I once asked a manager “How many people work in your department?”
He replied, “About half of them!”
This true story shows that there is plenty of potential in every team. How many people in your team have more potential than they are actually showing? Please don’t answer that for fear of incriminating yourself!
Here are some tips for improving your team’s performance:
1) Allow employees to suggest better ways of getting their jobs done. Ask each for suggestions for other ways of getting the task or project accomplished. Listen and be willing to really hear their comments. Team members often state that they have no input and are told exactly how to perform their jobs, leaving no creativity. They know much more than you do about the everyday nature of their work. Let them have a say and see how performance improves
2) Clearly delegate responsibility and give your employees authority along with the responsibility. Do you give inconsistent messages? Do you ask the employee to handle a problem or project and then give them negative feedback or give them an assignment and then not give any feedback at all. Having authority to carry out decision-making and problem-solving is a pre-requisite for improved performance.
3) Show you have trust in your employees. Allow them to make mistakes as a form of learning. Show that it is really ok to make mistakes. Let them know you really support their decisions. Otherwise, they fear that someone is always looking over their shoulder to make sure they do things right.
4) Be interested in the career development of each team member. Meet with your staff and discover their goals and their wants. Team members often report that their goals are not viewed as important in the organization. If this is the case, then don’t expect full commitment or engagement from them
5) Be a leader. The best way to lead employees is not to manage them. Show them success. This is a process of developing their skills and providing them specific feedback to meet high standards. Staff members often comment that their managers have them feeling like children rather than being on the same team with their bosses. Be their coach and lead the team to success!
If you consider each of these points and build your skills in each one, you will find there are many opportunities to show your team members the benefits of improving performance and, at the same time, build their team culture as well.
Head of Training
(Image by FreeDigitalPhotos.net)
Mark Williams is a learning and development professional, using business psychology and multiple intelligences to create fascinating and quickly-identifiable learning initiatives in the real-world business setting. Mark’s role at MTD is to ensure that our training is leading edge, and works closely with our trainers to develop the best learning experiences for all people on learning programmes. Mark designs and delivers training programmes for businesses both small and large and strives to ensure that MTD’s clients are receiving the very best training, support and services that will really make a difference to their business.