The 10 steps to building and retaining a highly productive team.

In this blog I am going to introduce you to how to create, and critically retain, a highly productive team.

I can give you lots of statistics, but the conclusion of them all would simply be that the majority of people are not happy in their work. They are not committed to, nor passionate about, nor energised by, the role and organisation they are in. This dramatically impacts individual and organisational levels of productivity. I am not going to dig into the reasons for that problem now, instead I shall jump straight to the solution!

  1. Purpose – Create absolute clarity of what you are trying to achieve, and why. (Note; this need not even be achievable – See ‘The Infinite Game’ by Simon Sinek for further details on how to define your purpose.)
  2. Values – How are you going to behave whilst achieving your purpose? What defines your behaviour towards each other, towards clients, customers and stakeholders? You want to encourage diversity in all senses, but however diverse a team you can create you need a core set of values that creates a foundation stone you can all build around.
  3. Right People – Don’t make the mistake of looking for the market designated ‘best’ people. Instead find the right people for your team and organisation. Do they buy into your purpose? Does it motivate and excite them? Do they see themselves reflected in your values? Do they have the competencies to deliver on the tasks needed to achieve your Purpose? You can teach skills; you cannot teach passion for your purpose.
  4. Safe Environment – The key is to create an environment where everyone can thrive. Ranging from ensuring the absolute physical safety of the team through to ensuring everyone can be completely true to themselves with no fear of judgment, criticism or being treated as a second-class citizen.
  5. Hiring Process –Ensure the wider team are heavily involved, both at more senior and junior levels to this position, this not only helps to make an informed decision but makes multiple people accountable and therefore invested in making it work. Ensure the process is fully aligned with your purpose and values.
  6. Onboarding/L&D – Make this tailored to the individual, and aligned with your purpose, values and the stated requirements of the role. From first interview to every meeting thereafter you are clear on what this individual is trying to achieve in their life (note; not just career), and how your organisation can ensure alignment for a mutually beneficial outcome.
  7. Serve to Lead – All leaders at all levels to understand leadership is a privilege, not a reward or a chore. Leaders ‘serve’ those they are responsible for, this leads to fantastic levels of loyalty, mutual commitment and respect.
  8. Culture – Create a culture of self-discipline, responsibility and trust. If you can’t trust someone to work from home, don’t hire them. Treat everyone as a responsible individual.
  9. Growth Mindset / Cognitive Diversity – There is no status quo, there is either progressive positive change or falling behind. A growth mindset and cognitive diversity allow any team or organisation to grasp the opportunities of change and to succeed.
  10. Alignment – Keep your purpose and values fully aligned with every one of these points. Always refer back to them and use them as the foundation stones from which you build your success.

These ten points create a virtuous circle. They feed back into each other at all levels reinforcing and magnifying the positive effects. You don’t need to be an organisational expert to pull this off, even attempting to do this will put you ahead of the vast majority of organisations.

Even if you manage only 10% of the potential impact with each of the 10 points, you will still see morale, retention, productivity and profitability all begin to rise. In short you will have a happier more productive team.