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KATHMANDU: As a leader, you’re responsible for helping your team reach their full potential. They won’t reach their peak if they’re not being properly challenged. You can push them forward by setting and promoting team goals.
A team goal brings everyone together as a single unit. Each team member will develop individually, but their collective efforts will accomplish so much more than they could on their own. To propel your team to higher performance, take these five simple steps:
Sit down with your team and discuss what types of goals they want to set. Let them share their insights on what they need to improve on and what goals will help them make progress. Direct their efforts toward a goal they can all share. Guiding their efforts will help ensure that the goal they have in mind is a good fit. You want a goal that is achievable but also stretches your team’s limits. Be the guiding hand that keeps them from going to one extreme or the other.
As an example, consider a goal for your customer service team about customer reviews. While a 100% satisfaction rate for the rest of the quarter is a laudable goal, there are too many factors in play to make it realistic. Instead, look at last month’s numbers and set a goal that challenges them to improve, even if that just means getting 75% up to 85%.
When it comes to your team’s goal, don’t just set it and forget it. Check in on their progress often to see what obstacles are slowing them down and how you can help them over the hurdles. Your presence will encourage each team member to strive to do their best.
As you check in frequently, be careful not to micromanage your team. You want to be available in a supportive way, not an overbearing one. Inserting yourself into every detail of planning and execution will really put the team off. Instead, express trust by giving them autonomy in the way they complete their goals. Be a resource for them to use only when they need help.
Take the time to meet with team members individually as well as in a group. Each person will have unique strengths and weaknesses you’ll want to either leverage or address. By helping each individual through their challenges, the team as a whole will grow stronger.
The right incentive will get your team pumped up in their pursuit of lofty goals. While personal and team development is rewarding in its own right, prizes are excellent for helping you push through short-term pain. The carrot-on-a-stick strategy has been around for ages due to its motivating ability.
Employ your incentives wisely, though. Incentives should not work against the goals you’re trying to achieve. For example, if you’re trying to foster collaboration within your sales team, don’t offer individual sales bonuses that would encourage team members to compete against each other.
Instead, choose a collective incentive that team members will have to work together to earn. If a trip to Disneyland requires the entire team to reach a collective revenue goal, your sales leader will be more likely to throw a hot lead to a colleague with an empty pipeline rather than keep it to herself.
Your team goals will take some time to reach. Along the way, take the time to celebrate even the smallest of victories. Each celebration, no matter how small, will keep your team’s motivation and morale at a high level to spur further efforts.
Sales goals are a perfect example of how to break this up. Let’s say you set a goal with your team to increase quarterly revenue by 90%. For the next three months, celebrate every closed sale, upsell, or renewal that leads to that final goal. Create a fun tradition for every sale that’s closed like a bell to ring for the entire office to hear.
As you celebrate the successes, don’t forget to address the failures. You can learn just as much, if not more, from your mistakes as you can from your victories. You don’t have to create a culture of wallowing in failure, but don’t shy away from learning a good lesson.
Just because you’re the leader of the group doesn’t mean you can’t find ways to improve yourself. Make it a point to set goals right alongside your team to show them the effort you’re making to improve with them. Your example will be as encouraging as any incentive or success.
While you should have plenty of personal goals, set at least one professional goal that you can use to rally your team together. Perhaps it’s a personal sales goal or an increased employee retention rate. Whatever it is, your team will love to see you actively fighting along with them.
A good leader can take their team to new heights with a bit of motivation and guidance. Follow these steps, and you’ll be astounded by what your team is able to accomplish. Forbes
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