Most corporations strive hard to grow and deliver profits to shareholders by providing compelling products and services to customers. Each year, a comprehensive plan is put in place to deliver on business objectives, responsibilities and accountabilities allocated, project teams created, milestones set and budgets determined. Staff are recruited and measured according to their ability to deliver on their KPI’s.
But there are often significant human costs that come with achieving and maintaining (or exceeding) a high level of performance, often borne by the very people your organisation is depending on.
So how do we ensure that the people who were hired to grow the organisation also have an opportunity to grow themselves and not get burnt out, causing workplace conflicts, complaints and resentment towards management?
Have a Clear Structure
It is no secret that achieving any goal require meticulous planning and execution.
Before you embark on any project, ensure your staff have a very clear idea on the task ahead, what the intended outcome is and how the reporting structure is formed. It’s well and good to hit the ground running but we have to make sure we know where we are running to and that the team is equipped to keep up with us.
Like anything in our professional lives, tasks and outcomes change, so does the direction and resources.
If the goal posts shift, communicate this clearly to your staff, put some context around it and allow them an opportunity to make comment. Remember they are the ones doing the groundwork, so they have a clear indication on what works and what doesn’t. This will enable staff to understand the reasons behind the shift and make them feel part of the decision process not just a number performing a role.
Pause and Look Around
We can all get lost focusing on the task ahead and lose track of what is happening around us.
When a goal is set and a timeframe given, we tend to put our heads down and push through until we get the job done. By the delivery date, we look around and realise we have lost a portion of our staff we started with and we wonder why.
Achieving something you’ve worked hard for is a beautiful thing but doing it with the people you started with is even better. Don’t lose sight of the well-being of the team around you. Make it your regular habit (as regular as those weekly progress meetings) to stop, look around and reinforce the importance of the team and its welfare.
Engage with team members, listen to what they have to say and provide constructive feedback. Encourage an environment where concerns are identified, discussed and addressed early – rather than allowing discontent or poor behaviour to fester and flourish.
Taking the time to looking after your team and supporting staff at a personal level guarantees a better return, a more productive working environment and ultimately less issues and conflicts for employers to have to resolve.
How good does it feel when the job is done? You have met your target and now we start to think about the next project. Before you do, remember that a milestone has been achieved and it is important to acknowledge the team who was behind that.
Take your team out for a celebration, whether that be a team building exercise, a lunch at a local restaurant or a cruise on the harbour. Leave the office and head out so the team can feel a sense of achievement and appreciation. This is the time to celebrate and reflect on what has been achieved and it is also a time to finish on a high, so the team is energised, enthusiastic and ready for what lies ahead.
Managing teams actually takes management!
When you manage a team, you must manage more than tasks, you ought to manage personalities, expectations, performance, professional conduct and personal lives. This is not an easy thing to do but when you build a solid foundation and set the right framework, the positive culture will fall into place and the balances shifts away from workplace conflicts allowing the team to stay focused on the mission ahead with the least amount of disruption and the most amount production.
About Marc Dib
Marc Dib conducts workplace investigations and reviews for Worklogic’s government and private sector clients.
Marc has extensive expertise in transnational and complex investigations in areas including fraud, intelligence, anti-corruption and professional standards.