Ben was a good leader, but he felt he was spending too much time ensuring his staff team worked smoothly towards their goals. He stopped by for a discussion with his HR rep. The conversation went something like:
Ben: I am spending hours each day getting my team aligned
Ben: Isn’t this too much time?
HR: It depends…
The amount of time each leader should spend ensuring the team is moving in a united fashion towards their targets, depends upon many things:
- Clarity of team goals – Does the team understand the targets and goals? Sometimes leaders make assumptions that all team members understand team goals. However, this assumption doesn’t serve you. Find out if people understand the goals, communicate the goals over and over again.
- Clarity of individual goals & their part – Does each employee know their individual goals, the link to team goals & what they do to achieve those goals? It is not easy to show the link between day to day work and employee & team goals. Without that link employees do their best, but it isn’t always in alignment with what you want them to achieve.
- Team functioning – Is your team a “well-oiled machine?” Most teams have issues regarding trust, communication and conflict. Very few teams are well-oiled machines. Depending upon the maturity level of your team, you might have to spend more time with them ensuring communications happen, that people are held accountable for their objectives, and conflicts are managed appropriately.
So if you are like Ben, and think you are spending too much time managing the team. Realize that spending time to get your staff to work together is worth the time. Once they start working well together, you can spend less time managing them. Your next steps are:
- Determine the level of understanding of team goals. Communicate, communicate, communicate.
- Talk to individuals about their specific goals, the connection to team goals, and what actions they are taking to meet those goals
- Determine how well your team is working together. You might need to bring in someone to help the team learn how to move to the next level of team functioning.
If you want to be even a better leader contact me at Valerie.MacLeod@HainesCentre.com
Photograph by Valerie MacLeod