How do you feel about the New Year? Are you excited to get it started, or worried it may just be a continuation of 2020? No matter what happens in the world around us, the new year provides all team leaders with new opportunities to create a stronger, more engaged and productive team that can help you achieve the goals you have set for 2021.
- Recognize (and address) the areas you need to strengthen
Problems don’t usually solve themselves – they require recognizing them and then developing a plan to fix them. What are some of the problems affecting your team? Communication? Lack of engagement? Poor team cohesiveness? Mis-match of person-to-job? Start the year by taking inventory of your challenges and then identify how best to correct the issues.
- Increase effective communication
If nothing else, working remotely during COVID has shown us how important it is to learn new ways to effectively communicate, especially when we aren’t all in the same room! Productive communication requires knowing how you come across when communicating, understanding how others like to be communicated with, and finding a way to blend different communication styles so that everyone feels heard, understood, and valued. Do you only want facts and figures, or is it more important to include some time to socialize? Do you have team members who want a logical, step-by-step approach while others want to jump in and figure it out as they go? Help your team recognize and adapt to different communication styles in order to create a more productive team atmosphere.
- Connect the dots between behaviors and benchmarks
Communication isn’t the only thing that makes a successful team – knowing the different behavioral style of team members and how each person contributes to the success of the organization is crucial to both team morale and efficiency. Different roles require different types of behavior, so it helps to benchmark the position and identify the behaviors and competencies needed to do the job well. Once you do that, you can review the behavioral style of each employee and identify how well they fit the role they are in. Getting the right people in the right position is not only good for the company, it’s a great way to more fully engage employees.
- Connect with their motivation
Why do you get up every morning and do what you do? What motivates you? Conversely, what discourages you? While there will always be tasks we must complete even though they don’t inspire us, it’s important to connect more with those that really drive us. When you know the driving forces that motivate each of your team members, you can bridge their intrinsic motivators to their job responsibilities. And, when that happens, you’ll have a team of people who are excited to get up in the morning and come to work.
- Engage in consistent development
The more you help each member of your team in their professional and personal development, the greater effect it will have on the success of your business. Problems at home can have a negative impact on productivity, so bringing in professional speakers to discuss topics such as managing stress, handling finances, or staying fit can help reduce the daily challenges your team faces. Additionally, training an internal member of your team in programs such as DISC, Motivators, and Emotional Intelligence can provide your company with the tools needed to continually build the competencies, skills, and resilience of each team member and the organization.
Each member of your team is crucial to the success of your business in 2021. So, invest in helping them reach their full potential by deepening their understanding of themselves, their teammates, and everyone’s unique contribution to the organization. Make this a year of increased engagement, productivity, understanding, and success for you and your team!