Team Development – Know the Rules of the Game for your business

You probably started your business so you DIDN’T have to follow the rules anymore… but when it comes to developing a winning team and culture within your business, there are some rules that are fundamental to business success. ActionCOACH defines ‘team development’ as the process of recruiting, teaching and motivating the right people and teams so that your business can operate with or WITHOUT you!

Three of the most important elements to consider when developing your team are Common Goal, Rules of the Game and Action Plan.

The first element is ‘Common Goal’. If you’ve defined and written down your business’ vision and goals – great work. But having GOALS and having COMMON GOALS are two very different things! Does everyone in your business know what the goals of the business are? Do they have the goals top-of-mind when performing their role or making business decisions? Do they personally fit in with your business goals? Sharing your business goals is critical for keeping your team motivated, perpetuating a great culture within the business and of course, for business success!

To create common goals, involve each team member (to some extent) when developing them, and then share these goals with EVERYONE. Here are a few ideas on how to share your goals: print them up in a staff area; make them accessible on the company network; make them the theme of training days and conferences; make them part of your team development and KPI’s.

When the team is working towards the same common goals, team development happens naturally and business success is much more likely.

The second element is ‘Rules of the Game’. Once you have developed your team, they need to know the rules of the game (just like a winning sports team). So, which ‘rules’ are important specifically for team development? Rules for business processes are extremely useful, so your team knows how things work in the business on a daily level. Rules for how orders are taken, how complaints are handled or how staff are paid can all be included in processes. Once your team have defined processes, it actually becomes easier for them to exercise their own creativity and make decisions, based within the boundaries you have set.

Once the rules for processes are defined, you will need rules that state who is responsible for each process. Remember to be clear on which rules are tight (must never deviate) and which are loose guides (to allow the team some flexibility and space to use their own initiative).

The third set of “rules” for your team is actually your culture.  Having a clearly defined set of values, that the entire team will adhere to, is a vital part of ensuring consistency in how your team behave, how they make decisions and how they deal with each other, with customers and suppliers and with all stakeholders in the business.

The final element to help with your team development is called ‘Action Plan’. You’ve recruited team members based on attitude and have started or will start training them for skill. They are working toward a common goal. They know the rules of the game. Now it’s time for action!

For most of our clients at ActionCOACH, the ultimate desire (and a great measure of business success) is having a business that can operate without them. In order to achieve this, every team member must know what they are supposed to do. As you can guess, if the team doesn’t know what to do, it’s likely that YOU will be doing every function of the business, unable to step away at all.

To develop an action plan, ensure that  each person has an appropriate title, a job description and an explanation of how others will support them in their role. You will need to track that all of the above is being fulfilled, by identifying a handful of KPI’s (4 – 6 things you can objectively monitor to know that a role is being done properly). To support this, a step-by-step plan that leads to the achievement of your goals is really a “must-have”.  Make your action plans available for individual and team reference, to act as a kind of ‘playbook’ for the team and to continue positive team development within your business.

ActionCOACH has helped thousands of Australian businesses with their team development. For advice or coaching in this area contact ActionCOACH on 02 9146 4439. You can also download your eBook called “The 6 Key Elements to a Winning Team” here.