Tapping into the power of your team

Tapping into the power of your team

Nigel Bennett

Managing Director
24/08/2020

Create a highly motivated, effective team to drive your business forward

Summary

A business can be made up of one team or many teams, it is only as strong as its weakest link. If even one component is pulling in the wrong direction it can have devastating effects company-wide. So how do you build teams? Motivate them? Retain them? How in times of crisis do you help teams step up their game and show you what they’re really made of? It’s only when challenged we realise how much potential they have.

Tap into the power of your team

Building a team takes hard work and long-term investment. Anyone who runs a business will tell you doing it alone can feel like an overwhelming task to achieve on your own. How about having enthusiastic reinforcements who are committed to moving your business to where you want it to be? That can make all the difference. The truth is that behind every successful business, every millionaire or entrepreneur is a team of hard-working motivated people.

Engaged teams are successful teams

Building a strong team is not easy. It takes an awful lot of time, money and effort. Research from the Hay Group shows highly-engaged employees are on average 50% more likely to exceed expectations than the least-engaged workers. They also vastly outperform firms with disengaged employees, by 54% in employee retention, 89% in customer satisfaction and a whopping 400% in revenue growth. You get a lot out of putting a little in.

So what makes teams go bad?

In his 2002 book, consultant and speaker Patrick Lencioni first describes the many pitfalls teams face as they seek to ‘grow together’:

  1. Absence of trust
  2. Fear of conflict
  3. Lack of commitment
  4. Avoidance of accountability
  5. Inattention to results

“Successful teamwork is not about mastering subtle, sophisticated theories, but rather about combining common sense with uncommon levels of discipline and persistence. Ironically, teams succeed because they are exceedingly human. By acknowledging the imperfections of their humanity, members of functional teams overcome the natural tendencies that make teamwork so elusive.”

Patrick Lencioni, The 5 dysfunctions of a team

How to CARE for your team

Simple changes to the environment your team works in will improve results exponentially.

The environment in which teams operate doesn’t just happen. It is created, sustained and influenced by good leaders, leaders who allow things the space and conditions they need to grow.

A good leader is like a great gardener. They make their environment thrive. They start by developing an idea of what they want their garden to look like and the experience they want visitors to have. People are like plants. They come in all different types and not everyone responds to the environment the same. Different jobs suit different people, and what is important to them also differs. Everything from communication styles to behaviour can vary, and to build an effective team you must make sure that everyone is treated equitably.

Implementing the four values of C.A.R.E into your business can help your team thrive:

  • Camaraderie - built on the bonds between your team, shared experiences, and good old fun
  • Achievement - achievement of a common goal can cement a team but individuals need clearly articulated goals which they buy into to feel a sense of personal achievement
  • Responsibility - individuals want to be given responsibility and autonomy and a leader’s attitude sets the tone for the entire team.
  • Equity - You cannot adopt a one-size fits-all approach. What works for some doesn’t work for all. If people think they are being treated poorly it will seriously impact things.

Building stronger teams

There’s an old adage that a team is only as strong as its weakest link. This is partly true, but equally if a team is made up on entirely identical links it is equally vulnerable, just in different ways. So how do you work out where the weaknesses and strengths are in your team? Profiling your team!

DISC is a psychometric profiling tool to identify individuals’ key strengths, development areas, motivators and fears. Using a 24-item questionnaire to appraise different behavioural types, DISC has been enhanced and developed over the years and is now one of the most widely used behavioural profiling tools.

Don’t fall into the bonus trap

The empirical and theoretical research in this area clearly demonstrates it is more important for people to believe they have a fair salary and benefits package than an irregular bonus. Bonuses work best when they are used as an unexpected “Thank you” for going above and beyond.

Success story: Hollins Wood Childcare

By taking action, Sarah and her team have transformed an already successful business into a dynamic, forward thinking childcare provider. Introducing regular team meetings and a ‘team member of the month award’ made her team feel confident, valued and enthusiastic about making improvements. With new job descriptions, training and support the middle managers have ‘blossomed’. Their ideas have improved customer experience and freed-up Sarah’s time to work on further improvements. With new branding, better systems and an empowered team they have succeeded in growing the business. Alongside this, the happiness of their team and their customers have soared. Their hard work has been praised by Ofsted, with an inspector recently commending them for the ‘buzzing’ environment they have created.

Recommended reading

List of books to inspire personal and business growth, recommended by the Hallidays team:

  • Turn this ship around, by L. David Marquet
  • From Mercenaries to Missionaries, by Martin Murphy
  • The 5 dysfunctions of a team, by Patrick Lencioni
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