Over the past few weeks, we’ve been discussing what it means to really be “open for business“, and we’re now on Step 3 of the 5-Step Process to Building a Powerhouse Team.
We’ve looked at the what and how of Communication, and 3 Essential Layers of Connection that you have the opportunity to make when your communication becomes more intentional. When you start to connect your team members to each other and to the vision for your business, people are able to streamline their thinking towards that vision. They’re able to overlap their own personal values with that of the business and team, and buy-in to what you’re asking them to achieve. When everyone’s focus and energy becomes streamlined like that, it activates the opportunity for GROWTH!
With intentional communication comes clarity, and connection within the team brings a new energy that activates people towards a common goal – the growth of your business. Now you must maintain that energy and direct it down the right path. Here are 2 steps to get there (and the “secret” 3rd step to locking it down that everyone forgets!):
1. Maintain the Energy
In the Connection step of this process, I’ve suggested you discuss the vision for your business. You can now bring that a few steps closer by laying out the 5-year and/or 3-year goals for your business to your team. Give them an overview what you’re aiming at, and then fill them in on more defined annual goals that move them towards that aim. Make the annual goals specific and measurable – numbers, deadlines, etc.
Ask them to consider what they each want for the next 5 years of their lives in terms of their personal growth. Where are they headed? Do they want more? Some are happy to stick with the security of a steady job, perfect their part in it and just tick over. These dependables are a gift in themselves. Others ARE looking to go somewhere further. Knowing this means you can work together towards your goals. Rather than someone unexpectedly leaving you in 2 years’ time for “greener pastures”, you can work towards both your growth and theirs. That way you get the best out of them in that time and you know what’s coming which means you can prepare. Win, Win!
Perhaps there are skills they will need that you can help them grown within their role over the next few years. Perhaps you can present them with growth opportunities in line with what they’re aiming at.
When you overlap your needs and theirs, the energy continues to build as people synergise their needs and you get the best of them!
2. Direct the Energy
When you present the future goals of the business, and specifically the annual goals, ask your team to take notes so that they can prepare and feed back with their own presentations to the Team. Presenting to a group is something many have never had to do and it can be nerve wracking… it can also be loads of fun and one more thing to connect on! With the aid of a PowerPoint presentation that they can draw up themselves, ask each “department” to present on the following:
- How their department works – the processes and responsibilities – as if explaining it to someone who’s unfamiliar with your business. You’d be surprised how many department are unaware of the workings of others and how they affect each other.
- The needs of their department – what do they need from others to do their job. How do other’s timelines affect theirs etc?
- Where are the pressure points that, if solved, could make a difference to more effectively achieving the annual goals of the business? This may fill you in on issues you weren’t aware were holding you back.
- What are the exact responsibilities of their department towards achieving the specific, measurable annual goals that you laid out, and how are they going to achieve them?
- How do they think their department could grow? What do they think they could contribute to the targeted business growth for the next 3/5 years?
- How would they personally like to grow? Discussing this inspires other team members to expand their thinking; holds each accountable for their own personal growth; and means you can advocate for each other if you see opportunities arise that you know are in line with a Team member’s needs.
Getting everyone involved in this journey not only clarifies it further, but allows them to personally connect with their part in the whole plan.
3. Lock. It. Down.
After all this awesome creation and direction of energy…..you’ll want to apply this last step in order to lock it all down. For some reason, this is the step that we all neglect – and yet it’s vital to making it all happen!
Once each department has presented on their responsibilities towards the annual goals for the business, hold a discussion session to apply timelines and accountability to these responsibilities.
Have the Team draw up one big picture showing how their timelines on tasks for the annual goals overlap and interact. This gives them a sense of how they affect each other and allows them to hold each other accountable. Discuss what may stop each of them reaching these deadlines and how hiccups can be prevented.
Discuss how the Team will keep each other updated and accountable for their responsibilities. Do you need a weekly update meeting? Try a 5 min, or 32 min meeting limit to push everyone to be concise. How about monthly progress meetings? How about an app like Slack or Basecamp that keeps your team communicating with no meetings needed?
Ask them to overlap their personal growth goals over the top of this timeline and update the Team on their progress.
Growth is a big step. It’s ultimately what you aim at when you seek to shift your Team’s communication in the first place. Be ready for it! Plan it. Harness it.
Again, if you’d like help with this process, you know who to call! We’re putting together three workshops to keep you on track with your plans, starting in October – watch this space!!
by Christen Killick
3rd September 2018