The goal of every owner or managing director of a business, large or small, is to develop an effective team that will guide and drive the company to the next level. That is often easier said than done, with even the best teams requiring lots of time invested in developing both the collective unit and the individuals themselves. However, there are a number of ways to develop employees which can help you on your way.
The best teams, regardless of whether they operate in business, sport or any other field, form habits that equal success. Every cog in the machine knows their place and role in the grand scheme of things, knowing what the next steps are in any eventuality. With nothing left to chance and teams operating on almost second nature, the most effective teams have a structure in place and do not leave anything to chance.
When you ask the question of "how do you develop your team?", the first port of call is to develop an established leadership within that team. That doesn’t mean simply bestowing a job title on an employee that sets them apart from the rest in terms of recognised seniority, however, because a true leader is someone that stands up to be counted, regardless of job title A leader is someone that other members of the team can look towards for help and inspiration during the good times as well as in more testing experiences.
Good leaders are not just simply found but are developed over time. While many employees possess natural leadership qualities, that potential has to be harnessed and given the opportunity to grow. It is up to business owners and management teams to recognise the budding leaders within their walls and grant them the level of responsibility they need to put those qualities into practice. When an employee takes ownership over a project, department or even their own team, a true leader will become even more driven and focused to succeed, setting an example to their colleagues.
As well as recognising the leaders of tomorrow, the best teams also see the potential in all employees. While not everyone is a leader (and that is okay), everyone does possess unique qualities and skill sets that they can bring to the team. Some may be effective communicators, others may thrive under pressure and you may have those team members that can lend a hand in pretty much every department of the team.
When it comes to knowing how to develop your staff, the first thing to realise is that no two people are the same. Offering tailored development programmes offers a higher chance of success in helping that member of staff to realise their potential. Employees that are unable to progress and cannot see a clear pathway within the company are a risk; they may become feel less of an essential part of the team and, in turn, exert less effort into the team when they so easily could have been a shining light given the right training and development. Eventually, if the correct action is not taken, the two parties could separate one way or another with that employee potentially leaving to ply their trade at a competitor who is willing to invest time and money into their professional development.
Building a positive relationship not just between the members of the team, but also between yourself as a leader and your staff, is another key aspect of how to develop effective teams. Positive relationships breed good communication within the company, making for a well-oiled machine where each member of the team has their colleague’s back.
Here at Team Challenge Company, we offer a wide range of team building events that focus on developing relationships between staff members. We recognise that some people require a little extra push when it comes to building relationships. Corporate events and ice breakers help to breakdown any pre-existing barriers that may exist in a fun and relaxed environment away from the traditional workplace. This can then be transferred into the office, making for an effective professional relationship that benefits the business.
Effective teams do not allow poor morale levels to affect their productivity. There are several reasons why individual employees may be suffering from poor morale, which include both professional and personal reasons. As a team leader, it is important to identify when individual members of the team are suffering from poor morale not just to improve their productivity levels, but before it begins to affect the rest of the team. It doesn’t take long for poor morale and/or a negative attitude to spread.
At the first sign, take the employee in question aside and speak to them on an informal basis. Don’t give them a warning straight away before you know what any underlying issue is. Speak to them not as a manager talking to an employee, but on a human level. Managing your team runs deeper than simply demanding they put in 100% effort every day, but it is also having their best interests at heart and showing that you and, with that, the company, cares for their emotional wellbeing, too.
Teamwork is arguably the most important aspect of any team. A team has the potential to be more as a collective unit than the sum of their individual parts. Without this, the team falls apart and that is when issues arise. This is why any effective team needs a system in place so that even new starters know exactly who they can turn to in any eventuality.
Developing staff competencies through regular training and team building days helps to form an understanding of your company’s processes. This also has the potential to highlight where improvements can be made to your processes when seen in action.
Setting ground rules in your department sets a precedent for how each member of the team should hold themselves as they, even when in the office, are representing the company. All employees should recognise their responsibility to upholding the business’ values and, without any ground rules in place as to how employees should act around their colleagues and their superiors, this is when standards can and often do slip.
It is the business owner and team leader’s collective responsibilities to enforce these ground rules; while the best teams feature numerous leaders (not just in job title), having set rules and guidelines in place from the top down will ensure that everyone maintains a certain standard.
Finally, in order to know where your key areas of development are, you need to know exactly where your team are at in terms of their personal progression and development. This can only be done by monitoring and reviewing how the team works and its output. When you have a better understanding of the team dynamic, you can begin to look at how to develop staff within the workplace. This way, you can track the progress of your team and the individuals in it, offering something tangible that you can refer to when it comes to any future staff appraisals and/or pay reviews.
Team Challenge Company, we work to deliver bespoke events to aid the learning and development of your team. For more information on our range of events and how our team can help yours, please get in contact with us today by calling 03300 04 09 03 or send us a message via the contact page.