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9 THINGS YOU NEED TO DO TO BUILD YOUR DREAM TEAM
So you want to build your dream team… Whether it is on a sporting field, in your office or at a pub trivia night, we all know a dream team when we see one. They share certain unmistakable qualities that have the power to make magic happen and success seem so attainable. Chances are your team has a few “dream team” qualities here and there, but you’re struggling to make the magic happen because some people “get it”, and some people don’t, and some people will work cohesively while others won’t. Some people give all they’ve got for your team, but only until a better offer comes along and then they leave with you a big hole to fill.
Teams aren’t working - and it’s costing you • People in your team are disconnected. You’re constantly worried that they aren’t on track to meet their goals or if they’re meeting them, you’re worried about what they are (or aren’t) doing along the way. • Disengaged team leaders or managers aren’t providing the open, constructive feedback that their team members need to improve. • Teams or individuals are siloed. They aren’t working cohesively and probably think they’d be better off without the others. • Absenteeism is on the rise, as is presenteeism. People aren’t turning up for work and those that do, don’t get much done. • Attrition is also on the rise. You feel stuck in an endless recruitment cycle because the highly capable employees are either getting poached or are getting sick of being underappreciated.
That’s ok… you’re not alone. You can do simple things to fix it.
1. Know your purpose Purpose is a fundamental human need. We need a reason to get out of bed every day. We need a source of motivation for us to continue with a challenge even though it seems too hard. When we do something for a purpose we believe in, we work harder and give more. Tim Brown, CEO and President of innovation and design firm IDEO, believes that only businesses with a clear ‘reason for being’, or purpose, will be innovative and truly sustainable in the future.
So what are you doing to inspire purpose in your people? Have you thought about what your business does to serve the needs or solve the problems of others? How do link everyday, mundane work to the “big picture”?
2. Get your people involved Change Management guru John Kotter is renowned for his ‘8-Step Process’ for change. One of these critical steps is to build and maintain a guiding coalition. What does this mean? It means you need to find people who will align themselves, and support and advocate your mission from up, down and across the organisation. These people serve as the cultural change “engine” of your organisation. Without them, your initiatives won’t get very far. Without representation from across your business, you miss important perspectives and information. You also miss the opportunity to build advocates in areas that your leadership or HR team don’t see or interact with.
Do you create opportunities for employees to share ideas and take part in designing their employee experience? You don’t have to change everything immediately or implement every idea - you just need to listen, respond, and give your people tools to make the magic happen.
3. Make everyone accountable for culture Autonomy — the ability to decide what and how one responds to the challenge in front of them — is one of the three drivers of intrinsic motivation, according to Dan Pink’s infamous “motivation trifecta”. Ownership automatically instils a sense of responsibility, but it also encourages a sense of pride. Those who want a workplace worth working for will create one, if they’re given the tools and freedom to do so. This is the secret to Redii’s best-practice employee recognition programs and why they help effect long-term change in a company’s culture. We encourage businesses to let their employees lead, which (unlike traditional, top-down recognition) takes the responsibility for workplace culture away from just the leaders, and gives it to everyone. Instead of relying on managers to recognise work they may or may not see on a daily basis, giving your employees the power to recognise is a perfect way to empower them and show them you trust in their judgement and work ethic.
Let your people determine what “excellent” looks like for you! Give your people a forum to discuss the positive stories of people demonstrating what a good culture looks like in your business. Have them share memorable moments of team mates living the values that set your organisation apart from others.
4. Recognise progress Progress is a massive motivator, but it’s hard to stay motivated when lofty business strategies or mission statements make goals seem far off and unattainable. Frequent recognition — whether it be a simple “thank you”, or by giving a colleague peerto-peer points — means employees receive positive reinforcement during the journey. Writing in Harvard Business Review about how to drive innovative work inside organisations, researchers Teresa Amabile and Steven J. Kramer shared their findings after exhaustive analysis of the diaries of knowledge workers:
So, are you recognising progress in your team regularly? Old-school recognition programs recognise high performers once a year (if people are lucky). Imagine the change in morale — and culture — when your communication channels are filled with hundreds or thousands of moments where people shine the light on great achievements every day of the year.
5. Build trust through transparency The rising use of social networks means it’s easier than ever to share information, shape opinion and provide insights between people. Already, our constantly connected world is disrupting the way employers interact with employees. In its Human Capital Trends Report 2014, Deloitte underlines the shift of power from centralised teams (management-driven, top-down and controlled messaging) to co-creation (360 degree feedback and crowdsourced reviews). The transparency social media provides also demands accountability and responsibility; when messages are linked to an account or email addresses, people need to be respectful in how they comment or interact in a public forum.
How much of your team communication relies on top-down or one-way messaging? How are you running your meetings? Do you create opportunities to encourage input and participation in shaping your company’s messaging — both internally across teams, and externally, with customers? Make a conscious effort to investigate platforms that promote immediate, transparent and social communication.
6. Create opportunities to connect As companies go national or global, or start providing services around the clock, it makes sense for people to be able to work from anywhere, without commuting. Not all companies can thrive in this set-up. You need to foster a sense of trust and also provide ways to support both distance workers and the managers who don’t get to see their employees. How does employee recognition help in this instance? By creating both an expectation and opportunity to identify individual contributions - regardless of what team they’re in or where that are. Authentic recognition can help start a conversation and help people connect their time at work with something meaningful.
Building communities starts with individual relationships. You don’t have to get complicated, you just have to be consistent. Start by saying hello and making eye contact with people. Use the first few minutes of the day or meeting to ask how people are. And, share stories of accomplishment somewhere accessible, so people off site still get visibility of what’s going on.
7. Hire for attitude, train for skill The evidence is undeniable — you can’t build a great company without great people. But the common experience for many businesses is that the recruitment process is rarely designed and executed in a way that lets you really evaluate your candidates for cultural fit. Hiring someone whose values align means they’re more likely to respect company decisions, uphold your quality and service standards, meet deadlines and fit into your company culture. Bill Byham, CEO of Development Dimensions International (DDI) and perhaps the world’s foremost authority on hiring, goes by the simple principle that the best way to select people who’ll thrive in your company is to identify the personal characteristics of people who are already thriving and hire people like them. While you obviously want to hire a team with a wide skillset, there’s merit in the argument that those with similar values will work better together.
Do you assess cultural fit in the recruitment process? Ask candidates what type of culture they thrive in, or what values they are drawn to and what that looks like (they should give situational examples).
8. Reward value with value When an employee is rewarded for the positive impact they make to a business, this reinforces the message that their work matters. Recognition and reward based on impact (or, what psychologists like Judy Camerson call “competency-contingent rewards”) have more a positive effect on an individual’s feelings of competence and self-efficacy, compared to awards given for non-competency contingent rewards like length of service or birthdays. Not only do they receive the recognition for their impact — thereby increasing their feeling of competence and mastery, they also receive benefit of a experiential or material reward that is valuable to them.
When was the last time you assessed your employer value proposition? Is it time to rethink the way you show your people that they are your most important asset?
9. Build advocacy When most people talk about work outside the office, they moan about their boss, politics or how stressed the environment is. Imagine what that does to your brand, and the effect that would have on anyone thinking about applying for a job in your business? Imagine having the power to change the way your employees (and customers) experience your brand and how they talk about it. The good news is, you do! When you commit to the employee experience consistently, people naturally talk about the positive moments, and you build natural advocates for your brand.
Turn convention upside-down and put YOUR PEOPLE first. Your employees are your first customers and (though you may not intend it), an extension of your marketing team. Invest in happy experiences — both inside and outside the work environment — and model the behaviour your want employees demonstrating to your customers.
Value your most valuable asset The secret to building the dream team, then, is not adding employee benefits, increasing bonuses or incentivising work with any old recognition and reward scheme. It is connecting each individual to something meaningful, and showing them their contribution counts by providing opportunities for autonomy and advocacy both internally and externally. Your goal is to build transparency and empower each team member as the custodian of culture within the business. Giving everyone the ability to recognise and amplify success engages your people in authentic conversations about your values and how they contribute to the organisation. This transforms your team and your business into a place that people want to be a part of and do their best work; every day.
Want more? Download the e-book for more research, customer stories and practical tips on uniting, engaging and empowering your team:
A bit about us… Redii is not your average SaaS company. We don’t just develop software; we want to change the way people do business. We believe companies who put their people ﬁrst, connect them to a meaningful purpose, and recognise their contribution, actively build an environment where people do their best work. And when we do our best work, we make the biggest impact. Our product and founding team were born after years of working with RedBalloon during its early growth years. Named #8 on JobAdvisor’s Coolest Companies List 2014 and a 5-time BRW listed Best Place to Work, RedBalloon showed us the challenge and importance of keeping a growing team connected, and the role culture and recognition plays in keeping employees and customers happy. Our experience working with businesses who are committed to the development and wellbeing of their people has shown us ﬁrst-hand the impact that recognition and reaﬃrmation (through reward) has on performance. This gave us the energy and vision to design software that helps other businesses succeed in creating awesome places to work. www.redii.com | 1300 856 356 | firstname.lastname@example.org