Productive, results-oriented teams need clarity. And connection.
A focused team works steadily toward shared goals and individual objectives, adhering to timeline, working within budget, collaborating effectively, and recharging themselves through the strength of their mutual relationships. No, this is not your fantasy football team, this is real life – and this can be your team.
Results. Effort. Focus.
Top teams can be identified by their results – meaning, they’re putting in the effort to achieve the objectives they’ve set for themselves on a quarterly and annual basis and they are focused on moving their organization toward its goals. To get there, all the individual members of a team need commitment, ability, and understanding how they each contribute to organizational goals.
We developed a two-day, off-site program to set our own team up for success and achieve some ambitious goals this year. We call it our “Team Advance” – our own spin on the annual retreat. We packed our bags and headed up the Sea-to-Sky highway with the purpose of establishing clarity and alignment on how we were going to hit our annual goals – to advance – and to connect or reconnect on a personal level to strengthen overall team relationships. The result? Goals set, KPIs confirmed, and a cohesive team headed on the same path, with the same understandings.
“Advance is action—we’re not looking to take a step back. We want to jump forward, both feet in (or several pairs of feet in), and get busy moving our new year forward." - Peter Reek
Taking the team off-site allows for focus on the work at hand (rather than work sitting on desks and other distractions). Getting out of the office also supports the ability of employees to spend time together as people, rather than managers and employees, or divided by departmental structures. And while some of this “bonding time” is just plain fun (you can’t be too serious at 9pm when the CEO is taking his turn at Speak Out) – it also serves a greater purpose.
- Relationships: the building blocks of trust and collaboration. Building familiarity without the barriers or busy-ness of the workplace allow for people to have conversations about other parts of their lives, and find new areas of connection
- Self-awareness: understanding where each of us fits within the team, and learning where others draw from us for skills or knowledge provides better awareness of ourselves and our colleagues and how we can best collaborate.
- Supportive work environment: when we’re connected on a personal level, it’s easier to ask for help and to give it, without judgement or “what’s in it for me”
- Nimble teams: once you’ve negotiated through some unchartered territory (outdoor challenge activity, fireplace banter, morning hikes to wake up after the night before), flipping the switch on a project gone sideways at work becomes just another adventure to conquer together
Results-focused clarity and alignment
Vision needs goals, and measurable objectives, to be achievable. Goals can be tackled at three levels:
- Organization: Here’s where we want to be at the end of the year.
- Teams: Here’s how our team are going to support our goals and drive results.
- Individuals: Here’s what I am going to commit to in my role (SMART objectives) to contribute to my team and to my company.
Developing and sharing goals, and breaking them down into specific tasks provides transparency for team members. The process also gives people a line of sight to how they contribute, why their efforts matter and why they need to be accountable.
Relationships + Results
Walk away from a well-planned team off-site as a better connected, and ready-to-go team. Don’t skimp on the opportunity to build relationship, nor the intense focus of setting goals to position your organization for success.
Interested in your own Team Advance? Smart Savvy Academy offers our two-day, off-site program to set your team up for success and impressive results for the year ahead. Contact us for more information about this program, or designing the perfect off- or on-site advance for your team! We also offer our Leader's Journey, a 12- to 24-month leadership development journey for high-performing teams.
Peter Reek is the Founder and President of Smart, Savvy + Associates, who are experts in helping marketing and communications leaders find people and develop teams that thrive and deliver inspiring results. As a people performance company, we specialize in finding marketing and communications talent in the Pacific North West. We also offer training programs for leaders and teams as well as options to become a certified coach or get coached.