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4 Ways To Develop A Stronger Team

It can be argued that one of the most important parts of your role as an executive or leader of your company is the ability to manage a successful team. Your employees are your responsibility, and their success depends on whether you can get everyone working together and producing great work.

You’ll be glad to know that there are ways to develop a stronger team and make sure you’re all bonding on a regular basis. Doing this will help your company perform better, individual careers will take off, and everyone will be more satisfied to come to work each day. Above all, you should take your role seriously and put in the effort because your staff members depend on you to guide them.

Develop Your Skills

To lead your team effectively, you have to brush up on your skills and know what your strengths and weaknesses are. Work on yourself first before you try to develop and lead a team of people. You can do this through executive coaching sessions that will instantly improve your career. The team of qualified and experienced individuals who run the programs know exactly what to focus on to help you succeed. The better you are in your role and at your job, the easier it’ll be to create a strong team of employees.

Play To People’s Strengths

You should always delegate wisely and avoid giving assignments to just anyone because it’s faster and easier. To get the best out of your team, you should know who’s good at which tasks and what skills each person brings to the table. It will give you and your team a better chance of getting the work completed efficiently and correctly the first time. If you aren’t sure, then spend time getting to know each employee, analyze their abilities and how they handle the assignment you give them.

Schedule Teambuilding Activities

Your team will instantly become stronger when you participate in fun and exciting team building activities together. It’s not only about the work, but also how your employees interact and support each other. Mix it up and go out to eat one week and give them challenges to complete as a group. It’s vital to build camaraderie among your team as it’ll show positively in the work that’s performed in the office. You need your employees working together towards a common goal and not competing against each other to be the best in every situation.

Encourage Open Communication

Be an advocate for open communication between your team members. Remind them that they’re on the same side and should talk and help each other succeed. You should aim to create a positive environment that welcomes mistakes, as long as people are willing to discuss what went wrong and can learn from them. Make it clear that although you’re busy, your door is always open. Hold team meetings and let everyone have a chance to speak and bring up questions or concerns.

Don’t let your team fend for themselves. Step up and be a good boss by working on your skills and helping your employees deliver their best work. It’s never too late to make this your goal and improve the results you and your team are delivering to the company.

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What Your Team Needs Besides Money

The monetary compensation plays a big role in retaining employees and giving them good reason to give their job their all. But if you believe that’s all they need, you’re going to find more people leaving the team than you would like. There are deeper needs that you and even they might not recognize at first. Neglect them for too long, however, and those will serve as the reasons you can’t retain your staff.

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Photo courtesy of Pexels

Goals
Employees have responsibilities for day-to-day work in their role, and they should know that. When it seems like the day-to-day involves nothing other than just running through a workload to no aim, however, that’s when people can get frustrated. Goal setting for employees, whether it’s collaboration toward a certain goal or simply improving productivity and efficiency can give them something important. It can give them something to aim at, so they don’t just feel like they’re standing still in their job. It’s also a good way to align their goals at work with the goals of the organization.

Progress
Beyond their work goals, you should consider your employee’s personal goals a little more. If they’re looking to progress in the company, see if you can bring out that leadership material. If their job requires expertise, help them build on it with training. If they have personal projects they want to tackle, then offer them time in the office environment to work on it. Make your leadership instrumental in their personal progress.

Value
Let’s not pretend this relationship is all about what you can do for your team. Your team does plenty for you and showing that you acknowledge and value that is important. From simple thanks and an employee-of-the-month scheme to an awards dinner complete with award plaques. Showing real, verbal appreciation and offering a physical token of that appreciation shows that you truly value the team. It also gives you the opportunity to incentivize the behaviors that you consider most important in the workplace.

Cohesion
The work environment is most likely one of multiple people. Getting them cohesive and collaborative is important. Even for those like remote workers who aren’t in the physical environment. Improving the ways they communicate and organize, such as using project management tools, removes the barriers from that cohesion. You should also consider those corporate get-togethers as the opportunity to have people build rapport and relationships without the pressures of work exerting on them.

Flexibility
Speaking of those pressures, every workplace has them. But allowing a little more flexibility to your team can help them deal with said pressures a lot better. Everyone has ways that they work better. Flexibility helps them discover those ways. Whether it’s flexibility in time, location, dress code, method or otherwise. You have to think of what you can reasonably allow. Whatever you can allow, you should.

A better understanding of the human needs in your team is going to make you a better employer in every way. You’re going to retain them, keep them motivated, engaged, and even happy to work for you.

StrategyDriven Management and Leadership Article

How to Lead in High Turbulence – 5 Lessons from the Tunisian revolution

StrategyDriven Management and Leadership ArticleWhat would you do if you were offered a new job and were told you would be fired after one year but you weren’t allowed to quit during your mandate? That you would be paid peanuts compared to your old comfortable job, and you would be harassed and bashed in the media constantly. And you wouldn’t be allowed to complain. You would probably say “no thanks,” right?

I ended up with that job and found out what it really means to lead in a high turbulence environment.

I was Dean of a leading business school in Paris and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the top mobile telecom operator in Tunisia when the Arab Spring broke out, turning the already troubled Middle East and North Africa upside down.

Hope

It was a hopeful moment across the region and particularly in Tunisia. Even more surprising was that unorganized youth, impoverished people and Facebook played a huge part in toppling the Dictator Ben Ali, whose stifling reign lasted nearly a quarter century.

After a rocky start for the country after Ben Ali’s fall, the 2015 Nobel Peace Prize went to the Tunisian Quartet, composed of four civil society associations, which facilitated the country’s national dialogue. This dialogue reached a consensus among political parties stipulating that the incumbent Islamists hand over power to a technocratic transitional government.

This was the context when on Christmas day 2013, the then designated Prime Minister Mehdi Jomaa offered me the aforementioned thankless and non-lucrative opportunity. I was asked to be Minister of Higher Education, Scientific Research, and Information & Communication Technologies. How could I refuse?

I tried. My family was against it and it was risky. I didn’t want to turn down such an honor over the phone, so I travelled from Paris to Tunis to meet Prime Minister Jomaa.

When I got there, he pointed out that I had never done my obligatory military service and that it was time for me to pay my dues with a one-year commitment to my country. That was the beginning. I would later become the first minister he hired for his government and a very close collaborator in his core team.

Turbulence

With the two political assassinations that took place in Tunisia in February and July 2013 being among the reasons our government was put in place, our team knew from the start we would be working in an extremely high turbulence environment. We were faced with the threat of being taken hostage; hostile mobs quite often waited for us outside our ministry; at times, we couldn’t go home; our own staff went on strike, and on and on.

How can you start each day being positive and ready to lead under these circumstances?

Despite all of the hardships, it was the experience of a lifetime! Here are five lessons I learned about leading in a high turbulence environment:

1. Build a team with a fresh perspective. When setting up the transitional government, Prime Minister Jomaa didn’t gather the usual suspects from the Tunisian political scene. Like any good leader should, he gathered the best people for the job from far and wide, bringing back countrymen from the US, Brazil, France, Switzerland, the UK, and other places. He picked people who he knew had the skills to do the job and particularly looked for experienced leaders who had an outside perspective without connections to the old regime.

2. Destroy silos. In order to get our monumental tasks done in the short time frame we were given, we had to create a network structure. It was important to collaborate across ministries and hierarchies to move forward. We leveraged the local knowledge and experience of ministers on the ground as a foundation for cross-silo collaboration. For the Prime Minister, it also meant that he had to empower his team to make autonomous decisions.

3. Separate the transformation or innovation team from the traditional part of the organization. Just like a technology company, we intentionally physically set up our “lab” on the opposite side of Tunis, far from the main body of government. Big problems need big solutions and you can’t come up with great ideas when you are bogged down with e-mails and day to day issues. Our job was to come up with innovative ideas to move our country forward and for that we needed the space to think and be creative.

4. Build bonds to strengthen trust. There is no way you can accomplish any major feat, let alone getting an entire country off to a new start, if you don’t trust, respect and have confidence in your team.

To strengthen our teamwork, we got out of the office and did outdoor team building exercises. We met each other during the weekend for social gatherings or to play soccer together. We went on learning expeditions and gathered insights into how challenges like ours have been approached elsewhere. All of this helped us be on the same page and have faith that we could succeed together.

5. Recognize your window of opportunity and set priorities. We had one year to get the job done. In that timeline and with the task of bringing an entire country back from the brink, you have to focus. We made it a priority to set up state institutions as outlined in the constitution, to prepare the ground for fair and internationally-recognized parliamentary and presidential elections before the end of our one-year mandate, to create an investment friendly environment and to resolve ongoing political conflicts. The situation was dire. A sense of urgency can help leaders reach goals. We couldn’t work on issues that weren’t of the most pressing importance.

Success?

So did we succeed? We redesigned the national subsidy system and put the country on a better economic path. We led the fight against terrorism, redesigned the higher education system in the country, formulated a five-year strategic plan for “Digital Tunisia,” created a “country chief information officer” role that reports directly to the Prime Minister. On our watch an SMS-based registration system for national elections was also created. I would say overall we harnessed technology to push the country toward the future.

But sadly Tunisia is now facing an unprecedented terrorist threat following three attacks in 2015 on the Bardo National Museum, on a major hotel in Sousse and on the presidential guard in Tunis. More recently an all-out military style attack by ISIS was carried on Ben Gardane, a Tunisian city on the Libyan border. Because of this, tourism, one of the country’s biggest income generators, has plummeted leaving it in an economically weakened state.

But that’s also how business is. Success one year, or even one week, doesn’t at all guarantee future wins.

Look at Volkswagen in 2015. The formerly top-selling brand experienced a scandal that put its future in danger.

So leaders in any types of organizations need to prepare themselves, mentally and otherwise, to face high turbulence, or else.

Do you have what it takes to lead in high turbulence?


About the Author

Tawfik Jelassi is IMD Professor of Strategy and Technology Management. He was the Tunisian Minister of Higher Education, Scientific Research, and Information & Communication Technologies during a transitional technocratic government in 2014-2015 following the Arab Spring revolution in the country. He is conducting a session on Leading in a High Turbulence Environment at Orchestrating Winning Performance taking place in Lausanne from June 27th to July 1st.

7 Ways to Build Muscle and Teamwork in the Office

We often spend more than a third of each day at the office. That’s a lot of time to often be sitting at a desk or in front of a computer. It’s to our advantage to make those hours more active not only for our health, but for our professional life, too. Even simple activities like walking help to get blood and creative juices flowing. If your office has a gym, definitely use it. Get some colleagues together for a workout or walking group and make it your own recurring ‘meeting.’

Here are 7 more ways you can get active and build office camaraderie while you’re at it:


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About the Author

Shana Schneider is a fitness expert and founder of FITWEEK™, a fitness company that helps women turn every week into a FITWEEK™. As a “FitStylist” with a busy schedule herself,Shana helps women incorporate individual fitness into their everyday lifestyle by providing unique insights, tips, advice and how-to videos through her FITWEEK™ website.

Recommended Resource – Soup: A recipe to nourish your team and culture

Soup: A Recipe to Nourish Your Team and Culture
by Jon Gordon

About the Reference

Soup: A Recipe to Nourish Your Team and Culture a business novel by Jon Gordon illustrates the significant impact senior leaders have on setting and nurturing their organization’s culture. Jon goes on to reveal how culture, in-turn, drives performance and ultimately an organization’s success.

Benefits of Using this Reference

StrategyDriven Contributors believe leaders at the top set the tone and tenor of the organization’s performance; that the workforce will, over time, embody a set of beliefs aligned with senior management’s decisions and actions.

StrategyDriven Contributors like Soup for the way in which the relationship between senior leader decisions and actions, organizational beliefs and work ethic, and overall company results is illustrated. Through the story of Soup, Inc., Jon reveals the nuances of decisions and actions by a CEO and how these effect those immediately around her and are then translated throughout the workforce. These easy-to-relate-to interactions follow closely with our own experience with personnel reactions in the workplace; making Soup‘s lessons both real and applicable.

The lessons in Soup go one step further; illustrating in an implementable step-by-step fashion how to positively impact and change an organization’s culture.

Soup‘s insights and implementable actions on how to constructively improve an organization’s culture makes it a StrategyDriven recommended read.