Editor’s Note: This is a guest post written by Joy Adan, Communications Manager at Redii. Her opinions are her own.
You know you can recognise a great team the moment you encounter one. Whether it’s on a sporting field or at a pub trivia night, there’s something about great teams that stands out; there’s a certain energy and unity that radiates. Great teams create envy for many leaders, especially when you’re looking to grow your business or change the speed or strategy for your existing staff.
How do you grow while minimising the risk of disconnection or disruption? How do you get your managers on side, and how do bash the barriers that keep teams or individuals siloed and less than their best?
These are the questions we hear entrepreneurs and business owners asking on a daily basis. So we’ve discussed the research, success stories and practical tips to take away in Redii’s latest eBook, but have shared some of the key points below:
1. Know your purpose
A study from Jim Collins and Jerry Porras found that organisations driven by purpose and values outperformed the market 15:1 and comparison companies 6:1. Purpose might sound fluffy, but being clear about why your business exists in the first place and ensuring every person you hire is on board with this vision does actually translate to business performance.
2. Get your people involved
One of the easiest ways to drive change successfully across big organisations is to find people who will align themselves and support and advocate for your mission – from the ground up. John Kotter refers to this as “maintaining a guiding coalition”. Do you create opportunities for employees to share their ideas and design elements of their employee experience? If not, start by listening and looking for “quick wins” that can be implemented easily. You might be surprised what you learn.
3. Give individuals autonomy and accountability
Autonomy is the ability to decide what and how one responds to the challenges in front of them. This is one of the three drivers of intrinsic motivation, according to Dan Pink’s infamous “motivation trifecta”.
Ownership automatically instils a sense of responsibility, but it also encourages a sense of pride. Those who want a workplace worth working for will create one, if they’re given the tools and freedom to do so.
Give your people the power to recognise and determine what looks good in your organisation, and amplify that ownership by giving inviduals channels (like team meetings or online chat forums) to share these stories in public.
4. Recognise progress
Progress is a massive motivator, but it’s hard to stay motivated when lofty business strategies or mission statements make goals seem far off and unattainable. Frequent recognition — whether it be a simple “thank you”, or by giving a colleague peer-to-peer points — means employees receive positive reinforcement during the journey. How often do you formally recognise your team? Instead of waiting for the year performance review or end-of-year party, imagine how much of a morale boost your people will get if they get frequent recognition as they make progress on their strategic goals
5. Create opportunities to connect
As companies go national or global, or start providing services around the clock, it makes sense for people to be able to work from anywhere, without commuting. Not all companies can thrive in this distributed type of set-up. You need to create both an expectation and opportunity to connect remote people regularly — regardless of what team they’re in or where they are physically located. Authentic recognition can help start conversations between different teams and connect individuals to a community they may not otherwise know if they’re constantly on their own or offsite.
6. Reward people for impact, not presence
Recognition and reward based on impact (or, what psychologists like Judy Camerson call “competency-contingent rewards”) have more a positive effect on an individual’s feelings of competence and self-efficacy, compared to awards given for non-competency contingent rewards like length of service or birthdays.
Not only do they receive the recognition for their impact — thereby increasing their feeling of competence and mastery, they also receive benefit of an experiential or material reward that is valuable to them.
7. Build advocacy
When most people talk about work outside the office, they moan about their boss, internal politics or how stressed the environment is. Imagine what that does to your employer brand, and the effect that would have on anyone thinking about applying for a job in your business?
Imagine having the power to change the way your employees (and customers) experience your brand and how they talk about it. The good news is, you do! When you commit to the employee experience consistently, people naturally talk about the positive moments, and you build natural advocates for your brand.
The secret to building the dream team, then, is not adding employee benefits, increasing bonuses or incentivising work with any old recognition and reward scheme. It is connecting each individual to something meaningful, and showing them their contribution counts by providing opportunities for autonomy and advocacy both internally and externally.
Your goal is to build transparency and empower each team member as the custodian of culture within the business. Giving everyone the ability to recognise and amplify success engages your people in authentic conversations about your values and how they contribute to the organisation. This transforms your team and your business into a place that people want to be a part of and do their best work; every day.
If you want to find out more about how to implement these growth techniques in your business, check out Redii’s latest e-book: Building Your Dream Team – 9 ways to unite, engage and empower your people.