Team health doesn’t just happen automatically. Sometimes, organizations discover they’ve inadvertently created a positive work environment. The trouble with a happy-accident team culture is you don’t know when the slightest change will topple the apple cart. Building real, lasting team health takes intentionality. And that starts at the top with you and your leadership team. In my experience, you can nurture and sustain team health in six ways.
1. A System to Drive Clarity on Direction
Having a vision for your company is completely meaningless if it’s just pretty words on a wall. You and your leadership team must use clear language to describe your vision, not flowery poetry or nonsensical corporatese.
Everyone in your organization must understand exactly where the business is going and how it will get there. If your employees can’t understand your company’s vision, they certainly can’t follow it.
You also need a system to bring your vision to life. That includes repeating it during all-hands meetings and in department meetings. There’s an adage that people need to hear something seven times before they hear it for the first time. Finding different ways, including real-life stories, can make your vision crystal clear for your employees.
2. Right People in the Right Seats
The best way to impact team health is to have the right people on your team. You hire, fire, recognize, and reward your people according to your core principles, which are all part of the Vision/Traction Organizer®.
Getting the right people in your organization is only half the battle. The other half of the battle is ensuring their roles align with their personal Core Focus™ by getting them in the right seats. The genuine joy people derive from using the talents they were born with as part of their daily tasks is palpable.
When you have the right people in the right seats, not only is everyone happier, but they’re also far more productive.
3. Run the Business on Data
People love to win. But it’s hard to celebrate team successes if you never know whether you’re winning the game. While it’s true that what gets measured gets managed, the right data provides more than cold, hard numbers.
You have objective proof of those wins by running your business on the right data. When everyone has a number on your Scorecard that they’re responsible for hitting, they feel part of the game. They can see how their wins translate into wins for your company. That level of engagement strengthens your team’s health.
4. Solving Issues at the Root
When someone raises an issue, do you have a way of solving the problem forever? Nothing is more frustrating for someone than having to rehash the same problem every week.
Usually, one of your people will bring up an issue that’s actually a symptom of something bigger. That root cause could be creating a bunch of other related symptoms. Getting to the root cause of an issue can take work. But it’s crucial to ending the game of Whac-A-Mole that comes from trying to solve symptoms rather than their root issues.
Plus, when you solve issues at their root, you clear away obstacles so your team can do more great work. You fuel team health by hearing the feedback from your people and addressing it. It shows you’ve heard them and you care.
5. Documented Processes in Place
A clear vision gives a high-level snapshot of your goals and how you will achieve them. Having simple, documented processes helps show your people how to do the work to get there. Written core processes should document 20% of the repeatable steps to get the consistent results that fuel your company’s reputation.
These processes capture how you bring your product or service to market. They can be front-facing in how you interact with your clients and customers, or back-of-house and how the sausage gets made.
Make it clear that no one is above compliance. With everyone following the processes you’ve put in place, your people know you run a fair organization.
6. Goals in a 90-Day World®
People must have 90-day goals to help them stay focused on the bigger picture. Ninety days is just enough for people to start to lose focus, and you need to stop and regroup. That’s why getting a regular meeting pulse is so important to building team health.
At the very least, you and your leadership team should have weekly, quarterly, and annual meetings. During each of these meetings, you go over the numbers on your Scorecard to make sure they’re on track. You’re reviewing your priorities to ensure they’re on track. You make sure people are happy and have a level of accountability.
Get Your Team Healthy
When you build a leadership team that positively engages your people, you drive your company’s growth. Building and sustaining a healthy team culture takes intentionality, but the rewards far exceed the effort.