Establishing the right ground rules is an essential part of creating an efficient workplace. Cohesive teams with good chemistry and constructive communication do not just come together organically — it is the team leader’s job to set them up for success.
In the 9 tips below, we’ve organized some ground rules that will help you do just that.
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In This Article:
- Determine a Meeting Schedule
- Let Your Team Focus on Specializations
- Judge by Results, Not Performance
- Let Your Team Know You’re Tracking KPIs
- Acknowledge Success
- Listen to Ideas
- Set Realistic Goals
- Admit Your Flaws, Help With Theirs
- Be Hands-Off
Work Team Ground Rules
Determine a Meeting Schedule
At the start of each month, draw up a schedule that dictates when you’re going to have every meeting during that month. Doing so will make scheduling easier for everyone. It will also make people more comfortable saving their questions about projects until the next meeting.
It might seem that very frequent team meetings is the best strategy, but it isn’t! Some companies meet at the beginning of every day, and it’s a massive time-suck that doesn’t add much at all to actual functionality. Usually, a meeting or maybe two every week will be enough.
Let Your Team Focus on Specializations
Good teams are composed of people who have diverse work specializations. A tech specialist, for instance, a PR rep, a writer, an event organizer. As a team leader, it’s your primary job to make sure each specialist gets to focus on his or her area. If they are continually doing each other’s jobs, their workflow will become muddied and confused.
Make it easy for team members to communicate with each other and ask for help from each other when needed.
Judge by Results, Not Hours ground rules
As a ground rule, make sure never to judge your team members’ performances based on the amount of time they put into their work. Because ultimately, those hours don’t matter at all if they are not producing results.
Instead of hours, judge purely based on performance. If you can view results without reminding yourself how many hours it took to produce them, that’s even better.
Let Your Team Know You’re Tracking KPIs
Make sure your team knows you’re paying attention to their performance. Not in a “you better watch your back” sort of way, but in more of a “your work is valued, and I’m keeping track attentively” kind of way. There is nothing worse for productivity than an employee feeling their work (or lack thereof) goes unnoticed, and you need to avoid that situation at all costs.
When someone accomplishes something especially commendable, let them know they’re doing a great job! As we said, people love being acknowledged for their work.
You don’t need to throw a company party every time someone does something good — they’re another way to waste time if held too often. A pat on the back and an expression of appreciation should suffice.
Listen to Ideas
Make sure team members know they can suggest ideas. Set up an anonymous portal for employees to propose changes they think the company should implement, and publicize it.
Once the ideas start pouring in, show you are listening! Let employees know the workplace is a democracy through the policies you implement.
Set Realistic Goals ground rules
Don’t be over-enthusiastic about your goals. It’s very hard for team members to give their all when they know they’re going to come up short anyway.
In fact, it’s a good idea to let team members help suggest deadlines. When you receive a client’s project, tell them you’ll talk to your team and ask them when they think they can have it done by. Then, bring it up at your next meeting.
Here are a few more ideas on what to cover during office meetings as a team leader.
Admit Your Flaws, Help With Theirs
It’s important the upper management at any company can bond with its team members, and one important part of that is showing humanity. In other words, you need to show you are just people rather than a soulless entity calling itself a company.
To help connect, admit your flaws. Letting employees know what their company could do better not only humanizes you but also gives them chances to help fill where you really need them.
Once you establish ground rules, step away, and let your team work. Nearly everyone hates
micromanagement, and they actually love to do what they’re good at if they are allowed some free reign.
This is also an essential step in making team members feel respected, another important aspect of creating a productive work environment.
Establishing ground rules that will let your team thrive is not easy, but it is a huge part of the team leader’s job. These 9 tips are great places to start.