“My team has lost cohesion – how can I get them back on track?”
Applicable to teams of any size, here are 6 simple ways a manager can boost teamwork and cohesive working to get that productivity back on track.
As a manager, it can feel really stressful when your team isn’t working together effectively.
It normally starts to manifest itself as one or two team members becoming disconnected, or splitting into groups. Other managers in the business complaining about a lack of service or communication from team members, and timescales starting to slip. But this is totally normal. Teams are made up of humans after all (including you) and sometimes, things start to slip. Here are some simple ways to get everyone realigned and back on track.
Get together IRL, out of the office
Whilst technology platforms such as Zoom and Teams have proved to be incredible business tools for remote working, there are some things that just don’t work through a screen. If you can, arrange a day to get together in real life and spend it out of the office. It could be a strategy day, a day to just work through some projects together, or even just a long lunch. Spending some time face-to-face and having normal conversations that aren’t centered around work will help to build that human connection that’s so important within teams.
Set some achievable short terms goals
It’s human nature that people like to achieve things. Look at what your team needs to achieve and set some short terms goals that they can work together to achieve within a matter of weeks. A tight (and strict) deadline adds energy and adrenaline to a team, and the buzz of achieving those goals will make them hungry to achieve more.
Make sure they get recognition from the right people in the business
Whether that’s you, the CEO, or a relevant senior manager, recognition is everything. After all, why would they work so hard to achieve anything next time if it isn’t even going to be recognised? Flowers grow towards the sunshine, people are no different. Make sure you only give recognition when it’s genuine though. It doesn’t hold any weight if people think you’re using it to cajole them – or if you dish it out to people in the team that don’t deserve it.
Address poor performers within the team
Which leads nicely onto my next point. Address poor performers within the team. This is SO important. It might be uncomfortable and you’d really rather do anything else, but a poor performer can have such a negative impact within a team, it will never truly work effectively until this is addressed. It’s all about motivation. Why would your best team members go above and beyond when there are other people in the team not pulling their weight and getting away with it. Not only that, but a poor performer acts as a ball and chain on any real progress and traction. Do everyone, including the poor performer (no-one likes to be in that position), a favour and cut the shackles.
Focus on your role as a manager
Don’t forget that your primary role as a manager is to manage the team. No matter how much of your own work you have to do, make it a priority to have regular 1:1 meetings, set a strategy and break everything down into achievable goals for your team. It can take some time but it makes your working life so much easier in the long run.