Retreats can be a terrific way to step back from the day-to-day chaos and look at the big picture with your team, plan for the future, and address systemic issues. However, there are also quite a few ways that a retreat can go wrong. Here are some common mistakes managers make when planning team retreats.
One of the ways you can maximize your team's results is to clearly identify what matters most. A lot of things are important, but when push comes to shove and tough trade-offs have to be made, what are the non-negotiables? This process can help you identify and communicate your team's top priorities.
As the team leader, you are an important influence in the kind of culture your team has. While it isn't totally under your control, especially if you are new to the organization, there is a lot you can do to reinforce and model the kinds of behaviors you want to see. Here are some ways you can foster an inclusive environment on your team.
Team meetings are an important tool for making the most of your team's capabilities. The problem is when people treat the meeting as the only event - the stuff that happens before and after is really important, too. The steps below will help you revise your current approach so that you get more out of each meeting.
Most of the recent articles and books on productivity and time management heavily emphasize the fact that you can't manage time - you can only manage your energy. Have you ever thought about it at the team level, though? This quick and easy activity can help you to create a more productive and motivating environment for your team by being more strategic about what types of work you tackle at different days/times.
Your approach in managing your employees should take into consideration whether they are functioning as a team or a group. Here's how to tell the difference and why it matters.
As you've probably discovered many times over, being a manager isn't exactly the all-powerful opportunity that many employees think it is. There are many things that are outside of your control. When your team is under a lot of pressure, whether it's for a product launch or a period of short-staffing , it's easy to feel even more powerless. However, there are a few things you can do that don't require a lot of effort or (perhaps more importantly) approval from anyone else. There are three areas you can tweak, and none of them involve hiring new staff or extending any deadlines. Even if your team is doing great, it might be helpful to look at these areas because they can dramatically affect the team's output in addition to influencing morale.
Is your team culture healthy? Don't wait until turnover starts rising to identify problems. Here are some questions you can ask to determine whether some early intervention might be needed.
There are many ways a team can go wrong, but there seems to be a consistent pattern of teams that reach their full potential and become far more than the sum of their parts. There are several frameworks and models describing this path, but the one that is both easiest to understand and most widely known (not coincidentally) is the Tuckman model. Here's what you need to know about the stages of team development and how to guide your team through each one.
There are so many things we can spend our time on - e-mail, meetings, special committees, projects, etc. - that feeling "busy" is never a problem. What's missing is a sense of purpose, that our work actually matters. The catch-22 is that we're too busy to find the time to figure out what we should and shouldn't be being busy with, so the problem just continues. I recently read a framework that could be helpful in solving this dilemma, though, and it should only take 20 to 30 minutes to work through.