Team Goals and Foundation

We spent much of the past week or two focusing on New Managers (Part 1-4) and how they go about managing individuals for success! Basic foundation starts with successfully managing your people, now you can move onto the team part! The next four parts will focus on everything about the team. We will begin with team goals, team process/procedures, discuss monitoring the team’s performance and end with team overall development for longer term results. So, let’s kick off the team goals and foundation work that is necessary.

One of the critical requirements for every manager is to build a strong and vital organization – your TEAM! Let’s break that down some. As a manager you are expected to build the team (select, develop and deselect) to deliver th results required. Foster direct and open communications. Establish an environment of mutual trust and respect. Let’s not forget, manage performance firmly and fairly. That’s a scary subject for any new manager. So, I will break it down some and we can share our experiences along the way.

Have you heard of the Tuckman Model? I would hope so, it has been around since 1965 or so..  All folks need to hear are forming, storming, norming and performing to help them remember. The Tuckman model covers all the components for building, developing and maintaining a high performing team. As a new manager it is easy to get overwhelmed with all of the new stuff being thrown at you. It happens! When it comes to making sure that you are developing your team – you can break it down in simple bite size chucks. First thing is to really look at where you think your team is? Really?

Forming is the exploration period, where you will see guarded behaviors and the major focus for the team members is inclusion. Some of the real steps that you should be working on are team goals and foundation. The point of this post! Most teams that have been together for awhile – rarely go back to the forming – they normally step back to the storming level. Since you are the new manager, it maybe helpful for you to revist some of the goals and foundation that was left by the previous manager. Use that as a starting point. So, what should have been left behind?

  • Team Mission Statement – or – that 30 second elevator pitch of why the team is together. Does that statement really say why the team is together? Is it internalized by all members of the team? Does it need to be updated? Could you use this as a team-building exercise with the team? Making sure that everyone understands why they are together is important.
  • SMART team goals and objectives. This should have the normal SMART criteria (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound). Once again this is an opportunity to refresh what was left behind. Putting your spin or flavor on them. Tip: don’t forget to spend time working with the team in development of these.

This work may seem unnecessary if they already exist. Here are some questions to ask yourself while looking at those left behind. Does all of that make sense to you? How does you team feel about them already? Did the past manager do a good job? How was the team’s overall performance? If everything is good to go, then you have little to do, but remind them of everything (and show your level of support!). If there is work to be done; then you have an opportunity to use team and your thoughts to update and get commitment towards the changes. Kicking your beginning off well.

I usually revisit everything before the first of the year anyways… As things change and I want to make sure that my team is starting off a new year on a good solid foundation. There never is a bad time to revisit, but kicking off a new year – is always a place to start.

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