Why Teams fail
Teams are vital to just about every business and it’s amazing how many business fully prepare to meet the challenges of the current climate and fail to give their teams the skills they need to be as effective as they could be. While many businesses might just get by in the current climate a well prepared company who has well prepared and efficient teams can grow even through a recession and be in an incredibly strong position once the economy recovers.
Teams are lead from the top and one of the most common reasons why teams fail is that their manager or team leader lets their own personal feelings get in the way of making the right decisions. The most obvious example of this is when a new position is created which may have some supervisory duties as part of the role and the position is given to their best friend in the team rather than the one who is best suited.
Poor communication is another common reason why a team can fail to meet its objectives. Both too little and too much communication can be a fatal flaw in many teams. Too little communication can lead to team members drifting along not really sure if they are on the right track or if the team is on course to make its goals. Teams with little or no communication are more of a group of individuals. Teams with too much information tend to result in a scenario where a manger is almost micromanaging everyone’s work load. If there is too much communication very little will be done without an ok from the manager and everything grinds to a standstill.
A lack of direction within a team can cause similar problems to not enough communication. A team with a poor leader can find the team members almost in a malaise and suffer from low morale and drive to help the team succeed. The importance of getting the right people to be leaders in your teams cannot be stressed enough.
One quite common flaw, especially in sales driven environments, is to have too much internal competition. This can be a killer blow for a team if every individual member is competing against the others for every lead or enquiry. This can lead to little cohesion or teamwork between team members. It can also lead to division and cliques forming as well as arguments and bad feeling among the workforce.
Every team needs a variety of types of employees within it. Belbin team roles for example say there are 9 different characteristics of team members and most teams should include a variety of these traits to be truly successful. Too many of one type of individual can lead to issues in other areas. Knowing the make-up of your team and its members can go a long way to ensuring you can recruit the right people when you need to.
Failing to plan for the future and being too focused on the present can lead to issues down the road. Equally have too much focus on the future and not a good enough handle on the present can be equally fatal.
Especially in the current climate it is very important that you fully prepare your teams. It’s very easy to cut costs by as much as possible and stop all training and development. While this might work in the very short term it will leave you at a severe disadvantage to your competitors in the long term who take a longer view. Just like if you have an expensive car and never have it serviced, sooner or later it will break down. Similarly teams need regular check-up’s to make sure they are as efficient as they can be. Utilising team building activities can make the difference in your teams thriving and them grinding to a halt.
If you would like to speak to us about how we can arrange a team building tune up for your teams please give us a call on 0114 270 0330.
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