How to Transform Your Employees into a Team - Part I
When I listened to his voicemail, I could tell Bob was frustrated with his team he had recently inherited. He literally said “I know teams are important, but I’m starting to think it might be a whole lot easier to let them all work alone at home!” Although his tone was facetious, his frustration was easy to decipher.
Anyone who has led a team knows that to get people working cohesively, it takes more than a group of people working in the same department.
But if we don’t really understand and value why we need a team approach, the effort we put into building the team will drain our energy.
Bob had been leading the senior team at Golden Years Senior Living Center for just 3 months. In an assisted living center, teamwork is associated not only with an enjoyable living space for residents, but also with increased safety. Bob was asked to lead this team to increase safety, which had been at an all time low. He was expected to show progress in 6 to 9 months.
When I returned Bob’s call, we chatted a bit about what was happening with members of the team. Then we discussed how critical it is to have individuals bond as a team for the success of his safety initiatives.
Once Bob connected why teams were so critical to this initiative, I could instantly hear the stress leave his voice. He even joked and said, “there really might be something to that TEAM acronym Together Everyone Achieves More!”
It takes very intentional leadership to develop a well-functioning and cohesive team.
Here are the top 5 reasons why teams are critical:
Better ideas. Teams draw on different minds to tackle the same problem.
More efficient and effective work. A strong team has synergy –they accomplish more than individuals can do alone.
More skill sets to draw from. This can make it easier to delegate, and most people appreciate working with their strengths as much as possible.
Provides a variety of personality styles. Having multiple styles helps accomplish a variety of competing priorities, some of which include ensuring quality and timeliness; engaging in healthy dialogue and being clear and to the point; aiming for something much grander and being realistic and completing the goal.
Creates trust and bonding. When team members bond, they support each other. They don’t hesitate to back each other up. Human beings need connection. A cohesive team can provide camaraderie and enjoyment at work (which in turn enhances productivity).
We have a few tools that can help with teaming. One is the Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team based on Patrick Lencioni’s Five Dysfunctions of a Team. Participants learn how they score on the key components of trust, conflict, commitment, accountability, and results.
Another great tool is the Everything DiSC Work of Leaders assessment. Using the framework of Vision, Alignment, and Execution, Work of Leaders encourages leaders to understand their own leadership behaviors and how they impact their team’s effectiveness.
We also invite you to join our next free live webinar on December 19, 2017 at 2pm EST on the One Simple Leadership Activity to Transform Your Employees into a Team where you'll learn to talk like a leader so your team listens, how to know when a particular team member needs coaching vs. when an entire team needs help, and how to tell if your coaching is making changes for your team. PLUS, the one simple shift in your communication that changes everything. We hope you’ll join us!