Team Culture – What Drives Success?
I was helping my wife Rosalie last Friday night for a Junior Rugby “Pink Socks – Boot Out Breast Cancer” function. Rosalie is on the Board of the Hunter Breast Cancer Foundation and the local rugby community are great supporters of the Foundation and the important work they are doing helping local Hunter breast cancer sufferers.
I arrived at the ground just as the first junior game finished and the players and parents were gathering for some pizza and to be part of the presentation for the game awards. Players and parents sat around as the coach gave his assessment of the game. He gave feedback about the team’s performance, especially how they performed in the first half. He told all of the player’s parents that he had given them a bit of a spray at half time as they weren’t playing as they had been coached to play.
It seemed to have worked as they came from behind at half time, ran over the top of the opposition team and had a good win. The awards were presented including the special pink match ball (which the winning player got to keep) and then players and coaches all sang the club song. Some of the parents joined in to the singing of the song and then it was time for the boys and girls to have something to eat and drink and enjoy the success of another win.
This simple event highlighted to me the importance of culture to a team and how reinforcing team culture on a regular basis is essential if you want to build a successful team. The same principals apply in business as to junior rugby;
- Develop skills for all new team members
- Ensure all team members know their roles and responsibilities within the team
- Practice skills on a regular basis
- Provide open and honest feedback to all team members. Feedback good or bad provides a team member with a better understanding of how they are performing their role in the team. It should be shared in a positive and non confrontational way and be part of a regular team review process
- Have fun and acknowledge the teams and team members successes
I believe all of these principals were exhibited on Friday night by the coach and team management.
If coaching a junior rugby team requires these skills then I believe all business owners, who incidentally are the coach of their business team, should be exhibiting these skills.
What training plans are in place to develop new staff members that have joined the team? Do all staff members know their role in the team? Do they have a written job description which clearly defines their roles and responsibilities? What systems and processes are in place in your business to ensure consistent work practices are performed by all staff members on a regular basis? The more skills are practiced in a formal and structured process the better the team performs and that is more enjoyable for all concerned.
Friday night at junior rugby was enjoyable watching the kid’s playing sport, as well as reinforcing a business learning experience.
Mel and I are working with the Hamilton Taggart team to get the best performance from our staff when they work with our clients. Getting better organised and formalising this process is my goal over the coming months, so we better compete in the game of business.