If you are running a large team, or even a small one, you will know how easily things can go wrong with numbers. People’s personalities can clash, their work styles can clash, their workplace priorities can clash, etc. So, it can be difficult to keep the entire team’s eye on the ball.
However, it’s important that you get your team on the same page. You want to foster a sense of community in the workplace, which in turn will breed greater communication and creativity. If you are all working as one cohesive team on a level playing field, you will all be able to tackle your biggest projects with ease.
So, how do you do that? We’re looking at ways you can keep your team on the same page.
There are a lot of benefits to training. You can add a new skill to your repertoire, which can be used within your business. You might have someone in mind for a promotion, which they would gain from some training to earn the role, but in order to keep everyone on the same page, you might benefit from putting your entire team through some lower-level training instead.
This doesn’t have to be as expensive as it sounds. A lot of online course websites, like Skillshare and LinkedIn Learning, offer subscription-based courses that can be applied across your team. You can watch everyone’s process as they each work on the same skillset, or even pick and choose courses for them, ready for use in the office.
LinkedIn Learning, in particular, is a good option here, as it specializes in skills that would be helpful in the workplace. Courses are split into three categories: business, technology and creative. You can sign your team up for a class in leadership skills, conducting an elevator pitch or graphic design for marketing purposes and put them to good use amongst your business.
Giving everyone training at the same time, whether they’re all going in for the one course, or you have chosen courses that suit their role, will not only have everyone feel like they’re on equal footing, but it will make everyone excited for the future.
Bonuses are a great motivator. Not only are you rewarding good work for a past project, recognizing the hard work put in, which is almost as valuable as the money, but you are incentivizing your team to shine on the next project.
The makes for a great equalizer if you have a team that has similar roles and responsibilities. A little friendly competition can get going where staff can compete for the top spot and therefore the bonus. As long as it isn’t subjective, the staff would have no right to complain that it is unfair, and you’ll get a team of staff all working harder for that bonus.
Having a diverse team is important to any functioning business team. Having people from all walks of life and different backgrounds is hugely beneficial to any business operation. You can gain insights from people who are of different ages, genders, ethnicities, abilities, sexualities, nationalities, etc.
However, adhering to diversity is more than just a nice thing to do. Today, it is part of regulations, and therefore you need to tread carefully.
Regulations for the most part have the same underlining principles as the ethics of keeping a diverse team: don’t discriminate, treat them fairly, equal chances don’t mean equal starting points, etc. Adhering to these regulations will allow an equal footing amongst team members, whether it’s putting in place policies to deal with harassment, training to avoid micro-aggressions, or the need to translate legal documents like employment contracts into another language.
With these regulations in place, and compliance with it strictly followed, you should create a safe space where everyone is on the same level and ability to communicate as human beings.
If you want to take the term “staying on the same page” literally, you should look into a productivity platform like Trello. On the one webpage, you can create cards for each member of your team. They can contain a checklist of tasks that need to get done, either every day, every week, etc. depending on how your business operates. Or you can create a card for a project and split it into smaller pieces to disperse amongst your team.
Your employees and you yourself will know from this who is really pulling their weight. If you set team members only what can be done in their set hours and they don’t get it all ticked off, you know who’s slacking off. You can see the progress of a big project and see for yourself who is dragging the rest of the team back.
From there you can implement your own way of fixing the problem. Should everyone stay in the office only as long as their work is done, allowing some people to leave early and some to stay behind, or do you think about how much can realistically get done in that time? It depends on how many of your team are and are not hitting their deadlines.
Flexible Working Hours
A lot of change occurred as offices opened up and people were asked the question: “Work from home?” Some weren’t given the option, creating a lot of disgruntled people on either end of the debate.
You might think that having everyone in the same space makes for a level playing field or everyone “on the same page”, but it might in fact be doing the opposite, given the climate we’re in. All of the members of your team have different lives at home. Some might enjoy being back in the hustle and bustle, taking a break from home life, and some will have found it a lot easier to manage work around life rather than the other way around.
There is a happy medium here that a lot of office spaces are embracing: flexible working hours. The best way to approach it is to have a meeting, one by one, with your team members and see what they want to do. If your business runs in such a manner that entirely working from home isn’t an option, you can implement concepts like hybrid working and hot-desking to allow everyone more freedom to work around their home life.
This will avoid anyone having conversations around fairness if someone is found to be living an easier work/life balance than another. As long as the individual is happy with their lifestyle, they won’t bother about what anyone else is doing.
Benefits are similar to the idea of working from home, in that you are aiming to make external issues easier in order to incentivize work in the workplace. Different benefits aid staff members differently due to what’s going on at home, so offering benefits that fit their problems can offer a more level playing field in the office.
And the benefit for you here is that they can be altered and tweaked as needed. If you have an employee whose dental is covered by their partner’s work, you don’t need to bother, or an employee that’s close enough to walk to work doesn’t need a company car or mileage covered.
However, if there is a negative in their home lives that can be solved with benefits you can offer it so that everyone is on equal footing. If everyone in your team drives to work but only one of them is getting a company car, you can offer the best mileage to keep everyone on the same page.
Keeping everyone on the same page is about communication. Someone might be struggling with work due to a number of reasons, most of which aren’t even mentioned here, like mental health with harassment or physical health in an uncomfortable chair. And there is never a right time to bring it up – unless you ask.
This is particularly important with the rise of working from home. You can’t as easily just check in with a “How are the kids, Maureen?” while making a cup of coffee, and depending on the type of person you’re talking to, you’re not likely to get a lot out of them anyway like that.
Whether you’re employing a hybrid working environment or not, you should conduct regular meetings to check in on how your team are doing, so that any problems that come up can be dealt with. Sometimes a collective meeting is necessary to share ideas and sometimes people can’t talk in front of their peers about their problems. It’s important to put both instances on the table.
Ultimately, staying on the same page means allowing everyone the same chance. Sometimes that means tailoring to needs and sometimes it means a blanket rule. It’s up to you as a leader to decide which calls for which. As long as you are fostering an environment where transparency and honesty is appreciated and not reprimanded, you’ll have an environment where your team can work as one.
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Abhay is a Digital Marketing Guru and an accomplished entrepreneur with an experience of a decade working with various businesses varying from startups to established brands. He co-founded many companies like Logicsofts, PrintYo, CrazyRise and more. He is passionate about SEO and Online Data Analytics, which plays a vital role in any business to grow and mutate as per the data results.
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