In today's empowered teamwork atmosphere you need the skills and attitude to coach your team to a winning season. The "old school" system of motivating with punishment and control just doesn't work anymore. You have to become more than a supervisor or manager. You must become an effective coach.
Want to achieve real success in this area? Try these strategies.
1. Focus On Your Role
This is not "Touchy Feely 101." It is not necessary for your team to like you. Rather it is necessary for them to respect you. If you can link the success of the organization with the success of the individual then you can gain their support and respect for even the toughest decisions.
2. Develop Team and Individual Goals
I don't mean the ones you wrote during the last performance review or annual meeting, and then haven't looked at since. I mean the kind of goals that are the foundation for the team's existence (a professional football team exists to win the Super Bowl). And past the major goal or objective you have to add the step-by-step goals. These bite-sized goals help you reach the larger objective, and can be measured each week or month rather than waiting for the next performance review or profit / loss statement.
3. Train the Team Members to Win
We do a pretty good job of training our teams on the technical aspects of doing their jobs. It is when we get to human skills training that we have to re-evaluate our progress. Topics like: Leadership, team building, communications skills, conflict resolution, problem solving.
You don't have to hire a high-priced trainer. You can do it in-house in 30 minutes each week. The public libraries are packed with books, audiotapes, and videotapes on all these topics. Expect everyone to take a turn reporting on some aspect of effective human relationships.
4. Provide the Resources it Takes to Win
You have access to special knowledge and resources that your team needs in order to achieve its goals. You must spend enough time with them to know what they need, and to drive out their fear of asking for help or resources.
They shouldn't come running to you each time they have a minor setback. But they shouldn't be afraid to ask for that piece of the puzzle that will make the team truly successful.
5. Think in Terms of Five Years from Now
Give people the chance to understand the business from the ground up. Let them learn other jobs, other functions, other departments, even take training unrelated to their present jobs. In this way you will insure that the team and the organization will be prepared to win even against the unexpected events of the future.