One question that consistently haunts many leaders is, “Am I a good leader?” Naturally, the question, “Could me and my team be better?” might then follow.
The pursuit for excellence in leadership and team performance is a desire shared by a huge amount of leaders across all sectors. Leaders that genuinely care about their impact.
So then discerning the difference between an “ok” team and an “outstanding” one becomes vital. Especially for those who want to elevate their team’s performance and create a harmonious and effective workplace.
And, of course, we don’t ever want to sacrifice a team’s well-being in the pursuit of excellence.
There needs to be a balance.
Is your team thriving?
There are plenty of ways to measure whether your team is efficient in terms of KPIs etc, but whether they’re thriving is a bit less tangible. It’s more about behaviours and culture, as well as morale.
- Thriving teams display emotional commitment and dedication to their work and the organisation’s mission.
- Effective communication flows freely among team members, promoting transparency, collaboration, and mutual understanding.
- A thriving team aligns around a common purpose, driven by a shared vision that everyone believes in.
- Thriving teams navigate challenges with patience and understand. They adapt to change effectively, showing resilience.
- Thriving teams are effective, invested, and want to stay where they feel valued.
Recruitment, retention, and employee engagement form a trio of challenges that can hinder a team from reaching a thriving status.
Many organisations are struggling with recruitment and team retention – and of course there are several factors at play here in the non-profit sector including the pandemic, underfunding, the cost of living crisis and increased workload. Attracting and retaining great team members becomes an ongoing struggle. Disengaged team members not only affect their own performance but can also create a ripple effect that impacts the entire team’s morale and productivity.
The aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic introduced the hybrid working model, bringing with it a new set of challenges. Team members are now often dispersed, relying heavily on virtual communication. Miscommunications and misunderstandings become more common in this setting, leading to reduced team cohesion and the camaraderie that once existed. Leaders have to now find new ways to cultivate a sense of belonging and connection among team members, despite the physical distances.
Bridging the gap
This is also exacerbated by the ‘Us’ and ‘Them’ mentality that often exists between teams and management.
This mindset creates a divide where team members perceive themselves as being separate from, and sometimes even in opposition to, the management or leadership. This division can lead to miscommunications, misunderstandings, and a lack of trust between the two groups, not to mention a lack of morale.
Traditional hierarchical structures in organisations can reinforce the ‘Us’ and ‘Them’ mentality. When there’s a significant ‘distance’ between leaders and team members, it might be challenging for team members to feel comfortable speaking up or sharing their perspectives openly.
Effective communication is critical for breaking down barriers, but that can be hindered by several factors, such as a lack of open channels for feedback or genuine fear of repercussions.
Plus, previous negative experiences or instances of feeling unheard or undervalued can fuel team members’ reluctance to trust or collaborate with management.
The overall culture of an organisation can either encourage collaboration and transparency or perpetuate the divide. Changing the culture might require significant effort and time but it’s certainly possible – and it’s worth it.
Leaders who are genuinely committed to bridging the gap might face some resistance but the journey from an “ok” team to an “outstanding” team is an ongoing process of growth, understanding, and collaboration.
I know what you’re thinking, easier said than done?
Influence and Collaboration
Influencing effectively and garnering support from team members is a vital skill for leaders aiming to drive positive change within their organisations. Leaders can cultivate trust and respect by actively listening to team members’ perspectives, and involve them in shaping the team’s direction.
Collaboration is the absolute cornerstone of achieving great results, and when team members feel valued and heard, they become more motivated to contribute wholeheartedly. And they’ll likely become genuinely happier.
Leadership is all about motivating people and helping them reach their full potential. Encouraging them to have autonomy, focus on themselves, and create harmony within the team. When you work on your own challenges and lead by example, you help others more as well as inspire them to do the same.
Focusing on what matters
The phrase “people not paperwork” serves as a powerful reminder for leaders to prioritise their team members’ well-being and growth over more bureaucratic processes. Instead of getting lost in endless administrative tasks, leaders need to invest time and effort in understanding the needs, aspirations, and challenges of their team members. Recognising and celebrating achievements, providing continuous feedback, and offering opportunities for skill development are fundamental to cultivating a thriving team.
We value the importance of the individual and understand that your team dynamic will be unique.
With a variety of skill sets, strengths, and challenges your team needs bespoke support. And that’s what we do best.
By working with you to identify the areas you need to strengthen and improve, we create training courses and workshops tailored to you and your team.
We provide follow-up to all our courses, as well as ongoing support packages where needed.