7 Ways to Build a Better Team
Your favorite sports team takes the field, court, or ice. Team members are dressed in their respective team uniforms and colors, coaches are on the sidelines, referees are watching every move, the crowd supports their favorite, the sports casters call and analyze every play, and there are great rewards awaiting the winning team. What more could a team want? The better question is, does YOUR have all this?
Where does your teamwork and play? Are the environmental conditions good? No, I don’t mean do they have good weather. Does your teamwork in a good cultural atmosphere? Is every team member respected regardless of ethnicity, gender, religious, or politically affiliation? Do team members understand one another? In football, the quarter back knows where the receiver will be, and the receiver knows where the quarterback will be positioned. They understand the play for the situation at hand. Team members understand each other’s disposition, communication style, and behavioral style and adapt accordingly for the situation at hand.
Your team may not have what is thought of as a uniform, but the team needs to understand the dress code well enough. While I’m still a big fan of the late Coco Chanel I don’t believe we need to dress like the Mom character Barbara Billingsely played in Leave It to Beaver. Times and fashion have changed. So I will direct you to two articles on dress code that can address this issue better Dress codes in the workplace: Effects on Organizational Culture and Dress Code Policies Reconsidered in the Pandemic
Individuals have coaches and work teams can have coaches as well and both teams and individuals need a coach. Even coaches need a coach. But what can a coach do for a team? Teams need to be collaborative. If a team is unable to collaborate, you don’t have much of a team. Can you imagine your favorite sports team possessing mindsets going in different directions? Complete chaos would ensure. That’s exactly what many organizations experience when teams are not on the same page, fail to see or share a vision, and have conflict. Here is a quick list of team coaching benefits.
- Improved performance
- Increased profitability
- Better internal and external customer service
In addition, these benefits can filter throughout your organization and create an improved culture. Individual coaching can produce some of the same benefits. I’ve often written that self-assessment is the foundation for strategic thinking, leadership, and EQ. These elements are important for individuals to grow and contribute not only to their own performance, but to their career, and to the team. The organization benefits because now teams have well-functioning members, and the entire organization can begin to build a viable leadership base for the future.
Many people think that a referee is just to step in when conflict occurs. Many organizations look to HR to serve in this capacity. Of course, the idea is to hold conflict down as much as possible. We know that conflict will inevitably rear its head from time to time, and especially in times of crisis. The question to ask is, “Does your organization have a system or process for handling conflict?” A coach works with teams to help them become self-sufficient and part of this self-sufficiency is to create a way to handle their own conflicts. A good coach can help individuals handle conflict better and be more resilient when conflict does occur.
Several years ago, the trend was for organizations to hire ombudsman to step in and handle conflict. These people would serve as independent arbitrators and suggest changes to policies and procedures if necessary. The point is, whether you have an HR Department, an ombudsman, or some type of referee, people need to feel secure in the fact that they have a place to turn and process to engage when conflict occurs.
We all need people who love and support us. In fact, a good coach will help individuals create and build a supportive environment for better success in achieving personal and professional goals. The work environment is no different and support here comes in the form of coaches, mentors, career paths, employee development programs, and even some form of an EAP (Employee Assistance Program).
In the introduction, sportscasters are part of every sports event and stats are a huge part of the sports world. Sport casters describe and analyze plays and performances. Every team and individual should have some form of review process to ensure the achievement of goals and establishing goals is certainly part of this process. Be sure to assess where the team is before coaching or teambuilding begins and take a measurement along the way and after a project is complete. This too is part of a good coach’s tool kit.
While a good ROI is always part of any successful business endeavor, there are other rewards that come with building better teams. If you have a good workplace culture, you will have the ability to attract and hire better talent. This reduces expensive turnover, keeps conflict at bay, and increases productivity. A happier workforce creates better customer service and in turn, grows customer loyalty. Remember, it is less expensive to keep a customer than to go out and find a new one.
All in all, you will have a better company with, happier employees, and a bigger ROI when you build better teams.
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