10 Top Reasons Why Teams Function At Less Than 100%. Often Well Below 100 per cent. Is This Your Situation? Strengthen Your Teams With Team Enhancement Ideas For Any Workplace.
When Teams Are Not Functioning At Peak Levels? You Feel It Everyday. You See The Signs Everyday.
I think of football. Clearly a team game. One of the greatest football coaches ever, Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots defined team success very well. It applies to business, organizations or sports
“On a team, it’s not the strength of the individual players, but it is the strength of the unit and how they all function together.”
by Bob Rempel, RempelGroup Partners
Most Teams function well below optimum. Far below optimum. This almost seems to be the norm. The expectation.
Is this your situation or similar to it? It doesn’t matter whether you are in a leadership position in a small or large business, a nonprofit or social enterprise, educational organizations or other organization, have a sports team at any level, or you have virtual or real teams or a combination of both. The symptoms are the same.
It’s something you’re feeling. You see it too.
*Measurable results are slipping.
*Deadlines are missed.
*Negativity about projects and customers seems to be increasing.
*People are not engaged.
*You don’t hear laughter.
*Attendance at voluntary events seems to be declining.
Are these familiar to you? Do you see some of these other symptoms:
*Lack of enthusiasm about core aspects of your business or strategy.
*Abandon ship thinking. No belief in the future for the
*No belief in the future of the business.
*Unsupportive of other team members and a me-first approach.
*Problem solving shows no energy, no creativity, no initiative.
In a sports sense, when I coached high-performance level athletes, we used to say the team member was playing for the name on the back of the jersey, not the team name on the front.
This is critical if you want a high functioning team at an executive level. I adopted the phrase in my executive management over the years that I heard from many of my capable superiors and leaders over the years.
“I trust your ability and talent, bring me solutions, not just problems.”
Contrast that with the following voices you could be hearing:
*Work life is Fun
*Work life is Challenging but it’s good for me.
*I like the people I work with.
*There are some amazing people here and I liked them more as I got to know them better.
*I’m excited about our new Project. I understand it and I think it will be great for the business.
*I like the people I work with. There are some amazing people here. and I liked them more as I got to know them better.
*I like (Leader’s Name). I don’t always agree with him or her, but I respect him/her for their knowledge and experience, their obvious hard work and dedication, but most importantly, how they at least listen to what I have to say. I don’t expect they will do everything I want, but I need to be heard.
Take a minute and think about situations where teamwork is never required or the team structure is not used. Yes, team performance is not closely monitored and maximizing team performance is not important.
Whether it’s Big Business, Small Business, Government from local levels on up, NonProfit Organization and Social Enterprises,
I’ve been a Team Leader most of my work life and a long time Team Head Coach in sports at high-performance levels. The best teams had specific qualities or lacked these qualities.
The Sylvia LaFair recent Inc article Top 10 Reasons Why Teams Fail And What To Do, summarized this best I feel.
Here are the 10 pitfalls to watch out for, as per LaFair. Turn the pitfalls around and add them to your team work at your business or organization.
- Lack of explanation: there needs to be an initial explanation of the business case for change and the purpose of working together in a new way.
- Lack of envisioning: without a clear vision of what the future will look like there is nothing to go toward.
- Lack of resources: without buy-in as to what will be needed to get to the vision of the future, people feel they are only going to have one oar to row the boat.
- Lack of accountability: the need for a specific and structured way to make sure people say what they mean and do what they say.
- Lack of planning: must have specific team action plans and deadlines that are possible to reach, even if they have to stretch.
- Lack of encouragement: no procedures in place to close skill gaps and have extra training where needed.
- Lack of conflict strategies: no agreed upon ways to handle conflict so it does not simmer and fester.
- Lack of collaboration: ways to put diverse individuals together to find new solutions to old problems.
- Lack of inclusion: everyone needs to know the big picture issues and have a way to participate in adding their point of view.
- Lack of reinforcement: make sure that time is given for individuals to voice frustrations and concerns so they do not end up sabotaging by going behind closed doors.
Michael Hyatt says the key factor in dysfunctional teams is Connection. His comments are worth quoting in its entirety. “Feeling Connected in the workplace is absolutely critical. In fact, in my opinion, it may be the number one Life Force driving all positive growth in people, companies, sports teams.
In both cases what’s missing is Connection. If there’s no connection to the organizational vision, the team leader, other teammates, or organizational outcomes, then leaders will fight uphill battles on engagement every day.
But if leaders cultivate those connections, they’ll build teams that are enthusiastic about driving results for the organization.”
Hyatt says there are four things to do:
Remembering the critical link to Cconnection, here are four ways guaranteed to boost team engagement:
- Connect your team to the vision. When our teammates don’t understand or care how their daily tasks serve organizational goals, it’s nearly impossible for them to maintain interest in their work. People laying bricks stay inspired when they realize they’re building cathedrals. So take time to explain the why behind the what.
- Connect your team to you as their leader. People don’t work for companies; they work for other people. Often, folks don’t engage because their leaders don’t engage them. When leadership is faceless, two-dimensional, or dismissive, they lose interest (or never commit to begin with). It’s the leader’s job to go first—build rapport, demonstrate concern, and personally invest.
- Connected your team to one another. People stay engaged with their work when they are engaged with their coworkers. Toxic organizational culture breeds disengagement—emotionally healthy people will find their way to the door. Leaders should look for ways to cultivate mutual appreciation and create opportunities for positive shared experiences.
- Connect your team to your results. One of the most important things I did as a leader at Thomas Nelson was to begin regularly sharing our company financials. People could see what their daily work did to shape the quarter and the year. Transparency is a leader’s friend. Don’t be afraid to share the metrics and underscore the relationship between team efforts and organizational results.
Lack of trust is a team-performance-killer if there ever was one. Combined with the corrosive effect of low-trust, lack of trust often prevents people from speaking up about performance issues.
So for leaders with concern about team performance issues, you need to go back to the basics or fundamentals as we do in most things when we have low levels of performance. This is certainly how we approached when I coached international and national level teams and athletes.
At the core, Teams are composed of Individual People. Take the time to really get to know the people on the team. As people, as individuals. Let the people on the team get to know the people on the team. Take the physical workplace out of the situation in some cases, but in other team growth actions, keep it in, because that is context.
Taking Action: Our prescription for you involves creating an experiential and growth opportunity combination for your Team Members. Create the opportunity for them to invest fully in the mission, strategy, and tactics for the future of the business, organization or team. Create the opportunity for a memorable experience and bonding where people at all levels truly get to know and understand each other and Connect. Hire a Coach for your Team(s), on an ongoing basis. Retain a Coach for yourself as the business or organizational leader
I invite you to review our “Crush The Competition…Hug Your Customers-Embrace Your Community” Strategy Retreats & Workshops for Leaders and Teams” in our favorite location, Ixtapa, Mexico. A real hidden gem and great surroundings for the best possible Retreat, we feel. We and our Partners, create customized experiential learning events for Teams, and hold open to all 3-day Workshops in early December, 2016 and mid January, 2017. Follow us or subscribe to get updates on our programs.
Sources Credit: Michael Hyatt and Sylvia LaFair
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