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As a leader, your most important role is to set the direction for your team. But what happens when you’ve done this to the best of your ability, and things still aren’t working? You have a good sense of what your team needs to do – and everyone is skilled and appears motivated. Yet, you’re still not seeing the desired team results …

How do you make the transition from intent to action?

Start by removing these barriers to team success:

Poor Communication

Ongoing, two-way communication is essential. It needs to cascade down through your team – and back up again. Communication must be as frequent and as transparent as possible, at every level. Various aspects of essential communication and feedback include:

  • Team meetings.
  • One-on-one meetings.
  • Management by walking around.
  • An open-door policy.
  • Social media dialogue.

Unclear Expectations

For a team to prosper, all of its members need to be crystal clear regarding expected deliverables. Where there is a lack of clarity on the direction of a team, there is a major obstacle to achievement.

  • Make goals SMART: specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-bound. For example, one goal may be to “reduce waste from the delivery of Product X by 10 percent by 12/31/16.”

Weak Time Management

Team members may believe they are using their time productively, but actually, be undermining your agreed-upon direction.

  • Ask each team member to create a pie chart of how they spent their time during the previous week. This includes meetings, tasks, answering emails, social media and other duties. Get the team together to discuss their charts. Pick activities that consumed the most time, and talk about whether or not they moved the team closer to its goals. Then, decide which work can be eliminated to free up time for more business-critical tasks.

Lack of Accountability

A team has the greatest impact when everyone is working toward shared goals. If team members are working at cross purposes, they won’t be effective.

  • Ask each person to identify how their work is affected by what others do or don’t do. Have them identify what they need from other team members, and what they are willing to do to support others. Ask everyone to commit to a few actions in writing. In 30 days, revisit these commitments as a team to track progress and make adjustments as needed.

Shaky Leadership

A team without a leader is like a ship without a captain. A team may select a leader or, as the group develops, a natural leader may emerge.

  • If there are skills gaps on the part of a team leader, others need to be encouraged and trained to fill them. Team leaders, like everyone else, will have areas where they excel and other areas where they struggle a bit more.

The recruitment and workforce development experts at PrideStaff Modesto can help you get your arms around your hiring and human capital challenges, including team building. Read our related posts or contact us today to learn more.

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