James is an executive in a large organization. He leads a team of very talented directors. His team has a wealth of experience and knowledge and the team members are located in different regions across the country. James has great intentions to have a close working team and tries to keep in contact with each team member, either in person or through conference calls, to ensure the business is operating smoothly in each region. James also tries to bring his team members together on a regular basis to meet in person but because of scheduling conflicts this does not always happen.
This year the annual employee satisfaction survey showed poor employee engagement results. James thinks the company is not making full use of their talented employees and he fears they will start to leave the organization. James knows he has to lead the way, and make better use of his own team of directors and the people that report to them.
Unfortunately this scenario is common in a lot of large organizations. People and teams’ performance can vary greatly depending on the role of their department within the organization, and the direction the leadership is taking. Organizations that fail to harness the natural talents and skills of their people and teams are essentially misfiring as they try to compete in a global economy.
Similarly to human performance organizations, high-performance sports teams know it’s essential to leverage everyone’s skills and talents to the fullest in order to be competitive. This includes not only the players, but also the coaches, assistants and managers who have a clear understanding of what needs to be accomplished.
To ensure employees and teams are working well together and performing at their best, try some of these simple techniques.
Use technology wisely
It is very common these days to have flexible working hours and work remotely from different locations. It is essential to learn how to make the best use of video conferencing, email and social media. The trick is to know what technology to use for each situation (for example, what is appropriate for team touch points may not work for large-scale departmental meetings) and how to lead and manage teams using technology. Ideally, you want to ensure everybody feels they’re part of a team regardless of where each team member might be located and the hours they work.
Hold meetings in person
Even if you find a way to use technology to your advantage when managing a remote team, it’s good to remember that face time is still essential if you want to be an effective leader. There have been numerous studies indicating the benefits of “the human connection” when leading and managing people, and it is especially important in our fast-paced, technology-driven world. Even flying across the country to meet with team members cannot be overlooked if you want to sustain a team while trying to achieve business results.
Leverage everybody’s skills wisely
Like most high-performance sports teams, organizations have many people with great skills. Unfortunately, some organizations fail at tapping into people’s natural skills. Try imagining you had a fantastic goalie on your hockey team, but instead of using his skills, you had him working as the team trainer. Would that make for a great performing team? Of course not. However, when people are given the opportunity to share their natural skills within their teams and with other teams within the organization, employee engagement will naturally start to increase.
With all the technology in our modern workplace, it’s essential to find the right blend between technology and offline management skills in order to leverage the power of all the teams within an organization.
All the best in achieving your highest performance.
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