Understanding Teams Today
Whether you are a small business person or a corporate executive, getting the best work out of your people is one of the most challenging aspects of leadership. It takes more than attractive compensation packages and inspirational pep talks. It takes creating a culture of trust within a structure of support and opportunities for impact. A goal is to unite people together around a common desire to give their best.
The global pandemic has shifted work away from the traditional office setting into a hybrid structure where they are working from home some days, at the office other days, with increased time on conferencing platforms. The results have been positive for many organizations. It shows the adaptability that is inherent in people. All they need are clear reasons and systems of support that make excellent work possible.
If you are a leader or manager, then your relationship with your teams has changed. The following fifteen initiatives are simple ways to focus better on serving your teams while facilitating an adaptation to the hybrid office era. All of these would have worked before. Now that there is physical distance between us, they have greater value for elevating the capacity of people and teams to create impact that makes a difference that matters.
Initiatives To Support Your People and Teams
Five things to do for your people.
1. Believe in them, so they will believe in themselves. Every person that works for you has something to teach you. If you are open to learning from them they will gain the confidence to do their best work as partners with you.
2. Free them to do their best work. Don’t micromanage them. To do so sends two messages: your lack of confidence in them and your lack of confidence in yourself. Remember, people can smell the fear in leaders and will respond accordingly. Be clear in your expectations. Let them do it.
3. Trust them. Trust is hard to win, easy to lose. Build trust through respect and clarity about the values that you share. Trust is a rapport that is an outcome of building relationships. Train and supervise with trust in mind and a culture of trust will grow. Never forget that if you want a trusting environment in a hybrid office structure, your people must trust you. If you are unsure, let’s talk.
4. Thank them personally. Gratitude is not a reward. It is appreciation. It is hard to be grateful if you don’t know employees personally, by name, and what their work for the company is. Gratitude has its greatest impact when it is least expected. Making it personal makes it real.
5. Honor them. This is partly gratitude but it’s more the way you treat both individuals and teams with dignity and respect. Remember, they don’t work for you, they work for your customers. You work for them to create an environment of belief, freedom, trust, and gratitude that enables them to do their best work. This is what leaders do.
Five things to do with your teams.
1. As the team’s chief, constantly remind them of who they are and why they matter. In particular, speak to the values that unite them together as a team for the company you serve.
2. Feed the team with fresh ideas and clarifying perspectives that establish an on-going context for the team. Knowing where they stand in relation to larger trends in society and business is essential.
3. Turn the leadership of the team over to them. Let them arrange for how and when they will meet. Encourage and support their creativity.
4. Constantly evaluate with the team how their relationship is working. The issues to address are communication, coordination, and clarity about team goals and assigned roles.
5. Celebrate team wins. Find small ways to do so. Send small rewards for meeting goals.
Five Ways to Show Gratitude
The practice of gratitude builds team unity and resilience.
1. Say Thanks. Say it every day. Make it sincere. Gratitude is an act of affirmation and validation that is much harder to experience in the hybrid office era.
2. Give Back. If you are hosting a community event, and members of your team show up. Return the favor and show up for the events that they organized. Giving back is a strong way to build respect and trust.
3. Make Welcome. When new people join the team, quickly transition them in by assigning them a leadership task that ordinarily someone else would be performing.
4. Honor Others. Honor is a bonding value. It is an expression of appreciation, of loyalty, and commitment to supporting the person.
5. Create Goodness. Goodness is a value that builds hope and optimism to do the hard work of change. It is an antidote to much of the negativity and divisiveness that exists today.