Your teams are the powerhouses of your organisation. Invest in your teams wisely to keep them fully fuelled and operating smoothly.
To say that teams work at their best when the people in them get along well, is hardly rocket science. Yet it’s an aspect of team development that is rarely considered. People are hired for what they bring on an individual light level, or as a copy of someone else (often the hiring manager). It’s a strategy that can easily end in disappointment and discord. In the pursuit of ‘cultural fit’, recruiters are tasked with ‘find me another X’. This however can lead to stunted diversity in your teams and damage your long-term succession planning efforts.
Instead organisations should give careful consideration into what a team needs to be successful. If ‘too many cooks spoil the broth’, perhaps make sure you have an expert pot-washer and pastry chef too. The diverse skills and mindsets of these people bring a richness and creativity of thought to your teams.
By all means start with what currently delivers success. But ask where could the team improve? Perhaps a little more or less sociability or drive. Maybe you’d like to add an injection of optimism or perseverance to the team. Could the team’s leader benefit from a direct report who can constructively challenge or play devil’s advocate to their decision making? Having a team which can diplomatically manage upwards is a great ‘check and balance’ asset in your organisation.
Assessments can provide insights to build profiles of what drives success
Behavioural profiling tools, such as McQuaig, give excellent indicators of personality traits, such as sociability, drive and independence, which the team needs to keep in balance. For example, too many independent types could bring chaos. Temper this with enough rule-followers who can check the worst of their colleagues’ excess. Take your investment in McQuaig further with Effective Teams trainer certification. Train your in-house coaches to embed the language of McQuaig throughout your organisation.
Develop soft 'human' skills with assessment, training and coaching
While personality traits are fixed, subject to stretching and squashing, an individual can improve how they exhibit those traits through greater self-awareness, regulation and development. It’s these human skills of emotional intelligence, resilience and motivation that create the bonds within a team. This is where you will see a greater return on your investment in your team.
For the most part, and provided you have recruited well, people want to get along with each other. Pre-Covid, we spent more time with our co-workers than our friends and family. It’s in our interest to form positive workplace relationships. However, the stresses and strains of work, plus whatever else may be going on away from work, can cause friction. Left to fester, these can lead to dispute. We wonder how many tribunal cases reported in the HR press might have been prevented if only the workplace relationships were better nurtured. Instead the outcomes are distressing and expensive.
With greater emotional intelligence, resilience and motivation skills, the individuals within teams can understand each other better, be aware of triggers and aim to avoid or mitigate them. flowprofiler® enables recruiters, line managers and coaches to be better informed about their teams. The flowprofiler® team report provides a helicopter view of the team which is easy to understand. It helps to identify who are the outliers in a team and learn how to best support them in their role.
flowprofiler® enables individuals to have open and constructive conversations about how they behave and react in their teams. For instance, does an outward expression of self-confidence mask a lack of self-esteem? Or is a co-worker driven by their peers’ recognition of their achievement rather than by financial reward? Facilitated flowprofiler® team sessions help bring your people together to strengthen the cohesion and learn what makes them great.
Develop technical soft skills to improve communication and connection
Aside from assessments, teams benefit from communication and facilitation skills workshops, not only to improve these technical soft skills but also a team building activity. We were blown away by the warmth and support at a recent Polished Presenter™ workshop, run by Master Trainer Sara Jobson. The participants were initially wary, but flourished as the day went on thanks to the generosity of spirit and support from their co-workers.
It’s events like these where co-workers can get together, not to build a raft or paint a bench (valuable as these exercises may be), but to actually improve the skills and connections that make the team a better environment to work in.
Create the springboard from which your teams can flourish through 2022 and beyond
Bring together your cross functional teams, hybrid workers and homeworkers who have missed out on making human workplace connections over the past two years. Empower them with the skills to create optimism and drive productivity forwards.