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Leaders, Are You Preventing Your Team from Soaring?

In coaching sessions I hear key common cries for help. This past week the key theme on a surprising number of calls has been ‘my team is not doing what I need them to be doing’. The names have been changed but the following stressful situations have not.

·     I am here most nights and many weekends because my team just isn’t taking on the work I hired them to do, in the way it needs to get done.

·     Sue (a millennial) sits back; her worth ethic just doesn’t seem to be there.

·     Dave is supposed to be helping to grow the business, but he hasn’t brought in one new client.

·     Jane has been here for 15 years, she is paid a lot and won’t step up to learn the new system, or get out of her comfort zone in any way.

·      I can’t spend any time doing the things that will add the most value to the business because I am stuck doing all of the things I hired a team to do.

If any of that sounds familiar to you, or your team isn’t learning, innovating, helping clients or growing the business in the way you envisioned when you brought them on, or the way you need them to be taking action today, read on.

Despite your good intentions and ways of trying to communicate what you need, if you are not getting the results you are looking for, short of replacing team members, a new approach might provide a lifeline.

For a quick minute, let’s take a look at what your team member might be seeing and feeling.

·     You are doing their work for them

·     They don’t really understand the big picture strategy of what you are trying to create and why

·     They haven’t been part of designing goals and solutions to get from here to there, so they don’t feel a lot of ownership.

·     There is unclear expectations- no written roles and responsibilities

·     They are not 100% sure of priorities, so they react all day long until it is time to go home.

·     There is no formal follow-up, so they are not sure if they are progressing

·     They would like to succeed, but really aren’t sure of the best way to change, grow or learn the skills that would make the biggest difference.

You might be thinking… I have told them what to do and they just aren’t doing it, how many times do I need to tell them?

I invite you to shift your thoughts for a minute and think about the following:

To build a forward-thinking, proactive, innovative team the following practices can make the difference between staying stuck in the status quo and leading an engaged, proactive, high-growth team.

1.    Delegate- stop doing their work

2.    Communicate a clearly articulated vision

3.    Invite the team to participate in crafting the most important steps to get from here to there

4.    Define clearly written roles and responsibilities – so each team member knows what is expected of them, and what they can expect of others

5.    Craft a method or set of guidelines for prioritizing

6.    Schedule formal feedback for every team member on a regular basis, and a group meeting to feedback to measure and discuss progress to goals

7.    Sit with every team member each year to design their development plan

A year-end retreat is the perfect way to begin to formulate the clarity that can get every team member excited about the future, enable them to play a role in figuring out how to best get there, and setting clear expectations.

Asking your team what is working and not working for them will foster new levels of conversation that can strengthen how things are done.

The stronger you can clearly articulate your values and the vision you have for your business, and repeat those words through action, the stronger the role model you become.

People get excited about the future if it is in alignment with their values. Investing the time to share your passion not just with your clients, but internally can reap huge rewards in getting your team to soar.

Written by Helene Mazur

Helene is the founder of Princeton Performance Dynamics, an executive coaching and strategic planning facilitation company for business leaders and their teams. Helene’s passion is helping her clients to focus their goals, see new perspectives on their current situation, put in place realistic, motivating plans, and execute to achieve new levels of success.