How To Lead A Team To Success
From the outside, running a business is the responsibility of the owner or the CEO but we all know that on the inside running a business is not a single person’s job alone. You need a strong and reliable team that would stand by you and support you in every project and every challenge that comes your way. As the decision-maker and face of your business, you may get a lot of work but to ensure that your team delivers it with the same quality and dedication as yourself could be an uphill task for most leaders. You need to ensure that each member believes in your organisational values, culture, vision and goals. And yet when you hire people with all of these, there are some teams that work and some that don’t. So what is it that drives a team to success?
A true success of a leader isn’t measured by how many targets he or she has met but on how well the entire team has performed. A leader doesn’t plan the day for their employees but strategies for the whole team to be successful as one unit. If you too wish to lead your team towards success, here are a few things that you could consider while developing your strategy:
1. Assign responsibilities cautiously
A job well delegated is a job well begun. Most of the times it’s the right kind of delegation that makes the entire difference in the productivity of a project. As a leader, you need to take responsibility to know your employees and their strengths and weaknesses. Have formal and informal discussions often with your team to know their preferences and interests before assigning roles. Look for the passion, interest and skill in your employee along with the ability to get it done before you delegate a task. The one who has all 4 of these would not just give you the result but also ensure that your quality and brand is held high at all times.
2. Set smaller, achievable and relevant goals
Having a long-term goal for them is indeed important but equally important is it to have short-term goals. Each team has a unique set of functions and it is important not to mix it up while setting goals. A marketing person on your team might not be directly concerned with how you manage your deliveries. Similarly, an HR isn’t exactly motivated with sales numbers. Hence, having smaller individual goals and making them relevant helps keep everyone focused on their job. Setting significant, achievable goals and measuring milestones will help you reach your targets within the estimated time and cost; and also positively influence the productivity.
3. Demonstrate and lead by example
Once the roles are assigned, let it not be an order or email sent out. If time and other factors permit, demonstrate how it’s done by doing it yourself. If it’s not your core strength too, have a professional take a workshop on how a task can be done efficiently. Having a demonstration not only helps boost employee morale and sets benchmarks that they can try to overcome; it also ensure the employee has a steep learning curve.
4. Encourage new perspectives
It is not necessary that all your employees agree to or are able to approach a certain task the way you would. Don’t reject new ideas in such situations. Let employees come forward and share them with you. If their ideas are good, you could find a way of implementing them. If they need improvements, you could help them with a reason and alternative solution right away. This builds respect and trust in their minds for you. It will make them feel that they’re being heard. You could also record these interactions and suggestions, both positive and negative, as a knowledge bank for future.
5. Include a work hard, play hard policy
Offices are places of work but it doesn’t have to be serious at all the time. Ensure you have regular engagement activities that bring down the stress levels. This could be done with things as simple as JAM sessions, tally games or just an open mic session inside the office. Or you could take your team out for a dinner or picnic after completing a major project. Work is crucial but such occasional stress busters are also equally important in adding to the rise in productivity of your employees.
6. Be accessible and available
Making time for your employees is also as important as making time for your customers. Being the leader of your firm isn’t an easy job and you might be tied up with tons of work. But ensure that you are available for your employees as and when they need your assistance. If you find this difficult, you could even allot a day or a time slot specifically for this purpose. Eg: Monday 11 am you meet with the operations team. Tuesday 3 pm you meet the HR team and so on. Being connected to your employees helps you know what’s going on in their minds and also tackle issues in the bud. It is also advisable to know about their interests and concerns during such interactions.
7. Have a structured feedback and learning process
Feedback is essential in any business. However, you need to ensure that there’s a system in place for feedback as well. This would not only make the process more organised but also help tackle negative feedback as and when they arise. With a hierarchical approach, you can set levels for grievance handling and performance management too. Once you understand your employees and their needs, you could even conduct relevant training sessions, workshops, and even fun activities to improve their productivity.
8. Be the last one to speak
When discussing something with your employees or colleagues, always remember to be the last one to speak. This is because you would then not limit them within a set boundary of ideas and instead allow them to think out of the box. Once you’ve heard each one’s opinion and ideas on the issue, then is the time you table your ideas. By then you would have not just heard everyone’s opinion but also improvised on yours based on all the inputs. The entire process will automatically get a buy-in from all present and give them a feeling that they contributed too.
A winning team is the best because everyone in the team works towards giving their best and more. As a leader, you have been bestowed with the responsibility to lead your team to success. Ensure that you spend enough time in developing your team and training them in various aspects of your business.
Yellow Spark works with a vision to enable every organisation create a compelling ecosystem, which people aspire to be a part of! To know how we can help you to develop a winning culture, write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Author Profile: Aparna Joshi Khandwala is a passionate HR professional. She co-founded Yellow Spark to work with like-minded people who believe in the power of leadership, which is the only business differentiator in today’s time.