Health check: how well is your team doing?
Happy, healthy teams are like happy, healthy bodies. They simply work better. But when you're completely focused on reaching targets and achieving strategic objectives, the health of your team is something that can be overlooked at times.
Office politics, low morale, lack of direction, weak leadership and unrealistic goals are all factors that can lead to an unhealthy organisation and/or team.
The key is to identify when things are having a negative impact and to correct the situation as quickly as possible to ensure that you maintain an environment conducive to high-performing teams.
Here are our top seven symptoms of unhealthy teams to look out for:
* There is a general lack of trust
This could be caused by either a team leader who does not promote transparency and open communication, or by team members not having trust in each other due to lack of support. Either way, a lack of trust is very damaging to productivity.
* Team members start avoiding each other
If team members start going through significant lengths to avoid working with a particular person or group of people, there is a definite problem. A lack of cooperation and collaboration has a direct impact on a team's ability to solve problems.
* The team finds more problems than solutions
When faced with a business problem, healthy teams will immediately start going into solution mode. If you find that instead all you're getting is a list of reasons why something can't be done, general negativity and a lack of motivation has definitely taken over.
* Nobody's willing to take any accountability
Deadlines are missed, but nobody really seems to care. Leaders inevitably start having to clean up after their team members who leave tasks unfinished, and when questioned about it will happily place the blame on somebody else.
* Team members are unsure about their role
Team members need to have a clear understanding of their role within a team. Without it you'll find that people don't really understand their responsibilities to the rest of the team and critical tasks will start falling through the cracks.
* There's a strong "every man for himself" mentality
This is normally a side-effect that arises from a lack of trust and avoidance of team members. With people not openly talking to each other and not trusting that the rest of the team doesn't simply have it out for them, it's very much a case of looking out only for number 1... me. You'll notice that nobody is willing to help or coach each other anymore and people end up working as complete silos.
* Why are we even here??
This situation occurs when team members don't feel connected to the organisation or team's mission statement, goals and objectives. They don't feel as though their actions are contributing to something bigger than themselves and they don't really see any point in even trying. Definitely another big productivity killer.
Need assistance identifying and correcting any people, process or technology factors that may be causing unhappiness within your team? Then give us a call on (021) 447 5696 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Sometimes an outside perspective can definitely help to shed some light.