Empowerment Leadership Model for Small Groups, Teams, & Families
Course Five, Lesson 13
Developing Your Team So That it Stays Focused
on the Team’s Purpose in Such a Way
That Individual and Team Motivation Is Not Lost
Copyright 2001 Dick Wulf
The most successful teams have a purpose to guide individual and cooperative effort. The purpose must be carefully chosen, presented so that team members buy fully into the purpose. It is this purpose that determines functional and dysfunctional team and individual behavior. And it is this critical purpose that provides team members with personal payoff that motivates.
Every team, no matter how boring the nature of its work, can adopt a purpose that melds what the company wants and what individual team members need. When this is done, the framework is set for accomplishing the company’s needs while giving employees more benefits than just salary.
You want to understand the realities, thoughts and feelings of employees so you can devise a team purpose that gives them something they need — job satisfaction, a sense of teamwork, friends at work, help in becoming even more skillful and productive at what they do, etc.
So, spend some quality time thinking about the people on the team you lead. Write down the various personal situations they face. For each situation, brainstorm thoughts and feelings about what is going on. For example, if your employees are often facing family problems, then the purpose, carefully stated and discussed, can promise peaceful relationships at work because you will help the team become one that solves problems rather than getting after people.
Usually adding something general to the work purpose of a team does the trick. For example, if the organizational purpose of a team is “to work together to load the trucks in the best way for the truck drivers,” adding the phrase “while making our jobs really enjoyable” will work. Another example would be “To work together and help one another increase our cumulative real estate sales by 15% over the last year in such a way that our personal lives do not suffer.” A third example would be “to provide office support for the executives and enjoy our jobs.”
Note the marriage of something for the employer and something for the employee. The purpose focuses the team’s effort for both the company and the employee.
However, this just scratches the surface of all the benefits that can be made available to team members when a team leader helps the team with its basic tasks.
Next: Developing Teams in Such a Way That Dysfunctional, Non-productive
Behavior Is Minimized or Eliminated