2023 is the Year of the Resilient Team. Put in place the following 5 actions and you can not only get your team off to a 'flyer' in 2023 but also enable them to build both their resilience and performance as you go through the year.
1. Put time in for team development. I know time is precious and pressured but unless you put time in to develop the team's processes, skills, and knowledge then you run the risk of never maximising the full potential of the team and enabling them to hit their goals and fulfil their purpose. Ideally you want to put in a full day's development at the start of the year as there are a key number of essential team performance areas to cover, so if this is not possible (due to a lack of budget or effective senior stakeholder engagement) then build regular team development timeslots into your regular business meetings. With a bit of diary management and efficient meetings organisation I'm sure this time can be found.
2. Let's assume you have found the time (either as a full day 'team launch' meeting or via regular time slots throughout the year) to develop the team then the following are essential team performance areas that need to be covered and worked on:
a. Ensure that everyone in the team fully understands the team purpose, the team's specific aims and goals, and every team member's specific role, responsibilities, and objectives.
b. Run a 'needs' and 'expectations' exercise to ensure that every team member gets the opportunity to highlight what behaviours and attitudes they need to see demonstrated by all team members and also highlight those behaviours that they most definitely will not like to see! You should also make sure that the team leader or manager outlines their expectations of the team in terms of timekeeping, reports (frequency and quality), communication, decision making and problem solving etc. Vitally, the team members must also get their opportunity to highlight what their specific expectations are of the manager. Make sure these are recorded for your Team Charter ( see later)
c. Discuss how reward will work in the team. If there are company generated reward schemes, ensure that everyone in the team fully understands them. If there aren't any company schemes, what can the team do themselves to ensure that team members and rewarded and recognised their both their efforts and their successes
d. Agree a team review process. There are three key areas of team review. Performance against the set team goals, progress of the team development plan and adherence to the Team Charter. (See later actions)
e. Have a meaningful discussion about senior stakeholder engagement. What's senior management's present view of the team in terms of its performance and how's is the team 'brand' viewed by those in the organisation who have both power and influence? What can be done to get these stakeholders fully bought in to the team's purpose and brand? Can you get them into a position where they can support the team to hits its goals and fulfil its purpose?
3. When you cover the above key areas you should take the key points from each area and record these in the Team Charter. A basic team charter will contain a record of the Team Purpose, the Team Goals, the agreed Ways of Working (behaviours, attitudes, and expectations), and an agreed Review process. You can also include roles and responsibilities, agreed reward, communication, decision making and problem-solving processes should you so desire.
4. Build your Team Development Plan. You could run a team assessment which will highlight the team's strengths and development areas. Take the key development areas and build a plan around enabling these to become strengths. You could also discuss with the team what skills and knowledge are needed across the whole team, and if this isn't already being covered by the organisation's training team, then add this into your team development plan. You can find a team assessment tool at https://www.partnersteamdevelopment.com/team-xl
5. Build a Stakeholder Map. As part of your discussions around the essential team performance areas, you will have discussed how best you engage with your identified internal company senior stakeholders. Build you discussions around a formal stakeholder map which you can build as you identify and the discuss the level of power and influence each stakeholder has in relation to the team. This can also be reviewed at intervals alongside your team development plan, team charter and performance against the team goals.
If you can cover these key areas in a one day dedicated team session then you will enable your team to start the year, focused and purposeful, with everyone in the team pulling together. If you are established team and have already covered some of the basics then make sure that you do build in time for developmental review throughput the year and make the best use of your regular business meetings whether these are physical or virtual meets. Top class, high performing teams, are consistently reviewing their performance, processes, skills, knowledge, and behaviours – they control the ‘hamster wheel,’ they don’t let the ‘hamster wheel’ control them!
Have a great 2023!
PS. Do all of the above and you will greatly increase your chances of becoming a true, high performing, resilient team!
There are a number of very cost-effective Team Manager developmental resources now available to support you in your quest to truly be that ‘Successful Team Manager.’ You can view and access these at:
TEAM-XL online Team Assessment – Allows the team to feedback on strengths and development areas and gets them discussing their development towards high performance. TEAM-XL | PARTNERS Team Dev (partnersteamdevelopment.com)
The PARTNERS ‘Action Plan’ for Team Managers – A DIY Guide to getting your team performing. https://www.partnersteamdevelopment.com/product-page/partners-team-manager-action-plan
The book, ‘Team Champion - Taking Teamwork Seriously” - https://www.partnersteamdevelopment.com/teamchampion
The Online PARTNERS Team Development Course – A healthy blend of video lectures and questions to get you thinking. https://www.partnersteamdevelopment.com/online