As the leader or senior manager of a business you recognize that at a certain point every company will have issues dealing with people who can bring down the entire team.
As a small business implementor, I know that every company and every team is on a spectrum from weak to strong. Where does your team and your company fall on that spectrum and what can you do to move from weak to strong?
What is the importance of team strength?
Companies and organizations with strong united teams reap the following benefits because the old adages that “attitude is everything” and “a rising tide lifts all,” can permeate the entire team:
- Common focus
- Watch out for each other
- 1 + 1 equals much more than 2
- Strength in numbers – try snapping a handful of arrows vs. a single one
- Customers recognize companies whose teams work together
What are the repercussions if your team is weak?
Here are just a few of the problems you and your company will experience when you allow a single player to bring down the team because the opposite adages are also true:
- Constant infighting leads to poor decisions
- Too much energy focused on resolving internal issues and less on serving customers
- Lack of cooperation breeds resentments and jealousy
Perhaps the most obvious examples of teams who lose their way occur in professional sports when a highly paid prima donna brings down an entire franchise. Don’t allow your prima donnas to bring down your business.
Steps to make your team stronger
As the leaders of your business, you set the tone and you are responsible for the attitudes of you employees. Building strong teams takes hard work and disciplines. Here are a few suggestions we offer our clients:
- Be aware of your leadership style, people will follow your behavior – you are being watched at all times both on and “off the job.” Be sure your actions demonstrate your core values and belief systems.
- Embrace differences and challenges and work through them – in todays’ diverse work environment, you need to value everyone who works with and for you.
- Have clearly defined roles and responsibilities – everyone needs to fully understand what they are supposed to do and it is your responsibility to eliminate confusion
- Hold team members accountable for their actions at all times. Have clear policies in your employee manual for dealing with inappropriate behavior.
- Acknowledge and celebrate success – always reward people and teams who demonstrate they are doing the right things to help you grow the business.
Just as success breeds success, failure can breed failure. Make sure you have strong teams in place and do not allow any single member to bring down all the good a high functioning and well-balanced team can do for your company.