll have more revenue in your pocket. Follow the tips in this article to develop your team.
1) Use communication tools and methods that get results.
Recent technological achievements have benefitted companies in many different ways. This especially applies to how employees communicate. The way they communicate to themselves and to customers can make or break a business. This means upper management must select tools that get the best results. This applies to everything under the sun. Email. Phone communication. Texting. Video chatting. Direct messaging. Project management systems.
No matter what tools your workers use, it’s imperative that they know how to use them well. This involves training your employees about protocols. Let’s use email as an example. Emails are easy to send and receive. You shouldn’t waste time teaching workers about emails, right? Wrong. All it takes is an employee to send an unencrypted email. Next thing you know, the company’s confidential information has gone public. Your competitors will then be able to see your organization’s sensitive information.
2) Allow workers to sometimes make important decisions.
To develop your team, you have to convey that you trust each person. Showing that you respect the opinions of workers will boost their morale. It’s also a great way to build rapport with them. An easy way to do this is to let employees make some big-time decisions. But do not get carried away and give your workers too much freedom. Next thing you know, your company might get sold without your consent!
Every now and then, let a trusted employee make a decision that you would make. It can be about anything. It might be best for the decision to concern either the company’s future or culture. Employees will work harder for you when they feel empowered. For example, let one of your trusted salespeople deicide which vendor he or she thinks is the best option. A decision like this won’t put the company out of business if things do not go well. As your organization grows you’ll need to delegate more and more work to your employees. You might as well start now. You’ll realize that letting go isn’t as painful as you thought. It might even free up some time to spend on more important matters. Plus, your empowered workers will be content and filled with confidence.
3) Ensure that all employees are contributing to meetings.
Have you noticed that certain people speak-up more during meetings than others? It’s never equal at all, is it? And guess what? It never will be. Your outgoing employees are always going to talk more than others. But that doesn’t mean you should allow the other workers to sit in silence. Teams develop best when there’s collaboration. And collaboration requires communication. This is why everyone needs to let their voice get heard.
You, as a leader, must encourage every worker to say what’s on his or her mind. Active participation will keep your employees engaged. But this doesn’t mean you should let your meetings be four hours long. Here’s what you need to do to prevent this from happening. Give participants all the materials they need before the meeting takes place. Ask them to review the materials and show up prepared to discuss. This will prevent quiet workers from having an excuse not to take part in the discussion. Company meetings should be two words. Lean and mean. Well, “mean” may not be the right word!
You can even go a step further. How? By assigning workers certain responsibilities in advance of the meetings. For example, one person can be the note-taker. Another can lead the discussion. This will keep everyone involved and engaged. Try to make your meetings as interactive as possible. This will help promote a culture of collaboration and communication. Try not to dismiss people’s opinions. Instead, encourage a democratic process in which everyone’s voice gets heard. This can also happen by holding votes at the end of meetings.
Say you take part in all the above actions. Yet, you still have an employee who isn’t contributing. Don’t embarrass that person in front of his or her peers. Speak to this worker one-on-one in a private setting. Be polite and ask why he or she isn’t contributing. There might be a genuine reason, such as having anxiety. No matter the reason, let the person know that his or her opinions matter to you. And that the team functions better he/she contributes to meetings and discussions.
4) Encourage employees to be friends.
Business studies have proven something that shouldn’t surprise you. Workers are more engaged when they feel a personal connection to their colleagues. Better employee satisfaction leads to better performance. This is because friends show more interest in the success of one another. It’s as simple as that.
This doesn’t mean that you should take your team bowling or go out to a bar at night. It only means that friendship can get encouraged in subtle ways. For example, you could have workers discuss non-work related topics. (Don’t do this too often.) This could be as easy as asking the team what each person’s plan for the weekend is. Once again, morale and rapport will both get boosted. Be creative about how you choose to promote the concept of friendship in your company. It could be having a custom-birthday cake available for each worker’s birthday. Little things will go a long way.
5) Acknowledge what each worker contributes to the company.
Here’s an example. Don’t go through the motions and assign a worker a task. Instead, provide a reason why he or she has gotten assigned with a task. Do you trust the person’s judgment? Make that clear. Does the worker always get tasks done fast? If so, communicate it. Doing so will only take a few seconds. Plus, it will motive the employee to continue giving his or her all for the company. Also, try to share positive feedback with your team. For example, say a client loves his new website that your team designed and built. Let your team know that they did a great job getting the site up and running. Positive customer reviews will keep your team motivated.
6) Allow your workers to serve as ambassadors for the brand or company.
Do you sometimes attend industry events? If so, why not let a team member take your place every once-in-a-while? This will make the worker feel important and valued. Plus, it will save you time to concentrate on more important matters. The event could be anything. It could range from a college’s career day to a local job fair.
7) Offer or suggest professional development programs.
Like it or not, millennials are here to stay. They will soon be the leading demographic in the workforce. A recent business study concluded something very telling. It stated that that eighty-seven percent of millennials think job development is important. This means that most employees want to have opportunities to sharpen their skills. Well, if you have the means to do so, let them. After all- the more your team learns, the more that it will develop.
Extra training or learning won’t only benefit your workers. It will benefit the bottom-line of your entire organization. Here’s an example. Say there’s a local graphic design workshop that you think is worthwhile. The company could offer to pay part of the entrance fees for that workshop. The money would be well worth it in the long-run. Why? Your graphic designers will improve their skills. They’ll be able to get projects completed better and faster. What’s the main message here? Do all you can to sharpen the skills of your team. Otherwise, they may never develop into what they’re capable of.
8) Provide some perks.
Entrepreneurs can’t develop a strong team if that team feels they’re not appreciated. Perks are a secret weapon. They do more than keep team members motivated. They keep team members wanting to stay with a company for the long-haul. Perks can make an employee feel like he or she is part of more than only a company. Instead, he or she might feel like they’re part of a family.
The great news is that perks can be anything under the sun. They don’t have to be $20,000 bonuses. A $20 Starbucks gift card can be a great perk. Or, you’d prefer the perk to be free lunch for the team every Friday. Remember this- a little bit goes a long way. But don’t break the bank and overspend! But also- don’t underspend. Your team’s morale isn’t going to be high if the following situation occurs. …The mystery perk turns out to be a twenty-five cent coupon for toothpaste!
9) Have a common vision.
Teams are much more likely to develop when clear goals and objectives are in place. Without them, company success is less likely to happen. That’s why you should take some time to visualize where you want the company to be in the coming years. Next, you should communicate that vision to all team members. Will they get inspired? There’s no guarantee. Either way, they’ll know what it is that they’re working toward. And if you follow the tips in this article, they’ll be working toward a bright future.