Are You In Danger of Loosing Your Team?

by Julian Campbell

board roomA recent survey by Global Mindset has shown that as a result of the global financial challenge, a large number of employees have lost faith in their business leaders and their managers. This has a number of alarming effects. Companies are losing productivity because employees are absolving themselves of taking responsibility for results, but more importantly, they are looking to move on and when the job market recovers, we will probably see a big upheaval in staff turnover. So as a team leader, we have two current major challenges; keeping the team motivated and happy whilst maintaining productivity and accountability. We need our team members to want to work with us.

So, how do we know if we are a good team leader? The obvious answer is to ask your team members either individually or as a group, but be warned you might not want to hear what they have to say or they may be so afraid of you that they will not tell you. So are they any telltale signs? Yes, the first obvious one is an air of hostility in the workplace, team members constantly bickering and a high level of absenteeism and mistakes.  You may even find team members gathering in corners, in the lunch room or around the water cooler whispering to each other and immediately dispersing when you approach. Then have a look at your team meetings, have team members stopped attending, are they finding excuses to not be present?

If any of these signs are present in your work team, as team leader now is the time to act. Try to ascertain what changes happened. Has the economy created uncertainty, has a certain amount of monotony set in with tasks becoming mundane and lacking creativity, have your meetings that were once fun become boring lectures?

It is important to remember that the fundamental work of a leader is to create, maintain and improve a group of people so that they achieve objectives and continue to do so over time. In fact President Harry S. Truman once said “I learned that a great leader is a person who has the ability to get other people to do what they don’t want to do and like it”, and the following President, Dwight Eisenhower said “Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because they want to do it”. This will require all of your skills to understand your team members’ personalities and inspire them accordingly. Your team members want to be listened to, heard and involved. Do this now and keep your team motivated, excited, stimulated and productive.  

Copyright © Julian Campbell 2010

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