It takes a bit of work to transform a motley group of individuals into a well-oiled team, but the result is worth it!
We’ve all heard the saying, “working on the business, not in it”.
Reflecting on what we do and making adjustments is a natural, innate part of being human. From the moment we stood upright and left the cave we have looked for ways to make the difficult easier. That’s why a woman invented the wheel.
But what about you and your team? Do you have any formal continual improvement processes in place?
Formalising and properly structuring your team’s continual improvement processes means you’re putting in place the mechanisms to work on your business.
Step 1: Agreed team structures
I once asked a manager when discussing the business outcomes he wanted to achieve, “I understand that you have goals for your team…but are they your goals, or their goals?”
Teams must have an agreed understanding and acceptance of:
If we don’t have agreed goals and processes, then against what do we measure team performance?
The team goals you and your team could set might include:
Step 2: Team accountability
The team goals then form your monthly meeting agenda. Reporting on team progress in achieving team goals creates team accountability.
Conducting regular team meetings where team members support each other does not just contribute to a healthy bottom line, it also contributes to team member health as well. Social connectedness and social support through being part of a supportive, caring team creates positive personal health outcomes.
Step 3: Individual team member accountability
Team goals are then broken or cascaded down into individual team member position descriptions, and critically, team member report templates (accountability). At each monthly meeting, each team member provides a report on their progress in achieving their individual goals which contribute to team success.
A manager once complained about a staff member’s performance, particularly in regard to punctuality and not completing weekly stocktakes and product orders. So, we included these outcomes in the staff members report template. They reported on their punctuality and how they were going with the weekly stocktakes and product orders.
This was not punitive; we did this in a supportive manner. When they reported on improvement, the team celebrated the improvement.
Individual report items could include:
Everyone works on the business
Collaborative problem-solving works on your business and has a positive impact on staff morale and wellbeing.
When we follow this process, it creates the circumstances and mechanisms for a group to transit to a team by developing team members small group social skills, problem solving, conflict resolution, listening, challenging, clarifying, etc.
Research reveals that teams:
And remember, there is no ‘i’ in team, and to quote Bart Simpson, there’s no ‘u’ either.