How To Keep Your Team Healthy Part 2
Check out How To Keep Your Team Healthy Part 1 here!
Last week we considered the importance of honesty, feedback, and collaboration for keeping our teams healthy for the long run! Let’s look at the last 3 characteristics of a healthy team.
While teams are built around a common purpose (mission) the truth is each of your team members has a life and responsibilities beyond the team. It’s important that you and your members care for one another even when it comes to personal issues. We can’t fully compartmentalize our lives - and this goes for the good and the bad. It’s not realistic to think that everyone on your team is going to be best friends. It should, however, be a goal that everyone on your team cares about one another…that they weep with those that weep and rejoice with those that rejoice and that they’re engaged with and available to one another.
An excellent book on this topic is The Way of the Shepherd: Seven Secrets to Managing Productive People by Kevin Leman and Bill Pentak
Having a sense of ownership (i.e., responsibility) for what people do is important for most people and a key component in healthy teams. One of the core issues is authority. Do you delegate tasks, or do you delegate authority? Giving someone a to-do list isn’t full delegation; it’s a place to begin. If people can’t see how what they do lines up with the mission of the organization, then tasks become a grind rather than a grace-filled strategy to accomplish the team’s mission together. People are more invested when they feel responsible for accomplishing the mission, and people feel this way whenever they’ve been given authority. Authority means they can make decisions and implement new ideas. If you’re making every decision and are the only source of innovation, you haven’t fully delegated yet. I’m constantly telling people on our team, “You decide,” or, “What do you think we should do?” As I mentioned earlier, there is a culture of feedback, so sometimes the decisions aren’t the best decisions, and the ideas aren’t the best ideas, but if everything needs your approval then your team won’t be healthy. Great team members want to feel a sense of ownership in the mission.
A great resource for this is a super quick read by Donna Genett called If You Want It Done Right, You Don’t Have to Do It Yourself.
Look for wins. Celebration is an important currency of your team. Money is important, but at some point, ceases to be a primary motivator. Celebrating the wins keeps people excited and full of joy for what’s going on. You must be passionate about and intentional in collecting stories and looking for success. Celebrate them. You shouldn’t ignore losses and turn a blind eye to weak spots, but if the default of your team isn’t celebration, then your team is emotionally malnourished. Gratitude is an amazing attribute here. The obvious definition of gratitude is having an appreciation for the gift and the giver of the gift. A second less obvious understanding of gratitude is that gratitude is an attitude that helps you identify and steward available resources. When we celebrate wins and are grateful for what we have, we foster health in our teams and provide a way to continue accomplishing our mission and goals.
It’s a leader’s responsibility to find moments to celebrate. Celebrate at team meetings, in text threads with your teams, at team retreats, and even one-on-one. Celebration should be centered around your team accomplishing goals and modeling core values.
Your team is valuable, so add value to your team by keeping them healthy. Sign me up for a team where I can trust and be honest, give and receive feedback, collaborate with others, care and be cared for, work towards owning a lane, and celebrate wins together!