We all want to be a part of a team of engaged, aligned and motivated people. The problem is that most teams are not teams at all; rather they are groups of people put together to get a job done. Groups are never as productive or as fun as teams.
The best way to build a winning team is to make sure that everyone is aligned around and exciting vision and agreed upon set of team goals. Most people have clear individual roles and goals but I am always surprised and how few teams have clear team goals with a team vision identifying where they are heading along with an understanding how each person will contribute to the team’s success and how they will benefit.
People are not engaged or motivated because they not excited about where the team is going or they have no idea of how they can help the team to succeed. One of our clients wanted to lower costs, increase sales and deliver better service to their customers. Sound familiar? Their teams were not “buying-in” to these new goals, which were delivered to them by their CEO. The “What’s in it for me and or our team” if we succeed question was not answered. All the people saw was more work and more stress if they wanted to keep their job. The CEO had forgotten about the following 4 keys to building a team of engaged, aligned and motivated people.
Sell the Vision
People need to be sold on the vision. My client was trying to sell more pills as they were in the pharmaceutical business. They had restructured each year and cut employees during each restructuring. People could not get that excited about selling more pills. They could get excited about being a part of an organization that saved people lives and made their lives better. Investors want more sales while your employees would rather make the world a better place. Be clear about what you are really selling. No one buys pills but everyone wants a better life with enhanced health. People can get excited about helping other people. The vision also has to include something for me. If I help my team to achieve the vision what’s in it for me?
What’s in it for Me?
If you want engaged and motivated employees’ you need to make sure that everyone on your team will personally benefit from the teams success. One of the most powerful motivators is personal growth. Develop your people and invest in them. Prove to them that you care and that you will give them the skills and tools to become more productive so that they have what they need to achieve the new vision. As long as people are learning and growing they will be motivated and engaged. If you can give your team a team bonus or if you can have a team celebration from time to time people will see that their extra efforts are paying off and are worth it.
Listen to Me!!!
Some of the best ideas to lower costs and grow sales are never heard. Another client of ours was trying to cut $1,000,0000 dollars of cost out of their Aluminum production plant so they set up a Six Sigma Total Quality team of black belt experts to get the job done quickly. This team met for 6 months and involved key people in the plant to solve this problem. They eventually figured out how to cut over 2 million in costs while improving productivity. This was a great success. The funny thing was that a union worker that was working on the production line had an idea that could save even more money. When asked why he never told anyone about his great idea he said; “I have been telling my supervisors my ideas for years and they never listen”. His idea was even better than what the successful six sigma team came up with; all the leaders had to do was to listen.
Have a Plan
All our clients have strategic plans and goals to achieve their vision. The problem is that these plans are created by the leadership team and are not effectively communicated to the team members that have to execute them. If I am the receptionist at the branch office in West Virginia how can I help my company to grow sales, lower costs and improve customer service? I need a plan so that I can see how my job can help my organization to achieve its vision. We worked with this receptionist to help her to discover how critical her job was. She was the first point of contact for customers so her attitude and phone skills created that critical first impression. She also had ideas on how to improve the workflow between sales and service as she heard complaints from frustrated customers. Her ideas helped her office to cut costs and improve service. This improved service lead to more referrals and greater sales. Wow she really made a difference and helped her company to become more successful. She also ended up getting a bonus and a promotion, which she deserved.
Sell the vision, be clear about what’s in it for your people, listen to them and have a plan. Engaged, aligned and motivated employees will ensure that your vision becomes a reality.
Contact Paul Fergus at [email protected] or call him at 1-877-633-9555 to discuss how he and his team can help you develop successful teams of engaged, aligned and motivated people.