Is your team focused on the big picture?

Many managers and team leaders may have a good idea of what the overall target goals might be for the business, but how often do you share those visions with the entire team?

Individual performance and overall team performance aren’t the same thing.

When you focus on what each individual is achieving, it’s easy to see differences in output levels and motivation. However, if you add together the output of an entire team, it’s easy to see how one person failing to achieve targets can drag down the performance of the team as a whole.

Ideally, if you can get everyone on your team to see and understand the big picture, it’s much easier to get them all on the same page and focusing towards the same outcome.

Here are some tips for helping the entire team work towards the big picture:

Explain the end goal

Before you start working on the smaller steps required to reach your target, your team needs to understand the goal you’re striving for. Be clear about what the end goal is and how you hope to achieve it. Point out that each member in the team has a valuable role to play in helping you reach it.

Set individual goals

Each individual member of your team needs to understand the goals you’re putting in place. They should also understand their own roles within the team that will help fulfil those goals.

Work on setting each member their own goals, targets and deadlines that contribute to the overall big picture. Be sure to keep an eye on the progress towards those goals and monitor work being done to ensure everyone is on the right track.

Create milestones

Many individuals become intimidated by the idea of a big picture that seems formidable. Rather than making people more motivated to work harder to achieve it, this can sometimes make others feel out of their depth. This can lead to a reduction in productivity levels, rather than increasing them.

While the team might understand the overall big picture, set up some milestones that need to be reached along the way. This helps others to see that there are measurable steps they can take that will help them achieve their goals.

Delegate

There’s no point trying to do the work of an entire team yourself when you have a team at your disposal. This just leads to burnout. Work on ways to delegate tasks and responsibilities and explain the object of those roles as they relate to the overall big picture.

Different people within your team are likely to have varying skills and qualities. Work on playing to their strengths and preferences where you can.

Offer the right tools for the job

Regardless of what the project might be, always work on ways to offer the people in your team the right tools to get the job done. This might be offering resources or information or even actual tools. No matter what it might be, it helps to ensure each team member has what they need to complete their part in the overall project.

Empowerment

Ask each member of the team to offer suggestions and ideas that may help various processes operate more smoothly. If no one is willing to come forward with these things, don’t be afraid to ask for their opinions or ideas on the project. This offers them a sense of empowerment and lets them know you trust their judgement.

Feedback and giving credit

If you’re working on a particularly large goal, don’t hold off until it’s completed to offer praise or feedback. Acknowledge their contribution openly and regularly. This goes a long way to helping many people feel as though you respect their efforts, which goes a long way to keeping motivation levels high.

Any good team leader needs to work hard to keep team morale high and keep productivity levels going. However, non-performing members end up being a drain on the entire team. Find ways to correct their lack of performance by perhaps offering tasks that play to their strengths. This will prevent the entire team being dragged behind schedule and help keep you on track to meeting your big picture goals.

This was written by veteran online entrepreneur Fred Schebesta, for any questions you can reach out to him on Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn and his blog.

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