How to Ensure Your Team Doesn't Fail

How to Ensure Your Team Doesn't Fail

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Now more than ever it is important that we ensure that we have purpose, have a vision and ensure we have an understanding.  Without a work colleague to turn to or a boss’s office to walk into for clarification - how do we all make sure we know what the expectations are?

The main reason teams fail is due to a lack of trust, and trust can be broken down into two components: character and competence. In other words, is it safe to trust the person to A) be competent in his or her job, and B) to have positive intent and good will in doing so? 


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Besides trust, there are numerous other reasons why teams fail including; poor planning, unclear goals, lack of training and lack of direction. As a manager or a director it is your responsibility being at the top to ensure these components are all met and that communication is open between staff and management to ensure confusion on these are worked out.


In order to avoid these pitfalls you need to monitor your staff's performance in seven key areas. To help remember these seven characteristics you can use the acronym PERFORM. 


Purpose and values

Does your organisation have a compelling vision, strong sense of purpose, and a common set of values? Does your team understand the companies visions and has it been presented to the in the form of a handbook? At KLC we find the best way to ensure our staff know the companies vision is to hold annual staff planning days where we gather as a team and spend a whole day doing fun activities, learning about the companies plan for the year and collating input from the team on how to better ourselves for the year ahead. 



Does your team have the authority to act and make decisions? Have clear boundaries been set so they know when to ask management for approval or make the call on their own? 


Relationships and communication

Do your staff members feel they can take risks and share their thoughts, opinions, and feelings without fear? This is one of the great things about our planning day because the floor is literally open to whatever anyone wants to share. It is understandable that sometimes staff feel nervous bringing topics to our attention so at KLC we also run monthly one on one's with the General Manager and individual staff where they can share all their thoughts and opinions and feelings. This is  great way for management to understand the team culture and to better ourselves in how we run the business. 



Are your team members adaptable to changing conditions—including both the outside environment and within the team itself? This is now more important than ever. It was a massive shock to go from office life to working from home life at the drop of a hat so by ensuring you have proper procedures in place to help ease your team into change is the best strategy for any manager to adopt. We tried to keep the transition of working from home as normal as possible and ensured we still kept to our daily 9:00am and 12:00pm team meetings and of course our end of week Friday drinks! By moving what we had on the whiteboards to a Teams spreadsheet and our meetings to Zoom we were able to keep our company running as normal. 


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Recognition and appreciation

Do your team members give and receive positive feedback and recognition that reinforces behavior, builds esteem, and enhances a feeling of value and accomplishment? As much as we sometimes love to point out the bad, you must remember to praise the good and give credit where credit is due. It goes back to the simple principle of parenting where you tell the child off if they have been naughty but remember to praise them for the small accomplishments because those are the ones that they remember and learn the most from. At KLC we reward individuals with monthly prizes on performance and have the whole team vote autonomously on who they believed performed best at the end of each week. Every end of financial year we take time out to celebrate as a team because there is not better way to show appreciation than with a cheers of bubbles - am I right?


Optimal productivity

Is there a commitment to high standards and quality? Do your team members hold each other accountable and strive for continual improvement? It is great when you see and hear your team encouraging each other and holding each other including management accountable to tasks that keep the business running. We like to empower our staff to push back on management if we are holding up the flow of events by not replying to an email or getting a document back on time to them. We are a team and that is what teams do! 



Are your team members enthusiastic about their work, proud of their results, and feel pride in belonging to the team? Love what you do and you won't work a day in your life - strive as a manager to show your love for your job to your staff and trust me you will see a domino effect happen before your eyes. My team celebrate the wins sometimes more than I do and it's fantastic to see such enthusiasm from your team when once upon a time it felt like it was just you celebrating the wins. As menetioned before keep the communication open and honest with your staff and you will see and learn their morale not just from their work performance but from the look on their faces when a company succeeds. 



Overall, managing a team is a balancing act between being too 'hands on' or stepping too far back. A manager needs to be there to guide the team and give direction but not micro-manage. As a director or manager you need to ensure there is some authority and responsibility within the team itself: ‘Team members can act as a team only if they have real responsibility - such as determining how to achieve their goals.’ - Why Some Teams Succeed (and So Many Don’t), Harvard Business Review 2009. Above all have fun, make each day count and remember to celebrate the wins adn mourn the losses together as a team! 



Written By
Chris Sacco
Director KLC Recruitment 

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