Benchmark Business Group

Team Potential

August 20, 2019

Is your team reaching its fullest potential? Often when we ask this question, we’re met with some reluctance to answer; and even defensive answers. We hear clarifications such as my team really cares about our clients, or even, they work hard.

We understand. The financial services industry can be very fast paced. Rarely is there a worry about your team working hard. Instead, the question is often, how do we handle it all? Which makes the question of potential even more important.

If you have a disconnect with your team buying into your vision then yes, work ethic and caring could lead to a team not reaching its fullest potential. However, what we often see is that potential is hampered by other factors.

We see agencies where work isn’t defined and too many people get involved in a simple client issue. Teams are too busy to communicate and thus, the best way of doing work becomes a secret. Forms become outdated and teams begin to miss simple details or must redo work.

It’s often not about hard work or caring. It’s often about the way in which the agency works. To reach full potential your team must have the structures needed to make them the most productive and efficient. It’s about working smarter, not longer and harder.

Consider these three tips to work smarter and help your team reach its fullest potential:

  • Divide and Conquer – When agencies grow there needs to be a step back to ask who should be working on what. When you divide and conquer, more work can be accomplished. This can provide more value to your clients and help speed up processes. It can also cut down on the number of people that need to get involved in one task, by cutting down the number of questions.
     
  • Update Systems – When your systems are outdated everyone starts to adapt their own method. Things begin to get missed. There’s no clarity on the most efficient way to get a task accomplished. We understand that systems take time to write and update, but 30 minutes of updating a form or checklist as processes change can save hours of work down the road. Invest the time to ensure everyone on the team is using the best method to get tasks done.
     
  • Structured Communication – Most agencies are small enough that spur of the moment communication happens often. These quick meetings that happen as you pass each other often replace structured meetings and communication. The focus is often on current issues and only includes those that are around at the time, causing a communication breakdown. You get so focused on the emergencies that there isn’t time for strategy. Even the smallest offices will benefit from having structured communication where elements of the business are discussed by design instead of letting the issue of the day take over.

Consider your team’s potential and the above tips. If you need more leverage, check out our Management to Employee Self-Management Inspired Action Series training to improve your team’s communication and potential.

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