Are your staff working as a team or a bunch of individuals? During these times of the pandemic, many institutions have taken drastic measures to reduce operational costs through undertaking projects like strategic redeployment and staff rationalization initiatives to optimize their human capital resources. But cutting costs through staff terminations without a deliberate focus on growing revenues is never a great solution to win.
Great leaders focus on growing revenues by challenging the staff to work as a team to explore new opportunities and better ways of delivering value and cross-selling. Then consideration to identify the weak links for re-training or redeployment may be considered. In tough times like these, the company must be considerate to the team members to challenge them to perform better.
In sports speak, it is good to defend against conceding goals, but if the team fails to deliberately score, it will lose the match. So, growing revenue and managing costs go hand in hand, just as scoring goals go hand in hand with a strong defence. A team like Leeds is known to be aggressive at scoring goals with little focus on defence. As you can imagine, if it meets a team like Man U, that is aggressive in defence and scoring, it struggles. The same thing happens to your business.
Recently, when a financial institution needed to undertake team cohesion among remote workers, I facilitated an online exercise as recommended by the great Patrick Lencioni. The exercise is a small step towards enabling team members to develop trust with colleagues—which is a foundation to successful team cohesion.
The purpose of the exercise is to improve trust by allowing team members to demonstrate vulnerability in a low-risk way and to help team members understand one another at a fundamental level so that they can avoid making false attributions about behaviours and intentions.
Instructions: Each member must answer four questions about himself or herself:
- Where did you grow up? And which of the schools you attended did you love most and why?
- Please describe a unique or interesting challenge or experience from your childhood or former place of work. What lessons did it teach you?
- What sport or school activity did you partake? And what #1 lesson did you learn on winning which you can share with the team?
After about 10-15 minutes, debrief by asking team members to share what they learned about one another that they did notalready know. This reinforces the purpose of the exercise and allows for a natural ending to the conversation.
To be continued…
Do you need a culture audit to improve your team cohesion? Contact me.
Copyright Mustapha B Mugisa, Mr. Strategy 2020. All rights reserved