Top Work Team Warning Signs to Pay Attention To

Top Work Team Warning Signs to Pay Attention To
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Are You Paying Attention to the Top Work Team Warning Signs?
Most work today is achieved through the effort of teams rather than individuals. Great teams at work reach their goals faster, with better results, and more reliably. Knowing the top work team warning signs to look out for and having the ability to build a great team becomes a high-priority, critical skill for team leaders.

What The Team Research Says

  • Research from Accenture found that aligned work teams are 28% more likely to achieve the highest levels of revenue growth and 23% more likely to achieve the highest levels of profitability.
  • A Yale study reported that the level of performance between a working group of individual employees and a great team is higher by the huge factor of ten.

Top Work Team Warning Signs
Is your team performing at its peak? Review the following top work team warning signs to be sure your team’s performance is not slipping.

  1. Confusing or Misaligned Goals or Roles
    It is hard to expect teams to perform at their peak if goals, roles, processes, success metrics, interdependencies, and behavioral expectations are unclear, misaligned, or unfair. Agreed-upon goals should clarify what the team wants to achieve and why.  Agreed-upon roles should outline who does what and why.

    Processes, success metrics, and behavioral expectations should clearly define how work will get done, how success will be measured, and how everyone is expected to behave along the way.

    Do your teams agree upon individual and team goals, roles, processes, success metrics, interdependencies, and behavioral expectations?

  2. Emphasizing Individual Goals Over Team Goals
    The ability for organizations to shift from “me” to “we” starts with how strategic priorities are created and defined. We know from leadership simulation assessment data that emphasizing individual goals over team goals creates organizational barriers that fly in the face of collaboration and shared goals across functions.

    While individual goals are important to create a clear line of sight for people to contribute, team and company-wide goals keep everyone on track and focused where the company is headed.

    Do you have enough team-based goals to motivate the behaviors required to succeed?

  3. Rewarding Individual Behaviors over Team Behaviors
    Though you may regularly talk about how important teamwork is, you may inadvertently be prioritizing individual behaviors by the way you evaluate, reward, and manage performance. If you focus on individual accomplishments, you undermine the value of a collective team mindset and effort.

    This applies not only to team leaders but also to corporate values, business practices, and HR policies. Often, prescribed ways of working have not been revised to support team behaviors. Make sure your team norms and commitment to teamwork is not sabotaged by how people are expected to think, behave, and work.

    Are you emphasizing team-based behaviors?

  4. Inhibiting Constructive Dissent
    While team harmony sounds nice, constructive debate and team tensions are required for teams to perform at their peak. If you do not have enough psychological team safety to openly discuss and debate work challenges, you will struggle to have the tough conversations required to challenge the status quo and make tough decisions.

    Do you encourage your team to openly discuss what’s on their mind?

  5. Asking for More Leadership
    While many high performers love to be “left alone” to get their job done, the vast majority of employees want to be led. One of the fastest ways to disengage employees is to ask them to do things that they are not capable or motivated to accomplish.  Top leaders situationally lead their teams by meeting people where they are and providing what they need to succeed.

    That includes providing a clear vision, providing the support and resources to make things happen, and demonstrating your trust in the team decision making   Giving team members the opportunity for input and questions as decisions are discussed and made creates a sense of ownership and commitment.

    Are you leading your teams in a way that makes sense?

The Bottom Line
Regularly assess organizational health and how your teams are being set up for success. The higher performing the teams, the more likely you and your company will thrive.

To learn more about top work team warning signs to pay attention to, download 5 Steps to Align Teams to Pull in the Same Direction

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