Make Sure You’re on The Team

CONGRATULATIONS! The older readers among you, as well as music buffs, will remember that word as a song title for Sir Cliff Richard in 1968. And in business terms it is something a leader should always offer when their team succeeds. The ‘well done’ may even been given in the form of a reward, to recognise a big success. It can be so important.

Regardless of the pay aspect – and that will differ from firm to firm – the leader needs to make a point of congratulating people while making sure their achievement is recognised and acknowledged more widely within the organisation. The team may have helped the leader feather their own nest and therefore a celebratory drink or meal might be appropriate. And make sure if those under your control have put in an effort over and above the call of duty, despite not necessarily getting the required result, then that is not overlooked.

Standing back and allowing your team to get on with a task without constant intervention is also key. Too much interference can have a detrimental effect on the team’s confidence. Knowing when to hold off and when to step in is a real skill and it is important to remember that individuals learn from their mistakes. So let them.

It is also vital to make sure people know what is expected of them. Clear and concise objectives need to be set, while understanding the company’s culture needs to be taken on board by all who work in it. That includes the conduct and behaviour expected of employees, which, as a leader, you can demonstrate to them with your own actions. As Sir Humphrey Appleby in Yes Prime Minister would have ventured: ‘Make sure people know what they need to know on a need-to know basis.’

And remember not to force them to adopt an approach when they might not like it. Everybody at some stage in business, or otherwise, has to do things they don’t like. That’s life. There’s no need to impose a method of doing it on them if they are thoroughly opposed to it. Not believing in a project is likely to attract less than maximum effort. So make sure your group knows what is expected of them, then allow them to find their own way of getting there.

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