Being Better. Doing More. Growing Team Cohesion.
Recent statistics indicate that up to 60% of work teams fail flat out in pursuit of their goals and that anywhere between 50% and 83% of workers reported suffering from burnout in the last year. These statistics are hardly hallmarks of healthy workplace cultures or teams and they certainly don’t speak well of productivity, efficiency or effectiveness. The cost to companies can be staggering, but it doesn’t have to be this way.
How can team performance be improved? By building trust and relationship and knowing what helps teams be more to do better. At Worldview Intelligence we have created a wealth of tried and true resources to support teams in Being More, Doing Better and you find many of them here.
Our Worldview Intelligence High-Performance Teams Model supports leaders and teams in understanding their team dynamics and what to do to support growth, cohesion, health and well being. It indicates three spheres that need attention. Trouble can show up in any of those spheres.
Lack of role clarity related to work tasks can cause confusion or conflict and contribute to the underperformance of teams. Lack of proper processes and practices can do the same. If the purpose of the work is not clear, the team can lack direction or guidance as well.
Relationships matter. Everyone has heard the phrase, “You don’t have to like them, you just have to work with them.” Yet, we all know how much easier it is to work with people we get along with and in environments that are psychologically safe. Strained relationships in a team cause stress for everyone. And, it could be the relationships are more neglected than strained, which still leaves lots of room for miscommunications and other challenges.
A team that is not given opportunities for learning can become stagnant with no personal or professional growth. Team members may not be adequately prepared for new technologies or new ways of thinking that could benefit the work they must tend to. They may not have the skills to have the candid conversations needed to build relationship and sort out work conflicts.
Work To Do
What to do? Ensure people know what they and other team members are expected to do and that they have the skills and training to perform to expectations, including the relational skills to work through tension, conflict and differing worldview perspectives. We build relationships by illuminating worldviews, making connections, inviting curiosity, demonstrating compassion and empathy. We find connecting points by sharing stories. Stories could be about fun things people like or like to do or a deeper sharing about things that are important to them or have shaped them, as we often do in Worldview Intelligence programs.
For some people, relationship building may happen naturally but for most teams, opportunities need to be built into team agendas. You can take a team away on a retreat and there is definite value in this. You can also take a few minutes to use a check-in or check-out process to invite reflections as you begin or end meetings. What is it your team needs and how do you design for the outcomes identified? Building relationships can take a bit of time. Maintaining good relationships can take less time but does require intention and attention.
Learning can happen individually and collectively. Individuals who take some form of training or education could be invited to share that with the team. Even better, is offering teams the opportunity to learn together. It could be on technical skills or on essential interpersonal skills or both. As the team learns together, members acquire a common language and can apply what they are learning to their understanding of their work or in building relationship.
Learning together creates opportunities to bring innovative ideas to work. Strong relationships contribute to sustainability, not just of new ideas, but of patterns and practices that serve the work and relationship. Relationships that are strengthened and where everyone is invited and able to bring their worldviews and perspectives to the team and team dynamics, makes for better collaborators and is more likely to have impact, immediately and over the long term. The stronger the relationships, the more powerful the impact.
The payoff to supporting teams in being more, doing better is that conflict is reduced, more energy is dedicated to the goals of the team, people enjoy working with each other, they contribute more, are more likely to look forward to going to work every day and are more willing to go the extra mile when it is called for. This is the kind of workplace where people want to work, now and in the future. It could be competitive advantage in your recruitment and retention efforts and that directly impacts the bottom line.