Tag: Setting Goals

How to Succeed With a Virtual Team

How to Succeed with Virtual Teams

Succeeding with traditional face-to-face teams can be challenging enough, but succeeding with a virtual team can be just as hard, if not more so. Inspiring a team to create and meet goals, maintain motivation and work together are only a few obstacles when managing a team that you cannot see on a daily basis. But with effective communication and a little discipline, any virtual team can succeed.

Setting Clear Goals

Setting goals are one of the most elementary processes that can lead to success. After all, you don’t know where you’re going until you determine what you want! Clear goals are normally set for the team as a whole as well as each individual teammate. The manager works with the team to determine what they want to achieve over a set amount of time (i.e. increased sales, decreased absences) while the employee sets their own goals about what they want to achieve as a member of the team (i.e. decreased data errors, increased personal productivity). Setting goals with your virtual team can help them stay task-focused and can make them feel as though they are making a difference on the team.

Tips for setting goals:

  • Determine what you want to achieve
  • Define a path that can help you get there (there may be more than one)
  • Decide what you will do when you reach that goal

Related: Goal Setting Outcome Based Team Building Activities

Create Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)

A Standard Operating System is generally a company’s process or procedure that it follows in the workplace. Sometimes a company does not feel the need to document these procedures, since many people may already know it. But creating these procedures and correctly documenting them allows the manager to share them with other employees and create them as a type of guideline and resource. As a manager, review some of the procedure and processes that have worked for you in the past and try to create them into an SOP. Although it can be time consuming, it will be worth the benefits in the end. On a virtual team, these can be especially helpful for employees who may not have experience on the team yet.  They will come to you for help and will need to learn procedures if they are to contribute to the team.

Build a Team Culture

Your virtual team is your family. Every member should take the time to know each other and familiarize themselves with someone else’s situation. After all, every member of the team is a human being and deserves to be treated with respect and friendliness. If employees are not able to socialize locally, allow them to have a chat room on a private server or virtual community they can come and go in to speak with other employees on a non-business level. If possible, assign projects or assignments in pairs or small groups to encourage further mingling and socializing. When the employees feel as though they are part of a family, they see other teammates as family also and will create their own team culture they can fit into.

Related: Dealing with Culutural Differences in YourTeam

Provide Timely Feedback

Positive or negative, feedback is a great tool to help employees at work. On a virtual team, giving timely feedback is important to the team’s overall success. Employees need to know how they are doing on assignments and need to know if they need to change anything. Since the manager cannot randomly approach the employee to give feedback as they would in person, it is best to set up regular, scheduled sessions (such as by phone or chat) to alert the employee of any negative feedback that needs to be addressed or any positive feedback that should be shared. This will require the manager to get to know the employee personally so that the feedback sessions are not awkward or uncomfortable.

 

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Establishing Performance Goals for Your Team

Establishing Performance Goals for Your Team

Performance goals require strategic action. To be effective, these goals should not just be handed down to the team. It is important to include the team members in the goal setting process and encourage them to meet their individual performance goals. This will improve individual and team performance.

Related: Goal Setting Outcome Based Team Building Activities

Strategic Planning

A strategic plan determines where the team, where they want to be, and how they will get there. It should embrace the values of the organization and align with the following company information. The organization must create a strategic plan before creating performance goals.

Company Strategic Plan:

  • Vision
  • Mission
  • Philosophy
  • Goals
  • Objectives

Team performance goals need to consider the company’s strategic plan. Individual performance goals must be SMART goals that include strategies and actions for the team members to take.

Example Goal: Stay informed about innovations in the industry, it can help improve productivity by 10 percent this year.

Examples of Actions:

Job Analysis

A job analysis determines what is required to do a specific job. It will help determine which skills and attributes a team member needs to complete a job successfully. A job analysis will help determine who to hire, how to train, and what compensation a job should receive. Job analyses are instrumental in determining performance. Research a position to determine the following information:

Job Requirements:

Employee Requirements:

  • Training/Education
  • Skills
  • Aptitudes
  • Necessary certification

Setting Goals

Performance goals need to be SMART goals. They need to address behavior, competency, and results. Remember to involve the team members in their performance goals.

Examples of Goals:

  • Behavior: Team members have complained about distance. Communicate with employees in person every week, rather than just sending emails.
  • Competency: New equipment is being installed. Perform all the training within three weeks.
  • Results: Sales are down. Increase sales by 5 percent this quarter.

Motivation

Performance is related to motivation. Motivation is the job of every team leader. There is not a single method for motivating team members. People have different personal motives, and team leaders must meet the needs of individuals.

Motivating Tips:

  • Lead by example: Motivate yourself before you can motivate others.
  • Meet with individuals: Communicate with team members directly to find out what motivates them.
  • Reward employees: Find motivating rewards for individuals.
  • Delegate: Do not micromanage team members.
  • Inform: Inform team members about how they are making a difference in the team.
  • Celebrate: Pay attention to achievements and celebrate with the team.

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Successful Teams Use SMART Goals

Successful Teams Use SMART Goals

“Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible.” – Tony Robbins

If your team cannot achieve their goals, there is a chance that they are not creating the correct goals. Whenever your team is creating goals, they will find that following the rules for SMART goals will be easier to achieve. SMART goals are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely. When they combine the elements of SMART goals, your team will have a greater chance of success.

Related: Goal Setting Outcome Based Team Building, Defining a Succesful Team

Team Goals Must be Specific

Goals need to be specific. Your team will not be able to reach their goals if they are broad and general because planning will be too difficult. For example, “Improve our performance” is too broad. The team cannot work towards this general goal. Specific goals explain what is necessary to complete a goal and guides the team as they try to reach the goal. Specific goals may also identify location, requirements, and the reasoning behind the goal.

Team Goals Must be Measurable

Goals need to be measurable in order to be effective. A measurable goal specifies the when a goal is accomplished by answering, “how much?” or “how many?” It provides measurable results. Without measurable goals, it is difficult to realize when the goal has been reached.

Team Goals Must be Attainable

Goals must always be attainable. It is important that the team creates goals that are challenging, but they still need to be within reach. When goals are unattainable, the team will give up on them without even trying. The measure of a goal should always be attainable.

Team Goals Must be Realistic

It is important that the team set realistic goals. Realistic goals are directly related to the team’s abilities. For example, a goal to reprogram the computer is not realistic if you do not have the education or experience to accomplish the task. Additionally, you need to make sure that the team has access to the tools necessary to meet their goals. If a goal seems unrealistic, break it down into smaller chunks to know for certain.

Team Goals Must be Timely

Your team should always create goals that have specific time frames. General goals do not establish any time frames, which means that you may continue to pursue goals that you should relinquish. Timely goals encourages the team to move forward in order to meet the deadline they have established. Once a time frame has been reached, the team should take the time to reevaluate the goal.

Related: Time Management Outcome Based Team Building Activities

 

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Motivating Your Team to Achieve Their Goals

Motivating Your Team to Achieve Their Goals

“Desire is the key to motivation, but it’s determination and commitment to an unrelenting pursuit of your goal – a commitment to excellence – that will enable you to attain the success you seek.” – Mario Andretti

Goals can be inspiring, but that inspiration can fade in the reality of everyday life. In order for your team to achieve their goals, it is important that you find ways to motivate the team. You cannot constantly rely on external motivation. Implementing different methods of motivation such as remembering peak moments, writing down goals and gamification will help keep your team focused and positive as they work towards their goals.

Remind The Team of Peak Moments

Positive memories are powerful motivators. Remembering peak moments create a sense of achievement and encourages the team to seek out that same feeling again. Peak moments are not relegated to work accomplishments. They are any strong memories that create positive feelings. Looking back over the team’s peak moments will show them how much they already have achieved, and how far they have already come. It will encourage and motivate them to keep moving forward and reach their goals.

Write Down the Team Goals

Knowing the goals is not enough to keep the team motivated; you have to write them down. Writing down goals creates a visual reminder of where the team is going. When you are writing down your team goals, remember to use the present tense or the present perfect tense. This will help the team visualize reaching the goals. Once the goals are written down, you should display them someplace where the team will see them regularly.

Find out more about TBAE’s Goal Setting Outcome Based Team Building Activities

Use Gamification

Gamification uses the process of game dynamics to blend intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. Unlike online games that can become obstacles to productivity, gamification will actually help the team achieve their goals. This system allows the team to earn points towards rewards by accomplishing tasks. The points earned provide incentives to complete more tasks and earn more rewards.

Create Your Own Game:

  • Identify tasks: List the tasks/chores that needs to be accomplished.
  • Assign points: Assign a number of points to each task. Tasks that the team typically avoids should be given more points to provide greater incentive.
  • Assign rewards: Determine how many points are necessary to earn each reward. Higher point counts should be given to rewards that are more valuable. The rewards will depend on what motivates the team most.
  • Keep score: Find a method to keep track of the points that works for you. You could use a spreadsheet or list them in an app on your phone.

You will probably have to adjust your game to find the most motivating rewards system. Once you have made the necessary adjustments, you will have fun helping your team reach their goals.

Track Your Team’s Progress

Tracking your team’s progress will help you see their accomplishments and which areas require more effort. Additionally, showing them the improvements that they make will motivate them to continue their hard work. Over time, you should see your team consistently reaching more of their goals. There are different ways to track progress. You may choose to do it by hand, use a spreadsheet, or use an online tool. Do not expect your team to always reach all of their goals. The purpose of tracking progress is to show the areas that need more of your focus.

 

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How to Motivate Your Team

How to Motivate Your Team

Motivated teams are successful teams. As the team manager, it is vital that you know how to motivate your team to deliver their best work. The correct balance between a confident, motivated team and a team that is driven to goals is required to achieve optimal results. This article will help managers to motivate their team and get the best out of them.

Theories of Motivation

The following are some key theories which will help you produce a motivated team.

Herzberg’s Theory of Motivation

According to Herzberg’s Theory of Motivation, team motivation is affected both by the level of satisfaction and dissatisfaction of the team members; and that these two elements are independent of each other. Herzberg’s theory includes the assertion that dissatisfaction is not the opposite of satisfaction, but merely an absence of satisfaction. The theory stresses the importance of team managers to encourage satisfaction, on the one hand, and avoid dissatisfaction on the other.

Object-Oriented Theory

A lot of team members perform better when they have something to work towards or something to avoid.

The Carrot

The Carrot theory of motivation is based on the assumption that if team members have the promise of a reward at the end of a project, they are likely to keep striving for it. The team members will need to keep testing themselves, but as long as they meet their challenges they will be rewarded at the end of their efforts. For this theory to work there needs to be a definite end and a specific reward.

The Whip

The Whip theory is motivation by threat of punishment. This method needs to be handled particularly carefully as it can lead to a culture of fear within a team if not handled correctly. The person providing the motivation is responsible for deciding to what extent and in what way they will use the “whip”. If it is something too insignificant the whip ceases to be a motivation but if it is something too stringent it can actually infringe upon performance.

The Plant

As a plant needs the best possible combination of different nourishing elements to thrive, so will your team members be motivated by the right combination of factors. Judgment needs to be used to ensure that each team member gets the right amount of each of the motivational factors. It calls for the right amount of balance between using the whip or the carrot. Some team members work best when challenged while others work better with the goal of recognition. Some team members may not respond well to either options, but will simply want to get through as much work as possible while doing the work to a high level of quality.

Reinforcement Theory

The reinforcement theory has been established as a successful and effective method of motivation. It encompasses the rewarding of good practice and punishing the bad. The central idea of the theory is that it is possible to modify behavior by associating undesirable behaviors with undesirable outcomes, and desirable behaviors with desirable outcomes. Rewarding your team for rising above what is expected from them, is one of the more effective ways of applying this theory. You can reward your team with a team lunch or take them out of the office for a team building event. They will be encouraged to continue the outstanding work by the knowledge that their efforts have been noted and rewarded, and may be rewarded again.

Expectancy Theory

The Expectancy Theory suggests that the best motivation is to focus on the result of the work as the ultimate goal. If the team members are sufficiently motivated to achieve results, they will perform better as a result, and the outcome will to some extent take care of itself.

The Role of Personality in Motivation

A person’s personality type is the aspects of their character that emerge when around others or when doing important work. These do not always directly relate to work but can aid or hinder a person’s ability to do it. A good mix of personality types in a team can be hugely beneficial to the team. A strong team consists of problem solvers, consensus seekers, nurturers and humorists.

Motivators by Personality Type

The different personality types in your team will also have different ways that they motivate others and are motivated. A consensus seeker is likely to motivate others by speaking to them one-on-one and allowing them to see where they excel and where they can improve. They are able to put bad news in a good way, as well as share good news discreetly. The more dominant personality types tend to deliver criticism one-on-one in order not to demotivate others, but they deliver good news loudly and share it throughout the team. They see good news as a way of motivating other people to achieve the same and get the same acclaim. Each personality type contributes to the team’s motivation in their unique way.

Motivating Your Team by Setting Goals

Most people are goal-oriented and they seek to achieve goals and define their success by the reaching of these goals. Giving your team goals to aim for can be an effective way to motivate them. A team usually has some targets to meet with regard to their performance. The extent and frequency, that the team achieves these as well as the quality which they apply to the task, are all material for goal setting. Goals can be set for the team as a whole as well as for the individual team members.

Related: Goal Setting Outcome Based Team Building Activities

One of the most obvious ways of motivating through goal setting is through performance related pay. One of the major motivators for working is people’s need to be financially rewarded for doing a satisfactory job. People easily feel demotivated when they feel they are not being paid well enough for the work they are doing. The manager should ensure that his team is motivated by paying them well enough and ensuring that they are adequately rewarded for meeting goals. Goals can also motivate your team by bringing in an element of healthy competition.

SMART Goals

SMART is an acronym that sums up the criteria that goals must meet in order to be worthwhile:

Specific: Goals need to be definite and defined. They need to be on a level where team members that work hard can achieve them.

Measurable: Goals need to be something that can be assessed and compared against previous months or years.

Achievable: Setting goals, which team members cannot achieve, is counter-productive and could end up demotivating the team instead of motivating them.

Realistic: Goals should not be too difficult to achieve, but they should not be too easy to achieve either. Achieving goals should also have tangible benefits.

Timed: The goal should have a specified time period attached to it. During the time period, it should be possible to check if the team is on track to meet the goal or miss it.

Evaluating and Adapting Goals

The importance of goals is not only in setting them, but also learning from the experience of achieving or missing them. Realistic and accurate goals can be of considerable benefit when evaluating the performance of your team and to see where changes can be made. Misapplied goals can have a detrimental effect on team motivation on either side; too easy and the team gets complacent, too difficult and they become frustrated.

Getting the Team to See the Glass Half-Full

A primary part of motivating your team is ensuring they do not become discouraged by situations that are not pleasant. Challenges that your team face usually present some risk of failure. The fear of failure presents a serious problem for many people. The fear of failure does not have to be a demotivating factor though, but can provide impetus to make sure we succeed. Turning a possible demotivating factor into a motivating factor relies on outlook. You want your team members to be “glass half-full” people and not “glass half empty” people. The more team members maintain a “half-full “mindset the better for team motivation.

Related: Resilience Outcome Based Team Building Activities

One of the most common ways to help your team members to be more optimistic is to teach them that challenges come with consequences and rewards. Unmet challenges have consequences but if you meet the challenges you can eagerly anticipate the rewards. Challenges are part of the job and need to be accepted as such and faced head-on. Keeping the rewards in mind will help your team to see the glass as half full.

 

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