Getting to know the people that work for you is great for building and maintaining your relationship with your team. I truly believe that a happy and engaged team will deliver the best customer service. So it is vital, as a team leader, that you get involved with your team and really get to know them. This is not a prescription, this is what works for me. Your approach has to be honest and something that you believe in. Also, you will not be able to win hearts just by doing these things, your message and approach has to be consistent at all times, throughout everything you do.
I hope that I can give you a couple of tools to use at team meetings which, done properly and facilitated correctly, will take you no more than 15 minutes and the information you get back from your team will be rich and powerful. Your role as team leader is to facilitate the discussion and you should not be answering the questions for them, but asking the team probing and open questions to get information out of them.
It is crucial that everyone gets the opportunity to speak, which you can make sure happens, and try to manage the forum so that no one person overshadows the discussion.
What I do is get small teams together of no more than 10 people and perform two exercises to find out what motivates the team and what they truly believe in.
What you’ll need is a flip chart or whiteboard, some pens… and an open mind!
Find out what really motivates your team. Facilitate discussion around the following questions: –
- What motivates you to come to work everyday?
- Why do you get up every morning to come to work?
- Why do you bother coming to work, and why should anyone care?
These questions are just examples, however, it can be tough to get a response sometimes and that’s where the last question comes in. It is a little harsh but gets people thinking about what REALLY motivates them and will illicit a response from people.
Money always comes up, because at the end of the day the majority of us need a job, at the basic level, to pay bills and mortgages, but that will hopefully not be the only motivator. What you will hopefully find is that your team actually enjoy coming to work and enjoy the company of those around them.
- What is important to you?
- What do you believe in?
- Why do you do what you do?
- What do you enjoy most about your work?
What you are looking for here is what the people in the team believe to be true to who they are, their morals as humans, what they believe is the correct way to behave in their working environment and throughout life.
It is important that there is a general consensus around the points made by the team. As the facilitator you can see who agrees and who disagrees with different statements and it is always interesting to take get step back at the end and summarise the results with the team.
At the end of the meeting what you will be left with is a list of things that motivate your team and a list things that they really feel strongly about and what they feel is important to them.
Example results: –
||Taking pride in our job
||Everyone does their job to the st andard expected
|To be part of a team
||We show respect for each other
|To meet and interact with people
||We take responsibility for our own actions
|To develop personally
||We are honest with each other
||To provide a great customer service
…but what can we do with this information?
At the very least you have engaged with your team and had some personal interaction with them. They will also be thinking a little more about their job and why they really enjoy their work, which will hopefully have positive connotations.
One great thing you can do with this information is to put it into a statement which represents what the team is all about…for example: –
“Our team love coming to work everyday to provide the best service we can. We all know what is expected of us, we work hard and take real pride in what we do. We truly believe in honesty and have great respect for each other… and that is what being part of this team is all about.”
You could print it out and display it in the work area so people can relate to it, it could be their value statement.
You could also reword the statement slightly and use it to attract new employees through a job advert or at another point in the selection process; prospective employees will then be able to really underst and how the team operate and be able to decide whether or not they have the same values and can fit in with the team.
The key part of the process is that the team agreed on the points they made together and therefore it is unique to them. It is now clear what it means to be part of the team and everyone knows why they do what they do.
I really hope that you find this useful.
Thanks for reading,