Does your team know what you really want to your business to be?
Do you have a common goal everyone in the company is working towards?
Do they have an understanding of what it really takes to keep your business running day-to-day?
Chances are, they don’t, but I would offer that sharing that vision, knowledge and information is key to building a shared vision and teamwork, both of which are vital for taking your company to the “next level.”
Basketball great Michael Jordan once said “Great talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence wins championships,” and I think this is a great quote that highlights a truth about business. Not only is teamwork important, but intelligence is, too.
Think about this for a moment … a sports team that sends out scouts to assess the strengths and weaknesses of the opponent, but doesn’t share that information with the coach, or the team. Or, a coach who has a great strategy, but only trusts it to a few key players.
The great management guru Peter Drucker famously said managing people through objectives works, if people only knew what the objectives were. However, “90% of the time you don’t.”
Sharing a vision for the company and creating a single common goal or objective not only helps focus and effort, it also helps create true teamwork because everyone is now focused and moving in the same direction toward that goal. A common goal also creates synergy and unity.
When we re-branded our company years ago, I gave my team a seemingly impossible task: a complete re-brand in six weeks so we could present our new look and name at our Global Conference. Not only did our creative team rally to get this done (even if to spite me!) … they produced exceptional quality work on time and under budget.
Drucker has also been attributed with the quote, “If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it,” and a huge part of measuring and managing is making sure you can create a “known” for your team from what may have been an “unknown.”
Not that you need to share deep dark secrets of the company, or how much you make, or any “secret sauces” with people who don’t truly have a need to know. But if your team had a general idea of how much it costs in overheads every day, every month or each year to keep the lights on and the computers humming, would they be more cost-conscious?
If they knew that just a 10% increase in profit margins could impact the bottom-line exponentially, would they be more sales-oriented, even in their customer service roles? Any company vision starts at the top, but if no one knows which direction to go, there ends up being a lot of oars in the water all rowing in different directions.
So here are 3 main keys to building teamwork through shared and common goals:
1) Keep it simple. A campaign, a turnover goal, a cost-cutting goal, a quality goal. Whatever it is, it can be simple and simply stated. A few years ago, a professional service company decided to raise their hourly fees and had a goal for “2018 billing hours for 2018.” Simple and effective, and meant to keep everyone focused on generating more turnover and higher profits. And, at the end of the year, a result 10% over goal.
2) Make it measurable. Put a number to the goal and make sure you can track it daily, weekly and monthly. Then, actually track and measure progress. If it’s an especially big or audacious goal, segment milestones and “chunk it down” so keep people on track an out of overwhelm.
3) Reward success, coach through failure. Obviously, there has to be buy-in for the goal and a reason “why” everyone needs to work towards it. So … “what’s in it” for the company and the team when the objective is achieved? That said, not every initiative is going to work 100% of the time. So, when something goes wrong, coach through the failure by asking quality questions. What happened? Why? How can the process or system be tweaked, changed or modified? What can we learn and apply to future work from this situation?
As teams start working toward shared goals and objectives, interesting things start to happen, including more ownership of tasks, more accountability for results. And a more cohesive team that starts to hold their teammates more accountable to objectives and results.
In addition, people start to move from a mindset of, “Whew! We barely made it through the day!” to, “Wow! We’re one day closer to our goals!”
By the way, which company would you rather deal with?
More importantly, which business would you rather own?