Transform Your Team: Lead a Team of All-In, Engaged People

As a business owner, one of your long-term goals is likely to create a sellable enterprise that works without you running it. Getting to that point can be a challenge, and many companies don’t make it that far. But as Adam Wallschlager of ActionCoachMN shared at a recent Breakfast Club, it’s all about the team of people who work for you – the people who can drive your business forward.

Here’s the problem: most of your employees don’t understand the vision of your organization or their role in helping your company achieve its goals. In fact, only 37% of American workers actually know the goals of the organization they work for, and only 20% understand how their role contributes to achieving these goals. Even more alarming, only 15% of workers believe that their company supports their role in achieving the company’s goals.

Relating this to football, this would mean that with 11 players on a team, only 4 players on the field even know where the end-zone is, only 2 people understand if they are on offense or defense, and only 1 person actually believes that the ownership cares about winning. That’s a big problem!

To combat the common team issues that lead to a less than committed team, you need to develop a company culture that’s focused on strong leadership, drives towards a common goal, clearly lays out the rules of the game, gives your team an action plan, supports risk-taking and requires 100% of your team to be involved in the process.

Start with strong leadership. Your leadership team should intentionally show they’re passionate about what they do, and visibly take responsibility for their actions (or inaction). Leadership starts at the top, and your employees will mimic the behaviors they see from their superiors. If the leadership team is consistently excited about the work they’re doing and the results they’re creating, while also holding themselves accountable to their role in the company vision, the rest of the team will too.

Drive towards a common goal by sharing your company vision, and helping your employees understand what that means for them. Show them how their role contributes to the overall success of the business, and you’ll inspire them to do great work.

Be clear about your game rules. This gives your staff a playbook to understand what’s expected of them, and what will happen if they don’t meet expectations. Be clear about who does what by when for best results.

Support risk taking by giving your team the right resources to go outside their comfort zone. Encourage them to share their ideas, and try new things. Help them feel comfortable that if their idea doesn’t work, they won’t be reprimanded for it – you’ll be happy that they tried something new.

Being intentional about how you lead – and the culture of your company – is the key to creating success. When your company culture is focused on creating success in a positive way, and your entire team is working towards the company vision, you create an environment where the business can function whether you’re there or not.

For more information on overcoming team dysfunction, reach out to the ActionCOACH team here:

Manage Less, See More: Driving Staff Productivity

As leaders, managers, and trainers, we’re all programmed to want to help our teams do great work. Doing great work starts with helping each employee understand their strengths, and using those strengths to identify their genius zone – where they’ll not only be most productive, but happiest within your company. At a recent Breakfast Club, John Warder shared how the 34 Clifton StrengthsFinder® can help your company better maximize the natural strengths of your employees.

By taking the StrengthsFinder®, you can delve into the top five strengths of each of your employees to understand which tasks will come easily to them, and what’s not a great fit. Then, you can assign work to your team based on what motivates them – in other works, what their strengths are. When your employees are successful in their role and enjoy their work, you’ll start to see higher engagement levels, more productivity, and ultimately, increased staff retention.

For example, someone who has strengths like relator, woo or command can be great at developing and maintaining client or vendor relationships. Pushing them to spend their day analyzing data will be frustrating for them, and not maximize their abilities – and likely lead them to leave your company for a role that’s a better fit.

Someone with strengths of analytical, focus and intellection are more likely to align with the operational side of your business. Throwing someone with these skills into a business development role will leave them overwhelmed and unhappy – they’re likely not wired for the constant interaction and competition of a sales role.

So where do you start?

Begin by deploying the StrengthsFinder® to your staff to help them understand more about where their strengths and motivators lie. Then, bring in a strengths coach to help your HR team understand how to best maximize each person’s strengths within their role, and help individuals understand how to leverage their strengths to their advantage while overcoming any weaknesses that may accompany their particular strengths.

To get in touch with John Warder to learn more, reach out to him via email.