From the outside looking in, it might seem like no big deal to get a team of people on the same page to complete a project or corporate initiative. However, once you’re the one in charge, you start to realize there are actually a lot more challenges than you initially thought.
Common Signs of Dysfunction on Teams
Nothing undercuts your business goals quite like dysfunction on your team. The question is, can you spot it? Here are some of the common warning signs and red flags:
- Non-stop meetings. If your team is constantly holding meetings, something’s wrong. This is a clear indication that your team isn’t actually accomplishing anything. (And if meetings consistently run over the allotted time, this is problematic, too.)
- Constantly changing rules. Are the rules and expectations always changing? If so, this is a sign that leadership isn’t confident in the rules and the team members aren’t following them.
- No documented plan. Your team should have a documented plan with written standard operating procedures (SOPs) and expectations. If nothing is documented, it’s a sign that nobody really knows what’s happening.
- Lack of trust. Trust is the foundational core of every successful team. An absence of trust is the root of dysfunction. When there’s no mutual trust, people tend to assume negative intentions. This is also a sign that nobody enjoys spending time together, which creates a whole host of other issues.
- Unresolved conflict. One of the byproducts of a lack of trust is unresolved conflict. This breeds resentment, gossiping, constant complaining, the formation of cliques, and sub-par results.
- High turnover. At the end of the day, a dysfunctional team is marked by high turnover. Employees are constantly coming and going like the turnstiles at a metro stop.
If your team is dysfunctional, it’s time to do something about it. You need to get your team on the same page and reignite a healthy bond that allows you to achieve the goals that are set before you.
4 Ways to Get on the Same Page
Hope is not a strategy. No matter how much you wish for something, it doesn’t bring it any closer to being realized. If you want to accomplish something, there must be a plan. With that being said, here are some tactful steps you can take to get your team on the same page:
Cast Clear Vision
Your team cannot be on the same page without a clear understanding of what you’re aiming for. In other words, there has to be a clear vision and distinct set of goals that everyone on the team is aiming for. If you don’t currently have this, it’s time to go to the drawing board and figure it out.
Honesty and transparency are two of the most important characteristics a team can have. It will instantly bring your team closer together and promote better collaboration and unity.
“One of the biggest culprits behind faltering team trust is a fear of confrontation,” business owner John Hall points out. “Too often, team members are too afraid to address a problematic behavior directly; instead, they talk to others without really solving anything.”
Give your team permission to speak up and confront people. Hostility is not the goal, but rather transparency. When things get discussed right away, they aren’t able to fester. This leads to faster progress and fewer hurt feelings in the long run.
Use the Right Technology
Technology plays a key role in getting your team on the same page. Cisco cloud collaboration tools can change the game for your business. More specifically, you’ll benefit from having the right voice communications, video communication, and contact center solutions to bring your team together and prevent information silos and other costly issues.
Find Ways to Bond
Don’t underestimate the importance of team bonding. While it can seem cheesy in the moment, bonding as a team allows you to forge personal relationships, common connections, and memories that ultimately produce trust. Make sure you’re prioritizing regular bonding opportunities (both formally and informally).
Bring Your Team Into Alignment
If you’re serious about setting your business up for success, you have to bring your team into alignment. This doesn’t mean everything will be perfect or that every person on the team will be BFFs. It does, however, lay the groundwork for a healthy workplace culture that builds people up and maximizes their talents for the greater good of the business.