Getting the most from your Top Team

Making a ‘Top Team’ function that adds value to performance rather than detracting from it requires a collective commitment of time, courage and discipline. It doesn’t happen naturally and won’t take care of itself.

Anything that affects productivity negatively is bad for any business. But in particular, manufacturing and engineering businesses, where every minute counts.

How do you know if your top team (and those making decisions in the board room) are as efficient and cohesive as they could be? It’s not about being good enough, it’s about achieving your potential.

Start with asking yourself: what is it you’re trying to achieve as a business and a team. Make sure you revisit this each year. Do you set clear targets and make sure everyone understands their unique contribution to achieve them?

So, now you know where you want to get to. Wouldn’t it be great to have your best year yet?

Invest time in developing the team

You’ve noticed your team is struggling to make important decisions. Maybe there is too much, or not enough, conflict or an inability to reach an agreed way forward. How much time have you put in to building relationships? Are you encouraging the team to build relationships to help them to work better together? You probably need to invest more time than you might think.

It is recommended that the average business spends two days every quarter working to improve the effectiveness of the team. This could be informal time spent getting to know each other, a team-building day or time reviewing strategy away from the day job. Getting to know each other properly is more important than you might think. It gives you a better understanding of each other’s personalities, values and the things that really drive us.

Achieving Top Team potential starts with the CEO or MD

To lead your team to perform at their best, you must be at your best. Are you working on your own wellbeing? Do you have a coach? Are you working on your physical health and fitness? Do you have effective behaviours and routines? To lead a team, you must be energised and focused on the goals along the way, you can only do this if you take a step back and ensure you are at your best.

Build trust

In order to develop high trust relationships with your colleagues, you must understand and respect their values, know what motivates them, and take time to really understand what is going on in that person’s life. Creating genuine and meaningful relationships that drive productivity and efficiency is often an area that is overlooked.

One team, no outsiders

Whether it’s private conversations or closed social invites for team nights out, it’s easy to make someone feel like they aren’t part of a team. Whether male or female, senior or junior, the feeling of not being part of the team can significantly impact how effectively you collaborate, how you react to situations and how much you trust your teammates to be able to delegate or agree on strategic direction.

Building key behaviours of empathy, courage and curiosity with every team member is key. This isn’t necessarily taking on their worries, but offering an ear, being curious as to their issues and concerns and taking the time to help them reach a solution, even if you can’t help directly.

This article featured in issue 5 of our Manufacturing and Engineering newsletter series.

Read The Engine Issue 5

For further advice get in touch with a member of our manufacturing team.