Tide Ventures

Teams have always been, and will always be, an essential ingredient for building a successful business. But building great teams isn’t something that just happens. It takes planning and ongoing effort to get them right–and to keep them that way. A team is an organisation’s greatest asset. Without them, you wouldn’t be where you are today. The best gift you can give to yourself as management is keep a happy fulfilled team.
It is very important to motivate your team to be as productive as possible, without pushing them too far and stressing them out.
In my experience, team happiness spurs productivity and by making your work environment a ‘happy place’, you can take care of your team and encourage them to get more done.
In studies by the Queens School of Business and by the Gallup Organization, disengaged workers had 37% higher absenteeism, 49% more accidents, and 60% more errors and defects. In organizations with low employee engagement scores, they experienced 18% lower productivity, 16% lower profitability, 37% lower job growth, and 65% lower share price over time. Importantly, businesses with highly engaged employees enjoyed 100% more job applications.
Emma Seppala and Kim Cameron

 

Ways to build a self-driven high performance team.

1. Set Clear Goals
One of the most common issues plaguing workplace cultures today is a lack of overall direction. This has multiple negative effects on employees, from a decrease in motivation to general job unhappiness.
As a leader, you’re responsible for establishing a series of goals to achieve: These should guide your decisions and, by extension, your employees’. When employees are united in working toward clear, common objectives, your team becomes a cohesive unit rather than a number of vaguely related coworkers. The ensuing camaraderie will encourage and motivate everyone, and the overall atmosphere will dramatically benefit.
An important part of developing a strong team is having a group of individuals who are focused on a collective effort greater than themselves. A compelling purpose is a key element in building a strong team.
People cannot simply be forced to take part in a team; they need a desire to belong and contribute. So the most important job of any leader is to clearly articulate a vision and how the team will achieve it. The members of the team need to understand how their contribution fits into the bigger picture.
Reinforcing the bigger vision of the team is something that has to be continually reinforced. It cannot be said once and then forgotten; leaders need to find ways to infuse this sense of purpose on an ongoing basis for the continued growth and productivity of the team.

 

2. Recognize the power of teamwork
Before you begin, take a moment to appreciate the power of teamwork and how you can best utilize this tool. Consider the result you want and the tasks you think are required to achieve it. As you think about your employees, match their skills to the tasks of the project, but also identify personalities you feel complement one another. A successful team project maximizes the talents of its individual members, but the true power of teamwork comes from the group’s cohesion and combined energies focused on a common goal.

3. Choose the right people
If you want your team to be really effective, you’ll need to get the right people for the job. If possible, try to incorporate employees or departments in your organization that bring varied experience and perspective to the project. If, for example, you’re trying to come up with a new way to track customer satisfaction using new social media tools, then be sure to include employees who represent sales, information technology, customer service, and more. Try to choose people for your team who together will provide a broad perspective on your project.

4. Prioritize Fun
This sounds like a simple and obvious solution, but you’ll be surprised by how challenging it can be to keep fun a priority. In this case, practice makes perfect.
Make it a habit to evaluate morale in your workplace; if it’s suffering, a break for fun can lift spirits and boost success. Give your team a chance to enjoy themselves; it’ll undoubtedly create a friendlier, happier, and all-around healthier environment for everyone.
No great measures need to be taken for this to work, either. Small breaks or activities can work wonders and create a proud team dedicated to improving workplace culture. Foot the bill for a happy hour or incentivize goal-meeting with parties and prizes.
Sugestions may include; 1. Have a games area, 2. Go out together on a regular basis- maybe one a month, Encourage friendships which causes employees to be more engaged and makes it easy to unite behind a common goal. Also, including your families in your fun promotes genuine friendships beyond the four walls of office eg family fun day,
Celebrate small wins, do something out of the ordinary like decorating the office on a Friday afternoon once a quarter!!! Have fun and have that day on the calendar that people are looking forward to – a lunch together, a deco where the CEO will show off his artistic side hahaha…a weekend funday with families. Having a family wall where members Share photos of children’s birthdays or other important- anything that makes members feel that they belong to this organization will boost the moral of your staff.
Be willing to pay a price to keep a happy team— in other wards, feed the goose that lays the eggs!!!!

 

5. Delegate effectively
Once you’ve chosen your team and outlined your expectations, delegate the authority and access the team needs to complete the project. Industrious, energetic, and creative people will become frustrated very quickly if they do not have the freedom, access to tools, and other resources they need to complete their work. Once you have set forth your guidelines, your job becomes making sure they can do theirs. Avoid telling members of a team what to do and how to do it. Instead, work with them to set goals, and then remove obstacles, grant access, and provide the support your team needs to achieve those goals because your team is capable of accomplishing a lot more than you can imagine if they are given the freedom to exercise creativity and have fun doing their job.
Remember to monitor your team progress. In an ideal world, you’ll have chosen exactly the right people for the team, and everything will take care of itself. In the real world, you will have to verify that the team is working well together and that the project is on track. Provide, as necessary, a forum where you and the team can share concerns, successes, and project status on a regular basis. If necessary, you may find you need to assign a team leader, or redefine the project and reassign roles. As much as possible, however, try to let the team work through its own challenges, supporting them with effective communication tools to be able to agree on every level and push through challenges together. When a team identifies, addresses, and pushes through obstacles on its own, individuals draw closer together, and their success gives rise to confidence.

6. Encourage Entrepreneurial Thinking
There’s no question that there’s value in encouraging your employees to see themselves as leaders at every level. Entrepreneurial thinking is characterized by its highly motivated and dedicated nature. People think with the creativity of an owner and having a team of entrepreneurial thinkers does amazing things for workplace culture.
Not only will invested workers be more dedicated to their job, but they’ll encourage and inspire each other to do their best. As a bonus, this kind of office climate has been proven to generate fresh ideas and more creative thinking.

 

7. Meet regularly
Having a regular meeting that takes place weekly will make a big difference to your team. Regular meetings will build rapport, encourage productivity, and bring the importance of improving the team to the forefront.
These meetings should focus on discussing problems and coming up with solutions; they should also be an opportunity to build relationships and to provide feedback on team progress. They should also provide a forum where leaders share ideas and updates with their employees, making open communication easy, and causing everyone to feel equally invested in the company’s overall goals.
This goes both ways. When all ideas are heard and considered, everyone on the team feels valued, and ultimately more satisfied with their work. Include your employees in decisions and discussions whenever possible, and try to be transparent about the reasoning behind your decisions. You’ll find your team is more likely to side with you than stand against you, and they’ll come to value your guidance if they feel you consider theirs.

8. Create leaders, not managers
A great team culture is one that emphasizes mentorship over management. Cultivating leadership will play an important role in establishing the culture of the team.
Communicate clearly with team members so everyone is on the same page. Develop schedules that are designed to offer flexibility so everyone can do their work in the way that is most effective for them, but not so flexible that they become unmanageable.
Teach members of your team how to give constructive feedback that encourages productivity rather than causing shame or embarrassment. Facilitate and participate in improvement efforts alongside your team members.
The best way to teach leadership is through example, so take care to teach your team members clearly and patiently and remember that everyone has something to offer.

9. Get to know your team
It is important to take the time to get to know the people on your team. It may seem simple, but getting to know your team members will strengthen the team and build a great culture.
This involves doing things like celebrating birthdays, promotions, and holidays with your team. Encourage camaraderie by having occasional potlucks and eating lunch together.
By developing relationships and getting to know your team members, you will begin to understand their strengths, weaknesses, and skills yet to be developed. A great leader understands how to draw out the talent around them. Take the time to learn how to motivate your team to go beyond what is expected of them.

10. Promote a culture of learning
Promote a culture of learning where every person is encouraged to continue expanding their skill sets. This can be done by providing access to ongoing training and personal development. The expansion of online learning has made this even easier as people can learn on their own time when it best suits them. Offer access to online courses and create opportunities for team members to take on new responsibilities.
Encouraging ongoing learning and goal achievement will help to prevent team members from becoming complacent or bored in their positions. It will also allow them to learn new skills which will add value to the team and workplace as a whole.
When everyone has access to the tools they need to be successful and move forward in their careers, they will be more engaged and will create a stronger work environment. A great team culture is great for business!
A strong team will have a sense of ownership in the planning, problem-solving, and goal-setting for the vision of the team. When a team is focused on the collective vision, they will be better able to fulfill their individual roles.
Developing a great team culture will enable success and attract more talent. It is important to remember that at the heart of every great team are people, so it is necessary to understand the dynamics of how they work.
Treat your team members like they matter and are not simply resources for the company to use. Find ways to foster their self-esteem, ambition, independence, and desire for growth. This will lead to a better understanding of decisions, increased participation in meetings, thoughtful contribution in decision making, and a stronger sense of community.
Make it fun

 

11. Provide feedback
Proactive, constructive feedback is one of the best ways to help your team continue to improve. Don’t over-complicate this process; feedback is often more impactful when it is informal and a natural part of an ongoing dialogue.
No two people are the same and the method for delivering feedback should not be the same for every person either. This is another reason why it is so important to develop relationships with your team members; when the people on your team trust you, they will take your suggestions to heart because they know you have their best interests in mind.
Instead of waiting until a problem occurs and then giving feedback, develop a habit of regularly letting your team members know how they are doing and what areas they could improve. Allow this communication to be a two-way street; take the time to listen as well.

 

12. Peer to Peer feedback
Chances are, the boss doesn’t know or understand exactly what everyone on the team does on a day-to-day basis. To make sure your team is getting the feedback they deserve, why not try peer to peer feedback…
At Contactzilla, we encourage our team to help each other out and give each other feedback, whether positive or constructive. They appreciate feedback from their peers who understand their work in depth and it helps them develop closer relationships and collaborate better in the future.
Yes, I’m telling you to be “that guy”, but hear me out…
Showing photos of their kid or pet to co-workers can help your team establish friendships, creating a happier and more loyal workforce. If that wasn’t enough, studies also show that looking at cute animal pictures at work can actually make you more productive!

 

13. Finally, Celebrate your successes
When your team accomplishes or exceeds its goals, then be sure to recognize the win and celebrate it. At minimum, schedule a final team meeting where you can thank the group collectively and describe the positive impact their work will have on your organization and your customers. One hallmark of an outstanding team is camaraderie. The team’s success will build on itself, and your team and your organization will be the better for it as the team takes on more responsibility.

 

While the list may seem long, employing these approaches appropriately at appropriate times will cause your team productivity to soar to levels unexpected.

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