5 Tips for Creating a Team Building Culture

November 29, 2013 by  

Creating a team-building culture starts with individual, engaged employees. Engaged employees are happier at work, get more done, and routinely go above and beyond their job descriptions. They also encourage other employees to be more engaged and creative. Most importantly, these employees are proud to be a part of their companies and are likely to stay long-term. There is no one simple set of actions that will create increased engagement levels. You need to identify opportunities, simplify solutions, take action, and hold people accountable for following through with the policies you establish.

In order to create an atmosphere that fosters engagement:
Evaluate the employee: communicate with the employee to identify: What can be improved? What he or she needs? What can be adjusted? What should we start or stop doing?
Evaluate the leader: identify the leadership skills that are most effective for engaging employees. Seek feedback about each leader from his or her boss, peers and direct reports. Align the leader‘s behaviors and leadership skills to the expectations of the organization. Then, close leadership gaps through on the job performance, feedback and coaching.
Evaluate the team:  Each team member brings something unique to the team. It’s important for managers to understand the individual talents of each member and understand how those skill sets interact. Once interaction patterns are clear, it is easier to make adjustments to the current work environment. How the team works together directly affects the productivity of the company. With an overall understanding of where strengths and weaknesses vary, managers are now able to make appropriate adjustments in order to maximize efficiency and leverage the specific talents of each team member.
Create a culture that values engagement – A company’s culture is the unique personality of that company: core values, ethics, and rules that guide behavior. Communicating a clear vision of the future is crucial. Engaged employees require a work culture that is fundamentally stimulating, where they feel appreciated, respected and supported.
Teamwork is rewarded and recognized:  While individual achievements are great, collaborative ideas and practices are what create a team-building culture. Encourage team members to work together to come up with the very best ideas, and reward them when they do.

A company’s brand creates customer loyalty. When one enhances existing processes with the use of predicative performance patterns and job matching, and then empowers managers to use this data, those practices will accelerate performance and build employee brand loyalty. It is also important to remember that team building is not just an activity done once a month. It is something that needs to be a daily part of your organization’s culture.

6 Essential Qualities of a Successful Manager

November 18, 2013 by  

1. Be a great communicator.
Clear and concise communication is one of the most important managerial skills. As a manager you must be able to motivate, delegate, negotiate, persuade, analyze, and critique deals, tasks, and team members on a daily basis. Effective communication whether written, verbal, or through digital media are skills required of any manager today. The better your communication the more likely you and your organization will succeed.
2. Be energetic and enthusiastic.
Negative attitudes bring the entire team down. Managers with enthusiasm and an optimistic outlook will energize the entire team. Adopting a can-do attitude and implementing enthusiasm in the day-to-day interactions will encourage others to look for the positive in even the most challenging situations.
3. Exhibit competence in your area of expertise.
A successful manager must master their area of expertise. The best way to exhibit competence and mastery in your field is to challenge, inspire, and enable your team to successfully complete key goals and initiatives ahead of schedule, under budget, and with exceptional results. Model successful behavior and learn from other successful managers in your field.
4. Delegate effectively and efficiently.
Delegation is an often abused function of even the most seasoned veteran manager. Being able to push critical tasks on to other team members is not the answer to successful delegation. Instead, delegating to those most suited to the task, providing timely information and guidance, as well as consistently following up to ensure everyone understands the task at hand and the desired results are key to effective and efficient delegation.
5. Remain calm, cool, and collected regardless of the circumstances.
Obstacles will arise, unforeseen events will transpire, and Murphy’s Law tends to rule in spite of the most well thought out plans and objectives. When challenges arise handle them calmly and with authority. Identify the solutions and clearly define the ways to successfully navigate the obstacle course presenting itself. Reinforce your team’s ability to thrive in any circumstance by remaining composed and confident even if you are not entirely certain of exactly what needs to happen or when. In a clear-headed state the solutions will materialize and many perceived challenges will work themselves out without requiring major intervention or corrections.
6. Be your team‘s biggest cheerleader and coach.
Encourage your team throughout all stages of any project and offer coaching and guidance as needed during the process. A team is only as good as its leader and requires the manager to understand what is necessary to motivate the individuals to perform at their highest ability. In addition continually recognize and acknowledge the successes of your team. Encourage individuals to strive to improve on an ongoing basis. By leading and encouraging you will inspire individuals to improve their performance and the team’s in the process.

By incorporating these 6 guiding principles into your current management techniques you will be sure to actively engage those around you and improve results consistently. Though not always easily mastered these techniques are simple and proven. Start implementing them today and see how powerful each of them can be in your management objectives.

8 Things Employees Need Most

November 8, 2013 by  

1. Empowerment. Best practices can create excellence, but every task doesn’t deserve a micro-managed approach. Autonomy and latitude breed engagement and satisfaction. Freedom also breeds innovation. Every industry has room for different approaches. Whenever possible, give your employees the power to work the way they work best.
2. Targets. Goals are fun. Everyone is a little competitive. Targets create a sense of purpose and add meaning to even the most repetitive tasks. Without a goal to shoot for, work is just work.
3. Mission. Everyone likes to feel a part of something bigger. Striving to be worthy of words like “best” or “largest” or “fastest” or “highest quality” provides a sense of purpose. Let employees know what you want to achieve for your business, for customers, and your community. Encourage them create a few missions of their own.
4. Expectations. Every job should include some degree of latitude; however every job needs basic expectations regarding the way specific situations should be handled. Few things are more stressful than not knowing what your boss expects from one minute to the next. If standards change, make sure you communicate those changes before putting them into effect. Always offer an explanation as to why this particular decision was made.
5. Input. Everyone wants to offer suggestions and ideas. Collaborative decisions create more buy in. Make it easy for employees to offer suggestions. You can’t implement every idea, but you can always make employees feel valued for their contributions.
6. Connection. Employees don’t want to work for a paycheck; they want to work with and for people. A kind word, a short discussion about family, a brief check-in to see if they need anything… those individual moments are much more important than meetings or formal evaluations. It shows appreciation and respect, key aspects to creating purpose for individuals.
7. Consistency. Most people can deal with a boss who is demanding and quick to criticize… as long as he or she treats every employee the same. The key to maintaining consistency is to communicate clearly and honestly. The more employees understand why a decision was made the less likely they are to assume favoritism or unfair treatment.
8. Future. Every job should have the potential to lead to something more, either within or outside the company. Take the time to develop employees for jobs they someday hope to fill even if those positions are outside the company. This support and encouragement fosters positive feelings toward the organization offering the opportunity for personal growth and expansion of one’s skill set.

Employees will care about your business when you show that you care about them. Provide empowerment and mastery opportunities and they will develop purpose to the benefit or your company.