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1.3 Support Team Members in Meeting Expected Performance Outcomes Supporting the Team

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1.3 Support Team Members in Meeting Expected Performance Outcomes Supporting the Team

Your people are your most valuable resource. Charged with doing specific roles, team members are the ones who know the function best. Their skills, knowledge and experience are among the most critical factors that need to be considered when you are developing an effective team. They are familiar with what can go wrong, what difficulties there can be, and what needs to be done to get things right. Therefore, it can be said that these team members are the best people to consult when you are trying to improve how the team and its members perform their functions. 

Improvements can be made most easily when you are bringing together experts who know the process well, and you allow them to work on their respective areas of expertise freely. Staff must be given the authority to work on these areas and make changes that they feel will improve the service best. Staff members who are involved and who participate in decision-making and improvement processes feel most committed to making the changes work.

Organisational members will appreciate the opportunity to discuss their working environment and even their problems, such as their relationship with a colleague or manager. Talking an issue through can help diffuse a negative situation before it gets out of hand. With this in mind, you should devise strategies that will encourage this type of open communication among your staff. 

This workplace philosophy should come from the top. There ought to be a commitment from upper management to encourage open communication and discussion. By showing that management is willing to listen and make changes on the basis of what the staff has discussed, you will encourage staff to be more open. Regular personal contact between staff and supervisors will assist in promoting this type of communication.

As a leader, you will be responsible for ensuring that the team has the resources necessary to complete tasks and meet goals, key performance indicators, and objectives. They also need to build relationships with the teams in their workplace.

Establishing good relationships and maintaining those relationships to reach desired goals and objectives is achieved in a very similar way to creating and maintaining personal relationships. Business relationships are built by being open, honest, co-operative, and productive.

There are several effective ways to offer support and assistance to team members with skills issues. These include:

1. Coaching

Generally speaking, coaching follows the format of individual guidance. It focuses on job performance and is aimed at one person alone. In this method, the coach specifically advises the person on how to tackle and perform a particular task. They provide constructive feedback and delegate further similar tasks, setting goals or higher-level tasks for the individual to complete. In most instances, the coach would be an immediate supervisor or manager responsible for the department’s overall performance. Ultimately, coaching is about having a positive relationship where the coachee respects, trusts, and identifies with the coach.

2. Mentoring 

Unlike coaching, mentoring generally follows the format of generalised advice and guidance for career development. This method is about developing a relationship between a more senior and experienced mentor and an inexperienced mentee. The former guides and develops the mentee’s knowledge and career progression. 

In most cases, the mentor would be someone who is not the mentee’s immediate supervisor/manager or within your organisation. This allows the mentee the luxury of talking to an independent and impartial confidante who is not their manager. As such, mentors can listen to the mentee’s issues, allow them to vent unrestrictedly, and support them in achieving their goals.

3. Training and Development Opportunities 

Training and development refers to the formal, ongoing efforts made within organisations to improve the performance and self-fulfilment of staff members. These efforts include a variety of educational methods and programs. In the modern workplace, such efforts have taken on a broad range of applications, such as instruction in highly specific job skills and long-term professional development.

The method has recently emerged as a formal business function, an integral element of strategy, and even a recognised profession with its own distinct theories and methodologies. Various kinds of organisations have embraced ‘continual learning’ and other aspects of training and development into their operations. In particular, these are often used as a means of promoting staff member growth and acquiring a highly skilled workforce. Interestingly, both the quality of staff members and the continual improvement of their skills and productivity through training are widely recognised as vital factors in ensuring the long-term success and profitability of small and big organisations alike.

4. Clarification of Roles and Expectations

The clarification of roles and expectations is something you ought to do on an ongoing basis. This method is essential on an individual level (i.e., setting and clarifying expectations for each member), but it is even more vital to do so for the whole team. 

Setting and clarifying expectations is most crucial when a new staff member starts work, an existing member takes on a new role or undergoes a change in responsibilities, or when you take on a new team or are part of a team whose responsibilities change. Successfully doing so will help members clarify their responsibilities and realign their performance as necessary.

Failure to set clear standards of performance and behaviour can cause confusion or misunderstanding among your members, and this may render them unable to perform their roles despite being capable of doing so.

5. Short-term Measures and Long-term Goals

When developing a strategic plan, any organisation must balance short-term measures and long-term goals for the business. Though it is tempting to focus on hitting revenue targets for the upcoming quarter, too much emphasis on such can have far-reaching effects in the long run. It is essential to foster a culture where the emphasis on immediate targets doesn’t negatively impact the organisation.

Short-term measures are effective at getting staff members focused on specific targets. For instance, if you’re looking to push a new project line, setting a sales goal would influence members to highlight its attributes to customers. This may be achieved by offering bonuses to top performers or setting commission-based compensation policies. Short-term measures are also paramount when they are critical to business needs. For instance, a struggling new business that needs to reach its revenue goal and pay back its stakeholders may heavily push for current period sales, regardless of the discounts required to influence them.

On the other hand, long-term goals incorporated into the planning and policy-making process often focus on promoting the desired company culture or protecting the brand name. As such, you must consider how decisions affect those areas of your business. 

You likely have a vision of you want your company to be in the near or far future – not only in terms of growth but also in terms of your position in the community. Thus, every decision you must consider the effects on reaching those goals.

6. Meetings

In the past decade, technology has signalled the shift from solely having face-to-face meetings to having virtual meetings in the form of conference calls, video conferencing, online document sharing, and webinars. These emerging form of meetings can be as effective as traditional face-to-face meetings.

Be it physical or virtual, regular staff meetings help remind staff members that there is more going on than their issues and deadlines. Through meetings, members may find opportunities for mutual support and collaboration and obtain vital information from each other. On the other hand, meetings help managers get a ‘quick pulse’ about how their staff are doing.

Regular staff meetings also create an opportunity for different layers of the organisation (e.g., managers, staff members, interns, contractors) to align around current priorities and organisational goals. 

Establishing Effective Working Relationships

You will find that the people you must establish relationships with are determined by the tasks you need to perform. However, it may be difficult to form relationships with those you work with. This could be a result of various factors, such as working with people who you normally would not choose as friends or those who are very different from you. To overcome these difficulties and build effective working relationships, four attributes can guide you. These are:

1. Openness

Being open means that you are willing to provide all the information that is required to make a successful and effective decision. For example, if you are working with someone, but you do not provide him or her with all the information they need, they will most likely make a poor decision. In order to build a strong working relationship, all parties need to know that you can openly share information and provide opinions without the fear of retribution should those opinions be different from those held by others.

2. Honesty

As with your personal relationships, it is difficult to operate without honesty. You need to know that you can trust those you work with, and much of that trust comes from knowing that you are being told the truth. It is, therefore, important to be sincere and show that you are being honest with everything you are saying. Openness and honesty go hand-in-hand and help to build a long-lasting working relationship.

3. Productivity

For a working relationship to be effective, there must be a productive result. Achieving results and increasing productivity can enhance a working relationship. A strong working relationship will actually achieve its aims while a weaker working relationship is unlikely to achieve everything that was set out for it. Therefore, it is vital that you become accountable and co-operate to achieve these aims and objectives.

4. Co-operation

Finally, the working relationships you have can be enhanced through increased levels of co-operation. Co-operation is essentially the willingness to help out as necessary and do what is required to get the job done. This can be shown by being proactive and showing the other parties that you will do anything you need to do to help make the job easier.