Almost 60% of all businesses lack strong leadership, causing a ripple effect that leads to 37% of workers leaving their jobs. Those who stay are less likely to be motivated or productive.
For these reasons, your employees need effective business leaders who encourage continuous and stable growth in the workplace. Leaders can accomplish this by constantly evaluating their team, acknowledging their strengths, and investing in ongoing development and support.
The Importance of Teamwork and Leadership
Being a part of a team doesn’t mean teamwork automatically happens. For teams to be efficient, everyone has to work together to finish a project, but more often than not, employees find it hard to create balance. There’s usually someone doing more work to compensate for another.
This imbalance happens when we’re not enthusiastic to work, a common goal can’t be set, or the team can’t get along. To fix this, teams will appoint a leader, or someone will step in as one.
However, the wrong leader can do even more damage than any lack of team chemistry could ever do. The typical boss vs leader trope can explain why. Some people aren’t meant to be leaders or aren’t trained in the subject, so an authoritarian “boss” will emerge in its place.
Leaders have a lot of responsibility. If they’re unable to encourage teams to work together seamlessly and achieve their goal, the project or company could fall apart. Investing in leaders is the most effective way to create a supportive environment evaluated based on merit.
How Great Business Leaders Help Their Teams
Your sales strategy won’t get off the ground unless you run an effective team. Business leaders can help their team improve on their strengths and minimize their weaknesses by:
- Fostering Open Communication: Create an environment where honesty and openness in communication are encouraged. Ask people to share their views.
- Creating Collaborative Goals: Leaders can set defined goals from the offset. While this requires extra planning, having an agreed-upon goal will deliver the best results.
- Celebrating Your Team's Success: Never forget to congratulate your team when targets are met. For big wins, consider taking the team out to lunch or dinner.
- Promoting Problem Solving: Leaders should encourage their team to creatively solve project-related problems. Give them space to brainstorm and develop their confidence.
- Offering Resources and Training: Support your team by giving them the resources they need to excel in a new career. Consider offering cross-training opportunities.
- Holding Yourself Accountable: Everyone makes mistakes. If you made a bad call, own up to it and take responsibility. Work with your team to address the issue.
- Focusing on the Big Picture: Business Leaders need to strike a balance between delegating daily tasks and working on overarching personal/team-based goals.
- Showing Empathy in the Workplace: Your employees have things going on outside of work. Checking on your employee's mental health isn’t prying; it’s showing you care.
- Building Strong One-on-One Relationships: Build relationships with each of your coworkers separate from the team, so you know how to support them individually.
- Demonstrating Respect: Your team members want to feel respected. Demonstrate respect by listening to your team, showing gratitude, and disagreeing in a kind way.
Great leaders are people-oriented, bring out the best in people, and seek commitment from their team members. Business leaders that demonstrate strong ethics and offer their team a sense of safety will empower others to self-organize, build connections, and encourage new ideas.
How to Evaluate the Success of Your Team
An effective business leader can’t just create successful teams; they can also properly evaluate them. Here are 10 ways business professionals can assess the success of their team.
1. Revisit Project Goals
Before initiating the evaluation process, it’s essential to revisit the project’s goals. By doing this, you’ll be able to set realistic expectations for yourself and your team. If you’re only looking at a project with the final outcome in mind, there won’t be a chance for your team to catch up.
2. Establish a Baseline
Business leaders have to establish a baseline. Your baseline is where you expect your team to operate if the scope of the project doesn’t change. By telling your team members what you expect from them, they’ll be able to compare your level of achievement with theirs.
3. Examine Your Competition
Your team members shouldn’t be competing with each other if they’re trying to reach the same goal. It could cause tension, which isn’t the ideal scenario for team development. However, if your team compares themselves to your competition, they’ll be more motivated to “win.”
4. Quantify What Success Means
Now you’re at the point of establishing what normal performance should look like. Discuss with your team what level of accomplishment is considered successful. This measure should be above the baseline but not so far away from it that it intimidates or frustrates your team.
If the initial measure of success was reached before the project's completion, set their goals even higher. Consider offering a reward (like lunch) for teams that go above and beyond.
5. Interview Each Team Member
Evaluation interviews should be conducted in an individual and group environment. Group members may hold back their thoughts while in the presence of their team. A one-on-one can help you create better teams in the future based on the needs of every single employee.
6. Listen Carefully
Listen to your employees during their briefing and debriefing interviews. It’s possible their opinions of the project or their team members have changed. Take note of their mannerisms during the interview. If you suspect they're holding back, approach the question in a different way.
7. Take Note of Positive or Negative Outliers
The phrase “a team is only as strong as its weakest link” is true of all organizations. There may be outliers bringing down the team, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be coached. At the same time, they may not be a strong contributor because they don’t fit in with a team dynamic.
All positive outliers should be considered for leadership positions in the future. The other team members could learn from them, especially if they have good habits and a great attitude.
8. Discuss Key Challenges
In the debriefing interview, what challenges did you notice? Did a problem occur because of one person, or was it poor team chemistry? What can you do in the future? Asking yourself these questions could help you understand why the quality of work suffered or deadlines wasn’t met.
9. Assess Your Level of Involvement
The team leader should be an essential addition to the project, not a negative outlier. Although it’s difficult to evaluate yourself, try to answer your debriefing interview questions as best you can. Ask for your team members' feedback during their own debriefing interview for more clarity.
10. Plan for Next Time
Following up on the results of the project is just as important as the project itself. Use what you learned before, during, and after the project to plan for the next one. By planning for future projects, you’ll have an easier time delegating roles and setting up deadlines.
Constant Team Evaluation Helps You Accomplish More
Good leadership skills and quality teamwork go hand-in-hand, but your team won’t accomplish much if you don’t evaluate them. Speak to your team members regularly to address teamwork-based challenges, build on their strengths, and coach through their weaknesses.