7 of 7 Keys to Crafting Powerfully Effective Teams

And we saved the best (and most important) for last: clarity of roles and objectives, as related to KPAs (key performance areas) and key deliverables / SDOs (specific defined outputs).

Bottom line, people are employed not to fill a desk, role or title but to deliver; to provide a specific output which has value to the organization, and for which they are remunerated. Here is the kicker: how can anyone deliver in a role if they are unsure of exactly what is required from them?

I have been fortunate to work with a range of organisations in positions varying from no title or specifically defined role, to positions where I’m sure they must have hired an engineer to design the position description, KPIs, KPAs and performance review documentation. What I found is that the organisations that perform the best are those that are focused, and where each member of the team actually knows exactly what is required from them, how they should execute the task and report on it, and by when it should be completed.

The scary thing is that many organisations do not operate with this level of focus and intent, or if they do, the process is so complex and cumbersome that just managing their Job Description would take a good 20% of their time. The Art is in the balance: not enough detail and, who knows what you’re going to get? Too much, and all creativity is lost. So whether it’s verbal, instant message, e-mail or a formal document (the communication method doesn’t really matter), what matters is that the team member knows what is required, expected and by when.

Fundamentally, this provides clarity which is critical for monitoring the effectiveness of your team’s performance.  In an effective team, it’s essential for each individual to understand what duties, functions, and activities are required in their role and what their key performance areas are. They require clearly defined objectives and an understanding of the key deliverables/outcomes which are expected to result from these objectives. Even highly competent and motivated individuals may fail to achieve a high level of performance if they are confused about responsibilities and priorities. Confusion results in misdirected effort and neglect of important responsibilities in favor of less important ones. People then get “busy being busy” instead of effective.

Tip: don’t assume that their understanding matches yours. Take 5 minutes over a coffee and ask them “Just to double check, what is your understanding of our expectations of you in this role?”. When everyone has a clear understanding of what is expected, what their role is within the team, how they will be measured and assessed in accordance with these requirements, each individual, team member, and the overall department can be held accountable accordingly. Both company and employee know their path and where their paths must cross to achieve the overall goal of the business, allowing for no ambiguity or overlapping of tasks and ensuring maximum efficiency.

Implementing this valuable information will see you and your team in a position to reach new and incredible heights. Happy team building!

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