In this third blog in the blog series about teams, we explain how to CARE for your team and how simple changes to the environment your team(s) work in, will improve results exponentially.

Change the environment, correct the dysfunction, transform your team

In the Santa Fe example mentioned in blog #2, it wasn’t anything to do with its people but all about the conditions they were working in. Marquet created the right environment for his team to flourish, and this can just as easily apply to a business as it can to a submarine. If your team doesn’t seem to be working, don’t look at the people, look at the environment.

What does a good team look like?

Acting on instinct, most of us know what functioning teams look like. We see them in sport, in business, art and entertainment, and also in life. We know all too well how previously successful teams with all the components needed to function as a great team can rapidly turn into dysfunctional teams. Often this is down to the environment.

What makes a good environment?

The environment in which teams operate doesn’t just happen. It is created, sustained and influenced by good leaders, leaders who allow things the space and conditions they need to grow.

“To plant a garden, is to believe in tomorrow.”

Audrey Hepburn

A good leader is like a great gardener

A good gardener makes their environment thrive. They start by developing an idea of what they want their garden to look like and the experience they want visitors to have. Then they plant the bulbs and seeds that will bloom and help their vision come true. Along the way, they will continue to water and feed the plants, getting rid of weeds and ensuring the environment for each plant and flower is just right. A good gardener also knows different plants thrive in different environments. You can’t give a one size fits all approach.

People are like plants

They come in all different types and not everyone responds to the environment the same. Some need more watering, some more nurturing and some seem designed to thrive in even the harshest conditions! Different jobs suit different people, and what is important to them also differs. Everything from communication styles to behaviour can vary, and to build an effective team you must make sure that everyone is treated equitably.

Grow your garden with CARE

Care stands for:
*Camaraderie
*Achievement
*Responsibilty
*Equity


Implementing these four values into your business can help your team thrive.

How to CARE for your team

Camaraderie
Camaraderie is the glue that stitches teams together. It is built on the bonds between your team, shared experiences, and good old fun. It is often the reason teams actually thrive in adversity. However, you can’t force it. It doesn’t matter how much responsibility and autonomy you give a team or how much fun they are having, if they believe they aren’t being treated fairly then camaraderie won’t have any effect.

“You got your troubles, I got them too. We stick together, we can see it through.”

Randy Newman, You Got A Friend In Me

Achievement
Teams that achieve together succeed together. The achievement of a common goal can cement a team, but individuals within that team also need to feel a sense of achievement in their working lives as well. To do this they need clearly articulated goals which they buy into. Buy-in is key, they can’t just be ‘told’ how to get there, they need to do it themselves.

“All for one and one for all.”

Alexandre Dumas, The Three Musketeers

Responsibility
In a work context, individuals want to be given responsibility and autonomy. However, as an employer, you have a responsibility to project a good attitude. A leader’s attitude can set the tone for the entire team, and ultimately it is your responsibility to make it the right one. Some people can force themselves to smile and chuckle for a few seconds and just doing this can change your mood. Choose your attitude well, that is your number one responsibility.

“With great power comes great responsibility”

Uncle Ben – SpiderMan

Equity
Equity is more important than equality. What works for some doesn’t work for all. You cannot adopt a one-sizefits- all approach as even if the rest of your organisation is running like a well-oiled machine, if people think they are being treated poorly it will seriously impact things. So what feels equitable to individuals in varied organisations can be different, so the best way to find out is simply to ask. Surveying your team is a great place to start.

“Who seeks equity must do equity”

Joseph Story, Former Supreme Court Justice

Stay tuned
In our next blog about teams, we’ll explain how to build stronger teams and why you should avoid falling into the bonus trap, so stay tuned.

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