There is value in a culture based on teamwork.
So as we were getting prepared to head out for Thanksgiving, I had one last speaking engagement on Saturday morning. Knowing that we had a lot of things to accomplish before we left, I made a list while I waited for the coffee pot to brew. In 8 minutes, I had 20 items on the list.
Ok – that isn’t so special. What happened while I was gone is.
The team – aka the family – had gone through and assigned responsibility – as well as some timing goals. I was so impressed when I came home – I took a picture and posted on facebook. And no, it doesn’t always work this brilliantly – but it happens more often than not.
Now take a look at the list. It’s colorful isn’t it? The color has a purpose.
The first purpose was that I was doing a brain dump and changing colors makes it easier for your mind to keep flowing. The next benefit is that it makes the list readable. We are all so programmed to scan versus reading that the color changing effect works well for it.
So try that technique the next time you get stuck.
Now, for the ‘How did you get them to do this?”. This isn’t any magic here. They participated, because we’ve always expected them to participate. Your team is like this as well – they are after all a diverse group of people, right? If you expect them to participate and you communicate that expectation, they usually will.
But let me give you a specific example.
We have a family labor pool. Anyone who wants to withdraw from it (transportation to sports, lessons, money for book fairs, birthday parties and the like) has to make deposits (like chores, special projects, helping mom and dad). No deposits, no payments. This is just one of the ‘Rules of the Game’ for the family. And believe me – we have to review them quite often – but the point is that we have them.
Your business needs ‘Rules of the Game’ too. Assumption kills in business, clarity wins every day. And yes, you will have to review them time and time again.
In fact, as author Mark Sanborn shared once, you have to constantly be reinforcing the rules, the culture, the expectations. And that point when you think you are going to throw up at the thought of saying it ONE MORE TIME…well you’re just reaching the point that others will be truly starting to remember and comprehend what you’ve been saying.
What else can you do to motivate teamwork in accomplishing and motivating your team? It’s as easy as 1-2-3.
1. KISS, as in Keep It Simple Silly. Be very clear on what you need to be accomplished. And unless you are dealing with one rock star of a project manager – small simple steps help people complete tasks faster than big and overwhelming ones.
2. Assign some, open up some for volunteering. There is value in asking ‘Who would love to take care of this?’. When people can pick and choose a little, you also get buy-in to the bigger goal of getting things accomplished. But also, don’t expect to get great results from an employee if the task isn’t suited to their skills – so assign tasks to your team appropriately. So in other words, just because you may have any assistant and really want someone else to handle your social media – doesn’t mean that this assistant is the one who should be doing the job.
3. Tie the group effort to a motivation. Do you have to motivate your employees? You bet you do. I know that ‘common sense’ says that a paycheck should be motivation, but we are all human again. Tying the effort to something special does work – maybe it’s a catered lunch on Friday; maybe it’s sweats and yoga pants; maybe it’s a 1/2 off to use at your discretion during the next month if the project or task is completed expediently.
So what are the YOUR Rules of the Game?
And do they support a culture of teamwork?