• Team Development – even more essential in difficult times

    Team Development – even more essential in difficult times


    Team-Development – even more essential in difficult times.

    I believe it’s more essential for several reasons.

    1. In difficult times the team needs it more.  Under pressure the cracks appear (or get bigger).
    2. You get a greater return on your investment.
    3. Often costs less to do.
    4. Sends a crystal clear message that your people matter to you – one of the best ways to build loyalty and commitment.

    Did you know that as a Manager you are no longer measured by the work you do with your own hands?   The true measure of your success is (or needs to be) the productivity of your people.  Think about this.  If you increase your own output by 10%, it’s a 10% improvement.  But at a potential cost.  What were you not or no longer doing by putting that extra effort into busy work?  If you have a team of 6 people and you increase their productivity by just 5% that’s a far more significant increase than what you achieved on your own.  Keep in mind that productivity improvements come from a variety of sources.  The obvious source (and this is a trap) is by simply giving more work to your people, or increasing targets.  Most managers (and organisations) fall into this trap.  This has limited shelf life and also comes at a cost to your people.  By focusing more on what your people enjoy about their work, or by addressing those factors they don’t enjoy, you will reap substantial benefits.  Not just in output but in innovation, commitment, longevity, succession planning, agility, reputation and engagement.  All of these benefits have a direct impact on the bottom line.  All of these benefits are realisable through team development.  By the way, when I say team-building I’m not always talking about a retreat with a high-ropes course and group drumming.  While fun and beneficial the economic reality is that these approaches are costly and time-consuming.  Team-Building or Team Development can be as simple as a structured series of conversations on critical topics.  They can be externally facilitated but they are often even more powerful when led by you, the Manager.  The unspoken message in you taking the lead is powerful.  You care.  This is important.  You value your people.  Think for a second on your own experience.  I bet you felt better about your work, produced more and cared more when you felt like your contributions were valued by your manger or employer.  It’s hard-wired into us, we want to make a difference.

    Unfortunately in difficult times with scarce resources and high competition for those resources a commitment to developing teams is often one of the first to go.  In fact the commitment to developing anything often wanes be it R&D, Leadership and Management,  training or even process improvement.   Free Tip – periods of economic/business downturn are a great opportunity to review systems and process and look for innovation.  Great companies know this and benefit from doing it.

    Being a Manager Requires Courage.

    This often raises a few eyebrows when I suggest this in a workshop or coaching.  It requires courage because sometimes, to do the right thing, requires you to go against the ingrained culture of the organisation.  You need to claw back the space, push back on the unnecessary (yet often urgent) tasks, have difficult conversations with your manager, and perhaps place yourself in harms way. You need to run cover for your team and insulate them from the stuff that derails, destabilises, or overloads them.  You need to MAKE time in your diary to attend to aspects of personal, professional and team development.  Now, while I can’t promise you this is going to be easy, I can promise that, done well, you will notice the benefits in your team.  And when they’re firing on all cylinders, it’s hard for that to NOT be noticed.  And that reflects on YOU.

    I have provided some suggested discussion topics you can have with your team, either individually, collectively or both.  If you want more info on what each of them may be about I’m happy to share.  Just drop me a line through the contact us page on this site.

    Here’s a quote I really like that applies to some of what I’ve been talking about.  “Nothing will ever be attempted if all possible objections must first be overcome.”  Samuel Johnson

    Potential Topics:

    • Keep Doing, Stop Doing, Start Doing (as it sounds, list out peoples ideas under each of the three headings).
    • Creative Solutions to Old Problems – list stuff that gets in the way, and brainstorm real and nonsensical solutions.
    • Managing Morale – let’s pick it up and keep it there.
    • How can we have more fun at work?  (expect people to look at you funny when you ask this, but it’s a good question.  People LIKE to have fun and it can be very, very productive).
    • Career Path/Development – what do you want and how can I help?
    • Feedback – what do we want and how to get it?

    Please help me to spread the word by sharing.

      Sean is an experienced coach, speaker and facilitator who is passionate about improving the relationship between people, their work and the organisations they work for. If you want to get the most out of your managers, supervisors and their teams and think that work can or should be a rewarding and enjoyable component of a productive and meaningful life it might be worth a chat.

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


    HTML tags are not allowed.

    Why ask?

    Copyright Blaze Unlimited Pty Ltd, 2007. All rights reserved.