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You think your team could perform better?

As a leader, sometimes you know that things are not functioning in your team, but you don’t know exactly what it is. Maybe team members are rather quiet during meetings, their input for new ideas is low, the atmosphere is okay (but not great) and you have the feeling that people could be more happy at work.

You have the feeling that you should do something about it, but you don’t know where to start.

Doing nothing most of the time doesn’t solve the problem.

Maintaining silence could even make it worse. On the other hand, making the problem bigger than it is, neither is effective.

You could decide to hire an expert to help you with this. Find out what is happening and give you professional advice. A positive team training is generally accepted by the team members, and the experts can help to reach sustainable effects afterward.

Don’t forget that if you, being the leader, have the feeling that your team could perform better, most probably your team members feel the same! They will be grateful to you if you address the topic in a constructive way!

Don’t wait too long!

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In the meantime, while giving this a thought, some ideas about how you could build on your team performance yourself. There is no guaranteed how-to recipe for improving your team performance but there are a number of constructive approaches shared by many successful teams (ideas taken from Katzenbach & Smith, The Discipline of Teams).

What could you do to build on team performance?

Define performance standards. Make sure that all team members believe the team has a worthwhile purpose to contribute to and that they know the expectations to meet. Communicate them in a constructive and clear way.

Set some clear rules of behavior. All effective teams develop rules of conduct at the outset to help them achieve their purpose and performance goals. The most critical rules pertain to the attendance of meetings, open discussions, confidentiality, the use of facts, constructive confrontation and, often the most important, stick to real contributions.

Challenge the group regularly with fresh facts and information about their results. New information inspires a team to redefine and enrich its understanding of their common purpose, set clearer goals, and improve its common approach.

Spend lots of time together. Creative insights and personal bonding require impromptu and casual interactions just as much as analyzing spreadsheets and interviewing customers. Successful teams give themselves time to learn to be a team.

Exploit the power of positive feedback, recognition, and reward. There are many ways to do this beyond direct compensation, from having a senior executive speak directly to the team about the urgency of its mission to using awards to recognize contributions. Positive feedback is one of the most underestimated tools to improve team performance. Ultimately, the satisfaction shared by a team in its own performance becomes the most cherished reward.

Just start!

And if you need an expert, we’re here to help you!

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Marianne Slotboom

Marianne is a strategic partner and practical developer of human behavior that helps leaders, teams and organizations become more focused and effective, elevating their value to customers. In 2015, Marianne founded Yellow Training to answer the call for more inspirational and creative leadership in the modern workplace.

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