So, the 2018 World cup is behind us and for those who watched it, I think you would agree it produced some surprising results?
Some high profile, well-known teams got knocked out very early on in the process, whilst some (on paper) ‘lesser’ teams did so well.
Teams with top class players who in the past, have been a formidable force were beaten by lesser known, inexperienced teams who were virtually unknown on the world stage.
So, how can a collective number of high-profile, high performing, talented individuals underperform so spectacularly? What did the underdogs do that made them perform more efficiently and effectively?
There are some significant facts to consider here that may have affected how these teams worked together which are surprisingly familiar in any workplace in the world.
- A change of personnel- players working with others who they do not usually work with week in/week out
- A change of role – playing in sometimes different roles and positions
- A change of environment – A change of culture and physical environment
- Stakeholder scrutiny – National, International, attention, and media examination
- A change in Management- most notably Spain dismissing their respected long term manager 2 days before the tournament
- Leadership styles – Players working for new national Captains- different than they usually work for.
The same problems and issues can be seen in many organisations. Individually high preformism employees failing to produce results as a team. Team work is paramount to a successful organisation but how do we create that all important team and who’s responsibility is it?
Some may say the Line managers, some will say it’s up to the individual and you cannot force people to work as a team. This may be true but creating a team ethos I believe is a manager’s role, providing the manager is a part of that team and has a sound knowledge and understanding of the individual qualities attributes and capabilities of the team members.
By encouraging staff to work together to achieve a common goal and highlighting the benefits of this is a good starting point.
When undertaking new processes, practice or product an effective manager will consult his or her team and obtain ideas, suggestions and solutions from all concerned to create a team ethos and direction. Getting everyone involved regardless of experience creates the sense of inclusion, value and respect of individuals so vital in supporting an effective team.
Recognition of performance both as an individual and as a team are important to maintain motivation and strength.
Managers need to consider some simple steps to create a team ethos:
- Inclusion regardless of experience
- Listen and take on board staff ideas and suggestions
- Recognise individual and team success and reward appropriately
- Be visible and get involved
- Lead from the front and guide from the back
- Delegate effectively
- Remember there is no I in team
- Deal with conflict swiftly and effectively
An organisation that has a good team ethos recruits staff easily. Company branding is enhanced by having a strong team ethos. Being part of a team and achieving results together can be more rewarding than a successful organisation that achieves through individual efforts.
We could link this to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and motivation where being part of a team and experiencing a sense of belonging is a basic human need. Being part of a team can give us a sense of safety in numbers and encourage risk taking or trying something new in an attempt to achieve better results. This must however be supported and encouraged by the manager. Without this the team will not survive.
If we look back at the World cup results it is evident that some teams with world class players got eliminated early in the process because they failed to work as a team. Too many individuals /‘stars’ maybe or quite simply they were unsettled by the change in personnel, management or role? Either way, they failed to perform to expectations. Whereas teams with new and less well-known players appeared to work together to get results and progressed further in the competition.
In this scenario, the manager stands on the side line during the game offering encouragement and support whilst organising his or her team and looking for improvements to enhance performance. Moving players about, maximising their potential for the good of the team and for results; motivating with words, actions and belief.
What part, if any, does your manager play?
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