You’ve got the right people in the right roles and your team is good to go, but what next?
Your job in leading a team is to get the best out of each individual, to enable them to do a good job and to do their best, to create an environment where they can flourish and succeed. That’s your responsibility.
It is my belief that ‘clarity’ is at the heart of a good team and that’s key to what you need to provide.
Clarity about goals and plans
Your team need to know where the organisation is going, how it is going to get there and the contribution they need to make to getting it there. If members of the team are pulling in different directions the outcome is going to be confusion and tension and ultimately the team and the organisation will suffer. It’s so important to talk to the team and involve them in goal setting and listening to their ideas and suggestions about the best way to meet objectives and how they can work together to do so. It’s also vital to agree how success will be identified and measured and then to make sure that these plans are communicated across the organisation.
Clarity about everyone’s responsibilities
As well as being clear about goals and plans, team members need to be clear about their own role and what others have responsibility for. Yes there does need to be flexibility built into the team but clarifying roles and responsibilities increases the quality of teamwork by avoiding malfunction, duplication and tasks being overlooked.
Providing role profiles can help with this, and doesn’t just set out responsibility for tasks, but also let’s post holders know what is required of them on a personal level; attributes, characteristics, qualities of an individual who will undertake those tasks in an exemplary manner.
Clarity about how success will be measured
Now you’ve set goals and plans and clarified responsibilities, do people know how they will be measured in what they do? This is where performance management comes into its own. Setting clear, SMART objectives provides something for individuals to work towards and gives ownership of goals
A key aspect of objective setting is clarifying how individual success will be measured; how will they know they are doing a good job – yet this is something that is often overlooked as we focus on getting to the end and achieving the task, and forget to consider how well it was done, the delivery, the customer service. Setting these expectations can avoid wasting time and resources in putting something right. Be clear about every aspect of objectives, time, budget and other expectations.
Don’t forget to think about how you will measure your success as the leader of the team!
Clarity in communication
Another key feature of getting the best out of your team comes from the way that you communicate with them and the way they communicate with each other. Communication needs to be clear, open and two-way if your team is to trust you and each other. The more you communicate in this way, the more effectively the team will work together and the greater the chance of success for the team and for you as their leader.
Giving effort and attention to the points raised will go a long way towards achieving goals with a team that works well together and is clear about how well it is doing, but it does take consistency and determination. People and situations change constantly and sometimes this means taking a few steps back, re-evaluating and re-planning in readiness to move forward again.