As businesses diversify more and more to stay competitive, teams built of people with varied backgrounds and areas of expertise becomes vital. This can cause conflicts as different people with diverse backgrounds grapple with attaining the same goal.
So, here is a rapid “how to” that you can use to both evaluate your existing team structures and improve their effectiveness.
Before you evaluate your current teams, you must consider what they have been built to accomplish. Consider what your short term and long term goals are for each team. Note this information along with what metrics you are using to make sure the team is accomplishing those goals. This should be something measurable like how many sales the team is getting, percentages of customers who report they are happy with their customer service experience or number of clickthroughs from an ad campaign.
Next, without sharing your ideas of what the team should be accomplishing, ask team members what they believe their goal is as a team both in the short term and in the long term. Find out what measurables they have been tracking and ask how these metrics relate to the achievement of their stated goals.
You may find several conflicts immediately, with some team members believing their object is one thing while others on the same team believe it to be something else. For example, in a marketing team, you may have one person who thinks the goal is sales while another considers it is downloads of your latest free app.
Note any conflicts between team members and any conflicts between your goal for the team and the team member’s goals. At this stage, it is crucial to be there as an observer only. Observation and patient listening is the only way you will discover what is actually happening within the established group.
Now that you have information on both what team members believe they are accomplishing and your goals for the team, it’s time to look at the data you have gathered. You may find that some of your employees have defined their purpose more precisely or have provided a valuable metric that you didn’t consider. It’s also possible that some members of the team either don’t know what they should be doing or are attempting to achieve a different goal when compared with everyone else.
As a company and team leader, your job is going to be getting each employee accomplishing the same goal.
Define Your Goals Both Narrowly and Broadly
With additional information about what employees are encountering, it’s time to reevaluate your business goals on a broad spectrum – and team goals narrowly.
First, take a look at your business goals. Likely, you make a product or provide a service that is exciting to you. You want to accomplish something within your chosen industry. It could be that you want to build a better, more comforting teddy bear – or that you want your app to change the face of fitness. Whatever your overarching goal, this is the point from which all other goals will be derived. Make sure it is sharply defined and provides your employees with context for their projects.
Now it is time to establish specific goals for each department or group of employees. With the feedback collated above and your original goals and metrics in place, you should be able to outline a series of aims and milestones for each team. You should also be able to list the metrics that make progress toward these goals measurable.
If you don’t feel you have enough input from team members to provide them with detailed objectives and metrics, share the overarching goals and your drafts with the team and their leads and ask for information.
Discuss with Team Leads
When both the targets for your teams and their measurables are redefined, share the final result with team leads. After all, they are the ones who will be making sure each team or department accomplishes their objectives.
The team leads can discuss your narrowed down goals and metrics with you, then, when they fully understand the information, they can share it with their team as a whole. This “top down” approach with some collaboration beforehand inspires a sense of direction among employees. Additionally, the team lead and team members themselves can narrow down the best way to hit milestones.
Monitor the Metrics
Some business owners leave everything with their team leads or department heads and then move on to the next project. Months later they wonder why specific projects didn’t get completed. Avoid this by telling team leads to track metrics and report them to you on a weekly or monthly basis. Additionally, make sure you are informed as to additional targets set and get reports on completed objectives.
Finally, be sure to reward teams, team leads, and yourself for milestones that are achieved. After all, these aren’t just milestones for you or the team – they are milestones for your entire company.
Find out how Business Success Consulting Group helps business owners and executives keep their businesses achieving their goals while staying in the black. Contact us today!