By Steve Margalit, FPC National
Developing a high-performing workforce doesn’t happen by accident. It is the result of careful planning, the right management approach, and a human-centered organizational culture. To develop a superstar team, you must begin with the understanding that your workforce is the single most important asset in your business; it is the driver of your company’s growth and success.
Let’s take a look at the three essential ingredients that lead to a first-rate workforce:
The way a team plays as a whole determines its success. You may have the greatest bunch of individual stars in the world, but if they don’t play together, the club won’t be worth a dime. ~ Babe Ruth
Take it from the Bambino, collaboration and teamwork are the keys to success. And this comes from one of the most effective and celebrated individual contributors that baseball has ever known, with 12 homerun titles to his credit. While you want a team of Babes in the field, there must be synergy for the team to function properly.
When recruiting talent, hiring managers need to look beyond individual accomplishments to ensure they are onboarding people whose experience, attitudes, goals, work ethic, and communication styles align with the team and company as a whole. Organizations are never effective when their employees operate in silos. When it comes to your employee base, the whole should be greater than the sum of its parts.
Attracting team-driven personnel begins with your job posting or requisition, where you focus on the importance of collaboration in this role. During the interview process, ask applicants to cite examples of their successes working on teams. See if the candidate focuses too much on “I” outcomes and less on “we” achievements. When candidates freely share credit for accomplishments with their colleagues, it is a strong indication that they work well as part of a larger, cohesive unit.
Your organization’s culture has a direct impact on the creativity, productivity, and overall performance of your employee base. Companies with rigid policies and a “we’ve always done it this way” mentality do not encourage out-of-the-box thinking. They are doomed to stagnation and face the risk of irrelevance in an ever-changing marketplace.
If you want your employees to innovate, they must have the freedom to fail without consequences. Failure should be seen as a positive occurrence, especially when it leads to learning and future success. Without acceptance of failure, employees will not feel emboldened to take risks and discover improvements in your company’s processes, products, or services. As Thomas Edison famously said, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
Cultivating an organizational culture that promotes creativity, professional development, and a healthy work-life balance has broad-based benefits. In addition to acting as a recruitment magnet, a progressive company culture also leads to increased productivity, team performance, and employee retention.
Even with a roster of top performers, a team-oriented workforce, and an employee-focused organizational culture, your company won’t thrive without the right type of leadership. Too often, employees’ efforts and ambitions are thwarted by micromanagers and task masters who fail to inspire and support their teams.
To promote optimal performance and ensure individuals reach their fullest potential, managers need to adopt a servant leadership philosophy. The role of servant leaders is to support their teams and ensure that they have the training, tools, resources, and knowledge needed to succeed. This approach puts your employees and teams at the center, and positions your management staff as facilitators, enablers, coaches, and motivators. Not only does this method lead to greater employee productivity, but it also promotes higher levels of job satisfaction and long-term retention.
Building high-performing teams is within the reach of all companies. With the right mindset and culture, businesses can transform lackluster teams into superstar rosters that would even make the Bambino proud!
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