Tom’s Top Takeaways: 3 Key Strategies to get your People Pulling in the Same Direction
In the past 18 months I’ve noticed many teams bailing water out of the boat with the objective of staying afloat. As a leadership exercise in problem solving and agile working in a constantly changing environment, it’s been stressful, some leaders have even enjoyed it … but in many cases these ways of working are not sustainable. Struggling to keep connected, with each other and their own teams, many have lost sight of the greater goal, relapsing to transactional relationships and mechanical team dynamics.
So, what can leaders do to row through this rough water and re-build themselves into a high performing team? How can you reconnect with each other? How can you re-focus on your key goals in a changing marketplace? And how can you re-establish the more open and honest conversations needed to tackle the current performance challenges and opportunities? On our recent webinar held on the 12th October, we shared our own research, recent client stories and 3 key practical strategies on how leaders can reset and re-build a high performing team. Below are our key takeaways to help you do exactly that.
STRATEGY ONE: Re-establish your clarity of direction. Refocus on key goals and communicate and engage with the management teams below.
Whether you are responding to changes in your market, aiming to increase a sense of belonging in your teams or bringing new people into your business, this reiterates the need to ensure that everyone is pulling in the same direction. Watch the video below to see how Ben and the crew used layered goals to help give everyone clarity in their quest for Gold:
Therefore, leaders need to:
- Ensure their goals are relevant, useful, agreed upon and clear
- Help managers to break down, understand and see how their team’s role feeds into the Crazy Goal
- Then help everyone have a clear line of sight as to how their everyday actions contribute and add boatspeed
STRATEGY TWO: Test and revise your team rules.
If strategy one gives you the what, strategy two is the how.
You’ve got to focus on the team as much as you do the outcome. How Ben and the crew behaved on and off the water were crucial to their performance that would drive progress to the goal. You can often see the effect of these rules in the absence of them. For example, a business symptom might be a messy office that people turn a blind eye to or people consistently turning up late to meetings that no-one calls out. By creating a set of team rules you can ensure that teams can be intentional around articulating how they want to behave, as they know they drive and elicit the behaviours that raise their collective performance. Whether you’re still getting used to hybrid working, in different locations or timezones or if you’re all in an office and simply want to shift the dial on working together more effectively.
Watch my key tips on how you can create a set of rules to act as the oil on the wheels of how you work together:
STRATEGY THREE: Re-connect your employees with the passion and energy of work.
Lastly, a key part of leadership is to excite others to achieve a higher level of performance. We help leaders work to find what’s good for your employees and what’s good for the company.
We found it particularly interesting that 51% of the approx. 200 in attendance on our webinar said that they were currently in a state of “minimum satisfaction and maximum performance“. Never, in 22 years of doing this, have either Ben or I seen such a strong leaning towards this category.
This suggests that many are in the same boat of needing to reconnect their personal drivers and values to that of their work. If you’re in a similar position where employee engagement may be low, turnover high or The Great Resignation may have hit your business, we run an exercise called “What Float’s my Boat?”. In this, we get teams to understand their key values and drivers from 10 key criteria. By spending time getting under the skin of people’s individual motivators we then help them plot why they tie to the direction you’ve outlined in Strategy One.
By making those linkages explicit and investing time in developing personal answers to the “what’s in it for me?” for every employee, leaders can start to move others to the Goldilock’s zone of “Maximum Satisfaction and Maximum Performance”. I talk about how we help businesses do this in the below video:
By implementing our 3 Key Strategies you can provide a clear line of sight to your direction, the how of how you’d like others to work together effectively to achieve it and create the space for others to develop why they want it. In doing so, leaders can reset their teams to get everyone pulling in the same direction and bought in to achieve it. If you’d like to chat to us to learn more about how we help businesses do all of the above exercises please feel free to book a no-strings attached call with us via the below link. We’d love to hear more about your key challenges and to share our expertise.