Gone are the days where the measure of a professional’s success was how late they stayed at the office or how much they sacrificed in the name of work. Business leaders have worked out the price of such a culture was way too high, resulting in poor performance and poor health for their workers.
This is why renewal, the eighth and final dimension of a high performing team is so vital, as we discuss on our latest podcast episode. People leaders need to not only be proactive, but explicit in letting team members know that it’s not just ok, but it’s expected that they do what’s necessary to keep themselves refreshed and vital.
If that means spending 20 minutes in the meditation room to zone out then that should be encouraged (you do have a meditation room in your workplace don’t you?)
It could (should) also mean taking time for a ‘safety moment’ at the beginning of meetings to check in on the status of team members. Let them know that they are valued and that their well-being is important.
Well-being isn’t just about the physical health but also the psychological health of the team member. This includes having a sense of control over their environment, opportunities for personal growth and to build positive relationships, having a sense of purpose, experiencing self awareness and autonomy in their work.
Of course there may still be times where a team does need to challenge itself in an ‘all hands to the pump’ fashion. This is where renewal plays such a vital role in the overall resilience of the team. If the right culture has been fostered, the team should be able to rise to the challenge without feeling burnt out and get back to business as usual in a fast efficient manner.
Small things matter
A well developed manager can be on the lookout for opportunities for renewal. Are staff members taking their lunch at their desk to save time or to stay on the job. This doesn’t serve the business or the staff member so a proactive manager could advise the team member to take their lunch outside in the sunshine and fresh air, or at least in a more social environment.
We’ve worked with managers who ensure staff members have breaks at the same time and even who eat with staff daily so they can bond on a more personal level. Anecdotal evidence suggests that this increased team morale and productivity.
One manager we’ve worked with even had a weekly ‘meeting’ where the team would get together to watch and discuss a TedEx video. That’s a perfect example of proactivity when it comes to renewal.
Results beat effort
Having a structure that values the whole employee rather than their entry on a time sheet, that fosters trust, transparency and optimism and has flexibility in workplace expectations will have a higher level of renewal than a structure that doesn’t.
This includes recognition of outcomes rather than effort, which is usually measured by time at the coal face. The old days of a supervisor walking the floor peering over their glasses to make sure everyone is ‘busy’ are long gone. Allowing team members the flexibility and freedom to do things in a way that suits their style, that uses their strengths and talents, and still get the results needed will in itself allow the team to thrive and promote renewal.
‘Checking In’ vs ‘Checking Up’
A critical part of renewal is for people leaders to check in regularly, weekly or fortnightly, with team members to see how they are going. And this doesn’t mean checking up on them to make sure they are performing, it means checking in to see how they are doing. It’s what we call the coach approach.
This includes asking questions such as:
In these sessions it’s not about having all the answers, it’s about asking questions so team members can solve their problems and resolve issues themselves.
The coach approach empowers team members and in turn supports inherent renewal and resilience within the team.
Leading from the top
All of these qualities foster high performance and we’d encourage you as a leaders or managers to consider each week, what they could do to promote more renewal, resilience and well-being in your team. We don’t recommend major shifts, just introduce new measures one at a time and watch how performance gradually increases.
At the same time, it’s imperative that you be an example of renewal, resilience and well-being. People will follow what you do more than what you say. If they see you taking good care of yourself they are more likely to do the same.
As we mentioned earlier, you can hear us chat more about this in our latest podcast. We also invite you to take your team through the High-Performing Team Indicator Tool to see which of the dimensions your team could strengthen.
The leader has to create an environment where team members can bounce back from adversity.