Creating a Clear Line of Sight for People to Contribute

Creating a Clear Line of Sight for People to Contribute
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A Manager’s Role – Creating a Clear Line of Sight
The best managers know that creating a clear line of sight from each person’s role and individual set of tasks to what the team and company is trying to accomplish sets the stage for high performance. When employees have a clear line of sight, they can see and articulate the relationship between what they do and what makes the company successful.  This clarity sets the stage for higher team performance and increases employee motivation, engagement, and commitment.

Just think about it.  Essentially, a manager’s role is to encourage, enable, and facilitate their team to meet individual, team, and overall company goals. To be successful, managers need to be able to interpret how the team can add value and then consistently decide what matters most.

It is up to managers to be specific about how each team member fits in and what expectations there are for each team member’s contribution to the team effort.

Team Charters – How to Create a Clear Line of Sight for Your Team
Our organizational alignment research found that strategic clarity accounts for 31% of the difference between high and low performing teams. While there are many ways for individuals and teams to add value, in order to be successful teams need to have a basic understanding of why the team was formed, who it serves, how it will accomplish its objectives, and what success looks like. 

Here are the eight key components of an effective Team Charter that we teach in our management training programs to help create a clear line of sight:

  1. Team Purpose
    A clear and compelling team purpose sets the foundation on which the significance of the team’s work is connected to the bigger picture. It provides the meaning people seek in what they do and the value that they contribute.

    What is the fundamental reason the team exists and how does it specifically fit into the overall organization. Some call this a team vision or mission.  It does not matter what you call it as long as everyone can articulate the fundamental purpose of your team.
  2. Team Stakeholders
    Who does the team serve and what specifically do our key stakeholders expect from us?  We define stakeholders as those people who have influence over or interest in what your team is doing.  Do not underestimate the power of actively involving stakeholders in your team’s strategy and approach.
  3. Team’s Success Metrics
    A clear measurement of success helps to focus work and energy. Leading metrics measure controllable activities that are predictive of achieving your goals. Lagging metrics measure goal attainment.

    What critical few 2-3 leading and lagging metrics best measure the team’s performance in the areas that matter most?
  4. Team Priorities
    Team priorities define the critical few deliverables the team is focused on. Priorities are generally set for a year or quarter and can involve multiple tasks or projects. When the team is aligned to what is important to accomplish and why, they stay focused and see and feel the value of their contributions.

    What are the top 3-5 critical strategic priorities on which the team is dedicated to focusing the majority of their time?
  5. Team Norms
    Team norms enable team members to hold each other accountable to creating the conditions for everyone to do their best work. When they are explicitly defined and agreed to, teams can better examine what is working, what is not working, and what actions to take in order to sustain healthy team dynamics and deliver great results.

    What are the three to six non-negotiable behaviors that people on the team expect from each other?  How is the team going to communicate? Make decisions?  Course correct?  Track progress?  Hold each other accountable? Recognize and celebrate success? 
  6. Team Constraints
    Every team must work within the explicit and implicit constraints of their environment.

    Within what boundaries, assumptions, and constraints does the team need to operate to be successful?
  7. Individual Roles and Responsibilities
    Clear roles and responsibilities helps to ensure that the right people, and doing the right things, for the right reasons. Role clarity increases employee satisfaction, efficiency, and performance.

    What is the primary role, responsibility, and scope of each team member?  And what are the critical interdependencies required for collective success?
  8. Resources, Support, and Skills
    What key resources, support, and skills are required for the team to deliver on its priorities?  What are the biggest gaps?  And how will we fill them?

The Bottom Line
When your team is clear on the priorities, who they serve, and how success will be measured, they have a clear line of sight to how their goals and work add value.  This helps everyone stay focused on what matters most.  Are your leaders and managers helping to create a clear line of sight for their people to both add value and to feel valued? 

To learn more about creating high performing teams, download3 Must-Have Ingredients of High Performing Teams for New Managers

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