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Team Optimization Tips: The Invaluable Currency of Trust

Team Optimization

Let’s explore how to use decision making tools to assess root causes so that you can uncover and mend trust issues – like team optimization – that are eroding your organization.

Team optimization, trust, and internal satisfaction can be difficult to talk about at the leadership team level; the words alone are intangible, difficult to measure and manage. When you couple it with all the verbiage surrounding human capital management, like attrition, onboarding, offboarding, and other transitional words, it’s easy to “offline” the conversation until transformations magically occur. However, there has to be a conscious understanding of the root causes of your issues prior to any behavioral shift or increase in trust.

Trust is the core currency of business. Trust that your management is going to translate your strategic objectives into tactical programs and deliverables. Trust that your team is going to uphold the core values of the organization and deliver to the best of their abilities. Trust that your customers are going to remain loyal and open about their needs so that you can services them to the best of your abilities.

Your leadership style is reflected within your teams

The bad news first: there isn’t much you can control outside of your own thoughts, behaviors, actions. The good news: your team function/dysfunction is a direct reflection of your leadership style.

Did you know:
Conscious leaders have their hand on the pulse of their organization’s purpose – their “why” – and how they personally play a role in team optimization at all levels. From entry to exit, the your entire human capital management program will have a direct, measurable impact on team optimization. Some rocks you might want to turnover include:

  1. Healthy organizations have turnover under 10%1. What is yours?
    • 3 million employees have left their job voluntarily every month since June 2017.2
    • Extended costs of turnover can cost from 33- 200% of a worker’s salary.3
  2. Optimized teams experience a 20% increase in productivity4. How could a productivity increase impact you?
    • Employees who are “engaged and thriving” are 59 percent less likely to look for a job with a different organization in the next 12 months.5
    • Companies that support remote work have 25% lower employee turnover than companies that don’t.6

As a leader, you’re accustomed to making complex decisions on the fly; your effectiveness is only as good as the data upcoming which you’re making your decisions. While there may not be a one-size-fits-all solution to regaining trust or optimizing your team, it is possible with a concerted effort. Besides, attrition is expensive. Besides, it makes your company look bad and your personal credibility worse. On top of that, unoptimized teams are unhappy and unproductive, which breeds toxicity in the workplace – no company of any size can afford or sustain a toxic work environment.

Tool Tip: Using the “5 whys” framework for team optimization

If you feel like you’ve tried to address team optimization or trust issues in the workplace before and are not getting the results you had hoped for, you’re probably creating solutions that don’t affect root causes. I like to use the “5 whys” framework in leadership coaching for my leaders that are ready to foster more relatable, intrinsic decision-making.

Let’s take a look at the “5 whys” to see how you can use this framework to assess root causes more quickly for complex decision making.

Example 1: Who was your favorite teacher and why?

  • Why 1: Mrs. Kang. She was a great English teacher.
    • Why 2: (why did #1 occur?) She was patient with the students across all levels of the class.
      • Why 3: (why did #2 occur?) She was thorough in how she explained the English lessons to us, making it relatable to us on different levels.
        • Why 4: (why did #3 occur?) She believed that the way she explained the grammar fundamentals would prepare us for the exceptions we would learn in next year’s class.
          • Why 5: (why did #4 occur?) She knew that our future success in life would be impacted by how well we applied the knowledge we learned.

Worksheet – Your Turn

Keep each “why” simple. Remember, we’re trying to unpack causes, not complaints.

Who was your favorite teacher or boss and why?

How does your leadership style compare to your favorite teacher or boss? What was your best or ideal work environment?

How does your current environment compare to your best or ideal one?

Why 1
Why 2
Why 3
Why 4
Why 5

If you took the time to do this exercise, what have you learned about yourself that you didn’t know? Did you identify any “solutions” that had more fundamental problems than you were aware of?

We believe that the 5 whys can help you uncover the reasons why your team isn’t optimized and how to get back on track, regardless of the size of your organization. This is an especially helpful exercise in leadership retreats or strategy review meetings.

What’s next?

My friends: people make the world go ‘round. No organization is too large to evolve, and all leadership teams are capable of change. You can be the leader you wished you once had: effective, smart, resilient. You can lead your company into the type of organization you always wanted to work for: value-focused, relevant, profitable, efficient, sustainable.

When you’re ready to discuss how to get the best – and most – out of your teams at every level, give us a call at C2. It will revolutionize your world. Plus, “Chief Revolutionary Officer” has a ring to it!

Source: WorkStride – What Your Employee Turnover Rate Says about Your Company
2Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics
3Source: Huffington Post – High Turnover Costs
4Source: Accenture – Workforce Optimization
5Source: Gallup – Well Being Enhances Benefits of Employee Engagement
6Source: Owl Labs – State of Remote Work

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