Effective teams make a dramatic difference in terms of reducing costs, improving employee engagement and improving customer satisfaction – moreover, an effective management team is required to execute a business strategy and develop competitive advantage.
Despite this, most companies do not have effective leadership teams!
How many hours have you worked this week? 40 hours? 60 hours? Rather not think about just how many hours?
Nearly a third of UK professionals are now working 50 or more hours each week, up from 19% in 2011. And, despite this extra time put in, only 21% of survey respondents said they received formal overtime.
But, actually, the number of hours you spend at the office isn’t the important metric here. What really counts are your achievements during these hours. Think about it this way, if you’re at the office for 8 hours a day, how much of that time are you actively working on the tasks and projects that you’ve decided are your business priorities? How many of those hours can you confidently say are completely productive? Or, do you find you get distracted? Emails come in, the phone keeps ringing and your sales director wants some support on a big new contract.
Delegation is one of the barriers to growth that we must overcome or risk being swept away by ever increasing demands on our time; diverting our focus away from leading and growing our businesses. Often, we do things out of habit or because we think we should be doing them. If we ask ourselves, “Why are we doing this? What is this achieving and what would happen if we stopped doing this?” we can see their true value to the business.
This can mean handing over tasks that you enjoy doing as well as ones that you don’t. It also requires an investment of time and trust to delegate work but it’s necessary if you want to grow your business.
Your self-talk will resist the change: “By the time I explain it to them, I would have been quicker doing it myself.”
And then there’s the one for the perfectionists out there like myself, “They won’t be able to do the work as well as me and might make mistakes.” Any of this sound familiar?
It may be part of a growth strategy, succession or to resolve conflict in a team because the last guy screwed up – but whatever it is, adding a new manager to the team can be very much a storming process.
We take a look at some of the issues you may face and give some insight into how to go about making management change a smoother process.
When we are frustrated it can be very tempting to focus solely on what’s going wrong in our businesses because we want to stop and prevent issues from occurring. But this can be very damaging to staff performance as well as morale. Your time may be better spent identifying the key moments where your team are doing things right and trying to duplicate those successes instead.
Ask yourself: when was the last time that you had a meeting with one of your staff and asked them about what went well recently? If you haven’t, don’t worry - you’re not alone.
Do you ever get the feeling you’re putting all your energy into your business but worry that your team isn’t moving with you? You may find that giving your talent a productivity boost might help you get them on the same page as you.
While productivity levels will vary from person-to-person here are some key actions that you can take to encourage them to fulfil their potential.
‘Directors’ of growing businesses are not the same as ‘owner-managers’. They have different profiles, different leadership styles, different needs, different experiences, different resources and very different ambitions. However, the banks and much of the business support industry often like to lump all independent businesses together.
In our businesses, we create incentive systems with targets and goals, we may even offer bonuses and in this sense we as leaders, try to direct our employees behaviour. But, did you know that inside the human body there are 4 chemical incentives that work the same way- if not better, and will explain why so many “incentives” don’t and simply can’t work.
The conference hall goes silent as I pull out the flipchart marker pen. You could hear a pin drop. A glimpse of the blindingly obvious or a stroke of genius, I write on the flipchart, “The problem is that most of you don’t know what you really want.”
I’ve been running courses for nearly 20 years, and I have identified some long term and some recent trends that are worth considering if you’re getting your people trained. I say IF, because amazingly there are many MDs and business owners that spend tens of thousands of pounds employing people and then they don’t give them any training in management, they just expect them to copy their boss, or make it up. Let’s assume you aren’t one of those!