It’s 2017. Have you looked at your teams lately? I mean really looked at them and asked
“How did my team(s) do this past year?”
Most companies have a pretty good grasp of individual’s performance but don’t really know if a team’s performance is adequate, good or great. Sure there might be financial incentives and metrics that can be used to determine a team’s financial effectiveness but how does one know the true effectiveness of a team?
I think there is one question that can help you decide if your team is great or not:
“Would I want these team members to stay together and work together for the rest of the year?”
If the answer is a resounding “Yes” then you probably have a great team! It not, you may need some more insights into your team’s natural strengths and more development.
The best feedback regarding a team’s effectiveness will always come from its members. Once you have that feedback, leaders must ask themselves “Do I have a deep enough understanding of the individual talents on this team?” It’s one thing to evaluate their job skills and general knowledge, but more importantly you need to understand their “Natural Talents”.
Often, teams can work through obstacles and challenges on a short term basis. That’s what professionals do whether they want to or not. But over an extended period of time, many teams will fail because a few important criteria were ignored when putting this team together:
- Is it really a true team?
- What natural talents does each member of this team possess and how does their natural talent affect the team?
- Does the team have enough diversity of experiences to bring different perspectives to solve the challenges they face?
- Does the team environment allow members to freely share their differences without fear of reprisal?
- Is there a common way your team communicates with each other? Is it working?
- Do the total rewards/compensation plans incent or discourage team members toward the desired behavior/outcome?
If you don’t have 100% clarity around the questions, then you have an opportunity to strengthen and develop your team and help prepare them for a sustainable and successful future.
Building and managing teams is hard work! It requires candor, openness and having the right people doing the right things. If these things are done correctly being a part of a team can be one of the most satisfying and rewarding activities in our business life as well as personally.
How’s your team?