Building great teams is one of a leader’s greatest challenges and most rewarding goals. Leadership is the achievement of meaningful goals through the management of others. This starts by forging a complementary, cohesive management team with current staff and new hires that will help to set a direction and strategy. The best way forward with staff is to create resonance, to engage people’s passion, excitement and optimism in order to produce positive, sustainable results, as well as to cultivate an atmosphere of cooperation and trust. If people feel invested, they will be at their most innovative, and they will give their best.
In order to produce positive, sustainable results, a leader establishes a performance-based climate that sets the ground rules for success. Climate is employees’ perception of those aspects of their environment that directly impact how well they can do their jobs. The importance of climate cannot be overemphasized: 50-70% of climate is traced to the actions of the leader.
A performance-based climate starts with clarity, which means that staff members understand their role and responsibilities, are clear on the agreed-upon working approach, and have specific goals and rigorous accountability as a producer and corporate citizen. In order to be highly productive, they also need to know the direction and strategy of the company, are aligned with others and understand how their effort contributes to the mission.
- Setting Standards represents the degree to which people perceive that the company emphasizes excellence—that the bar is set at a high but attainable mark, and managers hold people accountable for doing their best.
- Responsibility means the degree to which people have autonomy to select the methods to accomplish their goals. This includes encouragement to take calculated risks on innovative or creative projects.
- Flexibility reflects employee’s perceptions about whether rules, practices, policies or procedures are really needed or whether some are no longer useful and are frustrating roadblocks for staff. They will expect the leader to clear away blockage.
- Rewards involves the degree to which people feel that they are given regular, objective feedback, are fairly compensated, and are recognized for excellent work. They know they will be given coaching to improve their skills, and performance and mentoring for career progress.
- Team Commitment is when people feel support, are communicated with regularly, and are given voice in team decisions. They are proud to belong to the team and the company, and believe that everyone is working toward the same goals. They give advice and counsel to each other, and help a colleague during stressful times.