I’ve gone around this, given hints, talked about the concept. This time it’s about the bottom line in team building and keeping that team at top performance. Just think about it for a moment. The best sport teams or individuals in the world win the championship and when the next year comes around, they don’t. What happened? Now to be fair there are other teams that are working very hard to get the trophy. Pretty much they are now going after the winner to win it all.
A couple things occur that keep a team from being on top at all times. They felt the amazing feeling of winning so it will never be a first again. The members of the team are not motivated in the same way. They get bored. It doesn’t seem new anymore. It’s not their fault. The human mind once it has learned something and become good at it, wants something new and different. It already got that skill down, so to speak. We see this in different areas of business situation. First people are nervous when starting something new whether the job or learning a new task, a lot of energy is being out into it and then they feel comfortable as it becomes second nature. To be precise there has to be a lot of checks and balances. Perhaps it is a human condition.
For teams there has to be newness. this is the maintenance of a team. There needs to be checks on the team and this has to be done often. But this IS NOT micro-managing. Micro-managing is very bad and is more destructive to a team than helpful. Part of maintenance of a team is finding new ways to do things and bringing in things that will keep the team learning and sharp. A team that thinks it knows it all will get dull. Once that occurs, things will slip. The team leader must continue to challenge the team and everyone on it.
Most of the time when a manager, supervisor, or coach takes over a team they are not building it from scratch. Instead a team has been a team for awhile or at the very least a group of people have been together for awhile. At times this is looked at as the team already exists and just needs to go on with maybe some tweaking along the way. I’m going to suggest not to look at it this way. I’m suggesting to look at it as building a new team.
Before anything is done in changes take the time to observe this team as a whole and the individual member of the team. Tell your boss that you are going to do this. This does a few things. First it allows you in a relaxed manner to get to know people a little, the team members relax and act more themselves, you see what works and get a sense of what needs to be changed, and the group did not feel like everything was going to change immediately. Most often this is the start of a good relationship.
Don’t just change things for the sake of changing things. See what works and leave it alone for awhile. As you have your goals of where the team needs to go, you can now use your observations of the individuals to put them in the roles you think will be the strongest. This is also a great time to give people something new because it naturally gets people recharged. It is terrific to explain why this is happening and showing the goal you have in mind that you want to see the team reach. This is not always a concrete goal but might be simply seeing the team come together more, help each other, or being precise.
Going a little slower allows the member of the team to feel you are a part of the team before changes were made. I find there is less resistance this way with the flow coming easier.
Liz Cosline – Ownership Coach/Team Enhancer
, using the default tag:
“Can’t get there from here” is a New England statement that has to be said with a very thick New England accent. It’s used because,especially way up north, all roads do not connect. And wouldn’t you know it.This idea applies to business too. “Here” is a work environment where employees are disengaged, i.e. distrusting, minimal performing, low energy, etc. “There” is a work environment where employees are energized, contributing, productive. The “road” that leads to the first cannot get you to the second. It takes a different route.
When managers are not trusted to coach, to make decisions, to engage the employees and keep them engaged (to name a few) – business can’t
get to the one thing they talk about wanting. According to many different polls by Gallup and others, business leaders
want employees to choose and to want to better the company, to better the customer experience, and to better themselves. Without a strong coaching relationship between the front line manager and the team, guess what? “Can’t get there from here.”
Business does train and does try new ways to keep employees energized but there seems to be a gap. Doing more tasks or implementing new procedures will not keep employees engaged. Engagement is a choice, whether conscious or subconscious, because there is a reason for being engaged. This could be fulfillment, recognition, career advancement, a feeling of satisfaction, self-improvement, learning, a promotion, or a host of other reasons. The point is the employee has worth and knows it, because it is consistently communicated. And let us not forget that managing an engaged group of employees is not only easier, but more rewarding for the manager in every way.
What is the view from the front? Is the employee seeing the same things the leadership is seeing?
Have the goals and the vision been defined in a way that both parties have the same definition? The perspective of an employee is different than that of management. How can it not be? It isn’t that one is more invested than the other with respect to commitment. Rather, it is more about how information is perceived. If management is asking for more to be done without fully considering the impact it will have on the employees, the employees will see it as negative. If blaming occurs because things are not getting accomplished without seeing why, employees will be resentful. If employees are being treated poorly (lots of negative reinforcement, little or no positive reinforcement) or never recognized, for example, then employees will disengage.
The process of engagement is grounded in how managers treat the employees. The relationship develops while going after the same defined
goals. The frontline manager, especially, is the foundation or source from which the team works. This relationship is one of support, coaching, mentoring, accountability, pushing for greatness in each individual, listening, challenging, defending, and working towards company and individual goals.
Engagement is an indicator. How engaged one is in a relationship, whether personal or work, is much like barometric pressure. Barometric pressure helps us understand weather conditions. When the pressure changes, so do the conditions. Pressure up and we’re looking at good weather; down, and it’s a storm. Employee engagement, or lack thereof is an excellent way to understand the work environment. It lets us know what’s going on and even how it will be going forward. So, less engagement and the work environment is sluggish. Productivity, efficiency, customer service and profit suffer. More engagement and the work environment is good. Work is getting done efficiently and productively, employees are committed and part of the team, and their contribution to the overall health of the organization is valued and recognized. This looks like the road worth taking.
Liz Cosline – Coach and team Enhancer. Developer and founder of the From the Front Management™ Training Program for frontline managers. Liz coaches individuals and teams on balancing, bringing out potential, becoming coaches, and employee
engagement. In business management over 23 years in different industries receiving several awards with appearances on
many radio programs.
, using the default tag: .
The world can seem and at times be very hectic. There just
seems to be so many things and tasks that must get done in a day. Whether it is
work projects or household chores the days often don’t seem to have enough
hours to complete everything. When things don’t get done it often feels like
life is getting behind and now catch up has to be played. All of a sudden it
doesn’t feel so good. It might feel like there isn’t enough time for
Once this feeling starts it can affect how the day goes. Is there often a rushing feeling that if only
the next ten things get done there will be time to relax? Sometimes people are delayed that are asking
for things until later when there is time. Children are sometimes told that
there isn’t time to play right now and they will have to wait. A spouse might be told that a vacation needs
to be put off until there is time, or even a dinner out, a movie, or just a
My intention in bringing this thinking up is that the time
will not return. It will go by and not be recaptured. It is a very precious
commodity taken in moments for an activity enjoyed, work completed and
relationships made to name a few. When asked for time I found it good to ask
myself, if what I was doing does not get done this instant what will that
affect? If I find the answer is that it is not immediately pressing, which is
most of the time, then I pay attention to people. Tasks are not affecting by
the amount of time as much as people are, or lack of time. Tasks can be
restarted but the moments lost with people cannot.
Life Ownership Coach -certified/Team Enhancer
In business management for over 23 years.
Forbes Magazine talked about that employees get very little attention from their immediate managers. It was talking about the mentoring aspect of management and that it is not dong very often.
Managers have a lot to do in any organization, making sure the work gets done and may feel that the hours pass quickly. However this is essential if there is going to be employee engagement. It has been stated, I believe by a Gallop poll, that employee disengagement costs billions.
But what are we talking about? When employees do not feel valued, or feel they are not seen by the company, or feel the company does not care about them, well they start not caring also. The signs of this are latenesses, increase in absenses, slowing of work, moral drop, acting like nothing bothers them, lack of smiles, complaining, and you get the picture. It seems to be accepted to just get by or be average. The involvement in the daily routine seems to dwindle. So no wonder it starts to lose money.
Yet there is more to employee engagement. The employee needs to see the value in this. As said above – needs to be mentored, have attention, have clear goals, have someone ne interested in that employee, and be noticed.
The instrumental person in this is the frontline manager. It is time for comapnies to give attention to these crucial managers in any organization.
It has been talked about in the McKinsey Quarterly, in the Harvard Business Review, and in Forbes magazine to name a few. There is much discussion on how to bring out the best in frontline managers. There has even been statements that CEO’s are disappointed in frontline management.
Since there is disappointed then this is the place to have attention drawn. When there is any problem we must go to the source to solve the problem. Now before anyone wants to “beat up” the frontline managers that is not what is going to solve it.
First it needs to be defined what is wanted at this management level. They are the ones that can be the highest cost, why? Because they affect the frontline employees directly which in turn affects the customer directly. These managers need support, training, and be able to make decisions on a daily basis without looking over their shoulders. They must support and care about the frontline employees. It is their job to get the obstacles out of the way so great jobs can be done.
Often however they don’t seem to get a lot of training.
Frontline managers are key to any organization and to the employees they serve. They need some attention.