What Is Your Business Missing In Order To Create A Great Team?
When business leaders are searching for how to get the best performance out of others, they often study the tactics of the military or of team sports. Leaders in these disciplines spend a lot of resources determining how to get the best out of others, so it just makes sense to follow their lead.
When it comes to working with teams, it is clear that to get everyone on the same page there needs to be a common way of thinking. Playbooks, standard operating procedures (SOPs), training camps, boot camp, all exist to get team members on the same page. They use similar language. They learn the same plays. They recite mottos and mantras. They know without a doubt they are playing to win and there are standards and rules to how the team plays together.
This is something that is often missing in small business. There are pieces here and there like culture value statements, systems, mission statements and so on, which mimic what sports and military teams do well, but many times it’s not pulled together in a cohesive way. Therefore, the team isn’t as cohesive as the business would like.
So, what is it that businesses are missing? Using sports and military terminology as inspiration, here is a list of things you can implement in your business to unite individuals together to forge a great team and achieve goals:
- A playbook/SOPs - these set the tone for how the work is to be done and what the expectations are. They also ensure that newcomers can quickly and easily get on the same page as veterans.
- Training /boot camps - a strong onboarding process is vital. Most businesses tend to hurry to get someone hired and right to work, without setting the stage. A great onboarding process should include giving the new team member time and space to learn, without being asked to sink or swim.
- A strong point of view - especially in the military, individuals are taught to think about situations in the same way. They have a common language. They are taught the mottos that are important. In many businesses this is missing. For instance, it may be assumed that everyone knows what "great customer service" is, but if that were true everyone would be providing great customer service consistently. However, one person's version of great customer service can be drastically different than another's. You should document and be very clear about the business’s productive points of view that your team should be aware of, such as:
- how we think and talk about our clients
- the behaviors that build productive relationships
- how we work through problems to a solution
It can be effective to create a point of view document that is used throughout trainings to ensure that everyone is on the same page.
- Practice time – a lot of time is spent on practicing, both in the military and in team sports. A business rarely spends time practicing. That means your team members are being asked to practice with your clients/prospects. It’s not the best way to learn and it can cause issues with sales leads and customer service. Though it’s hard, it’s important for your business to carve out time for your team to practice both individually and as a team.