By now you have thought of how you will improve yourself in 2020. You have likely made lists of how you will improve things you care about like fitness, making more money, and becoming more successful in the new year.
Have you done the same for your team?
Too often teams just jump straight back into the work that needs to happen instead of stepping back for a moment and asking, “How will we as a team improve this year?”
Here are 6 recommendations for supercharging team performance in 2020.
Clarify The Direction
Not exactly new or profound, but it will surprise you how often teams get this wrong. It’s easy to assume that everyone is on the same page.
To clarify direction means that goals and roles should be explicitly discussed and made clear.
Everyone knows how important this is and that makes it low-hanging fruit. Spend time with the team and then with each individual team member to make sure that they not only understand what is expected and where the business is going but that they are also committed to it.
Almost without fail teams chronically under-communicate. In fact, Salesforce found that 86% of executives and employees cite a lack of collaboration and communication for workplace failures.
You should get your team used to talking to each other. Teams often get hung up on what they should talk about. So, they default to speaking only about work.
This not only reinforces shallow bonds but also prevents teams from getting to the heart of important matters.
So, get your team to talk more.
Talk about everything. Talk about personal things. Talk about business things. Talk about inspirations and dreams.
Traditional team building fails at many things. But one thing that it gets right is that it changes the environment in which interaction takes place.
We behave and speak differently when we are not influenced by the context of the workplace. We relax and therefore connect to the people around us at a different level.
Certain friendships emerge organically from teams and those people tend to spend more time together outside of work. This can lead to others feeling alienated and separate from the team.
Seek more opportunities to get the entire team to interact casually.
Plan For Learning (PFL)
Every team member should have a PFL (Plan for Learning). Even more so, every team member should have a PFL that is known to other members of the team.
Too often our learning is random. We listen to a podcast here, jump into ¼ of a book there, watch a YouTube video over here. When learning is without intention and structure, what are the chances of it manifesting in behaviour?
“Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.” – John F. Kennedy
A plan for learning is about creating a structure for learning in two ways. First, you decide on a topic you want to learn more about. Next, you research which resources will best help you understand the topic. Based on your research, you then create a plan that outlines what content you will consume and when you will consume it.
If you really want to take this idea to the next level, you can get team members to present their learnings back to the team.
Our relationship with feedback is changing. Feedback used to be hierarchical in nature. Given from the top down. But high-performing teams need to encourage peer-to-peer feedback.
This can only happen in a team where everyone feels safe and secure. Where they know that their team members have their back and that the feedback they are receiving is coming from a genuine place of care.
To encourage peer-to-peer feedback, place a high value on the integrity of the team. This means that as a team we agree to certain rules such as – we don’t speak about people behind their backs. At all.
Step Up And Lead
Finally, as leader of the team, it’s imperative that you step up and lead your team in their journey of development.
Great leaders develop people and teams.
“Average leaders raise the bar on themselves; good leaders raise the bar for others; great leaders inspire others to raise their own bar.” – Orrin Woodward
The only way you will remain relevant in a daunting, fast-paced, and complex future is if you harness the full power of your teams.