Workplace trends and buzzwords may have you thinking that 2023 will be all about the word quiet. I mean really – how much more can we take? Everywhere we look there are LinkedIn posts, Tik Tok videos and articles about quiet quitting, quiet firing and quiet hiring.

In a world where employee engagement is at an all-time low, this is no time to be quiet.  The need for open, transparent communication has never been greater. Let’s dig into what employee engagement and motivations trends we should pay attention to in 2023 to make an impact.

First, a little bit of bad news. According to the most recent Gallup surveys, U.S. employee engagement continues to trend downward. After trending up for several years, this was the first annual decline in a decade. According to the most recent data:

Every time I look at this data the group that concerns me the most is the large number in the middle who are neither. They can be swayed either way. In other words, they are coming to work each day, doing the basics of the job, not actively trying to make the company better, but not actively trying to sabotage it either. These are your potential quiet quitters.

Anyone actively disengaged isn’t doing it quietly. Our job as leaders is to make sure we retain, reward and grow the actively engaged, while focusing on what we can do about that group in the middle to keep them positive and productive. Unfortunately, the actively disengaged can take up most of our emotional energy and time on any given day. So ask yourself, where is your time and focus best spent.

Here are 5 things to pay attention to this year to help drive engagement and productivity in your workplace.

#1 Stay flexible with remote and hybrid work policies

There was a lot of talk in 2022 about companies requiring employees to return to the office. Employees went looking for other jobs and shared open willingness to take pay cuts to keep their flexibility with working remotely. I recently heard a job seeker say that the first question they ask of the recruiter is if the job is remote and that they won’t consider anything else.

Gallup’s recent data shows that remote and hybrid workers are more engaged than on-site workers. Employees who work exclusively remote or hybrid tend to have higher levels of engagement (37% engaged in both groups) than those who work exclusively on-site (29% engaged).

Even if your business model doesn’t support a fully remote scenario, companies that take a remote first approach make employees more motivated by seeing their leaders show flexibility. The key to this is also shifting focus from efficiency to effectiveness. It’s no longer about how many hours an employee works, but more about how much value and impact they create.

Organizations are looking at new ways to track and evaluate employee performance. They are shifting from quantity to quality which leads to a win-win scenario where employees feel more valued and trusted, and leaders feel more confident that their employees are doing great work. Which leads us to the next trend of improving people analytics.

 #2 Use data more wisely to understand your people

Google knows that I’m more interested in Jeeps than Volvos and that I’m more likely to click on a picture of a monkey than a cat. Email marketers know that I’m looking at stand up desks and fill my social feeds with suggestions. This same kind of data can be used to help understand when people are most likely to call in sick or what functions have employees feeling most disengaged

The next generation of technology tools use data to shine light on employee productivity, well-being, and satisfaction using A.I. and an innovative combination of collaboration analytics and peer polling for a rich understanding of employees, teams, and their work environments. Visier’s Workplace Trends 2023 report outlines several approaches HR teams and executives can take to let people analytics to do the heavy lifting and leave the guesswork behind.

At the individual level, using behavioral science is critical to understanding what motivates and demotivates your staff. Employee behavioral assessments, such as the Omnia Development Report, provide tremendous insight into how a person prefers to communicate as well as what motivates and demotivates them.

#3 Welcome people-first transparency trends

Experts predict that wage and salary transparency will play a leading role in 2023 workplace dynamics. We continue to see a surge of TikTok salary transparency videos emerging with every kind of professional imaginable sharing what they make for a living.  Seventeen states have implemented laws around payroll transparency with more to come. If you haven’t already, your business should be to address this trend. You can get in front of it by posting open positions that include salary ranges.

Another people-first trend emerging is unlimited PTO and the rise of the four-day work week. These practices may not work for your small or mid-sized business but consider other flexible work arrangements for your staff and get creative by focusing on the quality of work output instead of time.

#4 Manage your managers first

According to a recent study by SHRM, managers were 2x more likely than individual contributors to be looking for a new job. Corporate managers are burning out rapidly finding their jobs 10 times harder than before the pandemic. They’re struggling across the board with staff retention, hiring and team performance. And with the growing focus on the employee, managers are sandwiched between the employee's and the organization's needs.

Front line managers are the key to driving performance, team dynamics, culture, and engagement. In small and medium-sized businesses managers wear multiple hats and are typically asked to not just manage all aspects of their team’s work but perform many of the same functions themselves. When is the last time you brought your front-line leaders into a forum and asked them how they’re doing? Listen to their stories and emphasize helping them first.

#5 Promote physical and mental well-being across the board

Another finding from the Gallup survey shows that engagement is higher for organizations that focus on culture and well-being. Work and life are becoming more blended for your employees and just like the managers, employee burnout continues to rise. Workers who are healthy in body and mind are likely to stay motivated and perform better. They may also be less likely to take sick days.

There are many creative and relatively inexpensive ways to demonstrate your commitment to employee wellness in the workplace. Consider offering gym membership reimbursement or access to meditation apps. Encouraging frequent breaks during the workday. Track time off to be sure people are adequately using their PTO. Offer lunch-and-learn sessions that provide education on well-being, nutrition, and mental health.

And remember, like they say before takeoff, put your oxygen mask on first. Be sure that as you launch into 2023, you are ready mentally and physically for the road ahead.

Omnia is here for you. Whatever your hiring and onboarding challenges, Omnia can help! Our skilled Customer Success team is available to provide guidance throughout the employee lifecycle. Our behavioral assessments are quick, powerful, and now mobile friendly. Let us know how we can help you navigate this evolving world of work and drive success in 2023.

Motivation is defined as the general desire or willingness of someone to do something. That begs the question then, can you really motivate someone else to do something?

When it comes right down to it, motivation is a driving factor in personal achievement. Motivation is what gets you out of bed to go to the gym and lose those extra pounds or pushes you to achieve a sales quota or to get that promotion at work. In short, motivation causes you to act in a way that gets you closer to your goals. It’s a combination of emotional, social, and cognitive forces that activate human behavior.

No doubt, an individual can be self-motivated to change their behavior and accomplish a goal. Yet there are also external factors that can also help support and boost that motivation. For me personally, I’m more inclined to skip the snooze bar and go to the morning workout if I’m meeting a friend. I’m more apt to complete an unwelcome task when I know others are depending on me for a deliverable. A salesperson may be more motivated to make those dreaded cold calls if they know their activity results are going to be posted on every Monday morning Sales Huddle.

It’s likely that all of us have had leaders try to motivate us with positive motivation and negative reinforcement. It can clearly work both ways. It can be used for good to drive productive behavior, and it can be used for bad to drive fear and resentment. Let’s focus on how to use it for good.

5 Questions to Consider for Motivating Individuals

As a leader, you are constantly working on inspiring your workforce. That happens at the team or company level with mass communications and long-term planning with visionary roadmaps. When it comes to motivation, that’s done at the individual level. Here are 5 questions to ask yourself when you’re thinking about motivating individuals to perform at their very best.

1. Is the person in the right job?

People are most likely to be successful when their skill set, experience, and personality traits align with the requirements of the position. When you’re thinking about individuals on your team and how you can motivate them to accomplish specific results, begin with taking a step back to be sure each individual is in the right role.

Start with reviewing the job description and performance measures. Then take a good look at the individual and assess if they are cut out and wired for the job. This is where a behavioral assessment can be helpful. Understanding the individual’s natural traits and tendencies will provide you with powerful insights to tell you how well the person is aligned with the position’s expectations and if they are naturally equipped to achieve them. Omnia professional development reports provide deep insights into an individual’s strengths and traits and how closely they align with expectations of roles including sales and service positions.

2. Are their goals achievable?

There’s nothing worse or more demotivating than feeling like you can’t achieve success in your job. It’s great to set stretch goals for your teams and companies, but if a bar is set too high, it’s unlikely your employees are going to believe their efforts will even pay off, and it can make it hard for them to envision success. It’s also important to make sure the goals are clear and that there’s a mutual understanding of what success looks like. When you’re working with an individual to establish goals, make sure you follow the SMART approach. Create goals that are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely.

3. What matters to the individual?

Research indicates that goals that give an individual the most sustained energy have personal meaning and connect to a larger purpose. If there’s a monetary reward for their goal achievement, take time to find out how that windfall will be used. Is your employee trying to buy a new home or dreaming of a luxury vacation with their loved ones? Continue reminding them of the personal benefits they will get from their success and celebrating that success when achieved. It may sound hokey but sending them pictures of the beaches in Hawaii or getting them a subscription to a home design magazine demonstrates you care about them personally and how their achievement matters as much outside of work as it does to your bottom line.

4. What support do they need to be successful?

Another key to individual success is being sure the person has all the resources they need to perform the role. It’s critical to make sure you’ve provided the proper training and development needed for the role. If they’re running into new and difficult situations that are hard to overcome, such as pricing negotiations or competitive threats, are you offering them new skill development and professional courses to help develop their abilities to overcome these obstacles?

To succeed, an individual also needs to have systems that support them and don’t get in the way of getting the job done. It sounds basic, but is their computer reliable? Does their technology support their daily productivity? Are systems and processes set up to assist them vs. providing daily interruptions with unnecessary procedures that get in the way of doing the job? Before you establish that new requirement or process for your CRM, ask yourself if it’s truly going to support the success of your employee and be clear how it will be used.

It's also important that you are available (or make others available) to model, support, coach and develop individual success. Consider how often you need to observe the person performing their job tasks, and consistently offer 1x1 coaching that’s focused on positive reinforcement and developmental support. Leaders can be stretched pretty thin these days, so you can also consider teaming up senior people with newer people, and providing playbooks, videos and templates that visually show successful methods for performing the various aspects of the job.

5. What truly motivates or demotivates this individual?

Every individual is unique when it comes to what motivates and inspires them. If you have a clear picture of their personality traits and preferences, you can tap into the heart of their personal motivation. This is where a behavioral assessment can also be helpful. All Omnia reports include a section that outlines motivational strategies to use and demotivators to avoid for each personality style. For example, if you have an individual who is highly assertive (a tall column 1 on the Omnia Behavioral Assessment), they are going to be motivated by performance-based incentives like commission, bonuses, and sales contests. If the individual has a tall column 7, they are going to want the freedom to define their goals and achieve them in their own way. The individual with a tall column 8 will thrive with structured guidelines for work output, clear directions from management, and frequent reassurance from management when expectations are being met.

No two individuals are alike, and each of us are motivated by different things that matter individually to us. Taking the time to consider these key factors for every individual on your team and putting these practices into everyday actions will make all the difference in your business success.

Omnia is here to help. Contact our team to find out how you can use our professional development reports to discover the key traits of your employees and how best to motivate them.

Many businesses operate under the assumption that the only way for an employee to advance is through a promotion to a management position. After all, the top tiers of most org charts show leadership roles. It is a laudable goal to move toward management if the employee has a genuine interest in, and the natural abilities for, leadership.

But what about the individuals who want to grow in their careers but have no desire to be in management? Many people prefer acting as individual contributors or collaborating within a team rather than taking on the responsibilities of overseeing personnel. Also, what about the employees who just aren’t cut out to be managers? Must they be relegated to the jobs they are currently in for the rest of their careers? That would be a sure-fire way to deplete the morale of many top-performing employees. Thankfully the answer is No.

Many people who excel in their roles are automatically moved into a supervisory job as a natural progression based on their hard work and excellent results. Yet sometimes the behavioral traits that foster success in a particular role are the same traits that can become challenge areas in a management position. For example, high-performing CSRs often have tall columns 2 and 8 on their Omnia assessment; these columns indicate a desire to support others and the preference for working according to well-defined procedures respectively. However, strong managers often have tall columns 1 and 7 - the drive to take charge and a comfort with forging ahead in ambiguous areas, even when there are no established protocols to follow. Placing a stellar support personality in a leadership role simply because “that’s the only way to advance” could result in frustration and poor performance – the exact opposite of what a promotion is supposed to do.

So how do you develop your employees and keep them engaged without taking the traditional route to management? Two approaches to consider are lateral moves and developing employees into subject matter experts.

Lateral Moves

While they may not come with the perceived prestige of a promotion, lateral moves can be very beneficial to an employee and to the organization. Placing an individual in a different position that is similar in title, level, or compensation as their previous role can enable them to learn new skills, acquire additional knowledge, and gain experience that helps to round out their abilities and further increase their value to the company.

A lateral move can keep an employee engaged by giving them new responsibilities, allowing them to work with different colleagues or under a different manager, and showing them new perspectives on how the business functions. The employee’s experience in their prior role can also give them unique insights into how to improve processes within a new position. A lateral move can also strengthen an employee’s learning agility, helping them to handle a variety of situations because they are able to quickly learn new concepts and apply them.
A lateral move can provide the chance for an employee to enhance their career path options, and this opportunity can be viewed as an example of the company’s commitment to continued professional development for their personnel.

Developing Subject Matter Experts

Another path to grow your employees is helping them become subject matter experts. SMEs have a wealth of specialized knowledge in a particular area, and they are often instrumental in helping develop and improve business processes and solving specific problems. You can help employees become SMEs by providing opportunities to learn new concepts and skills, such as through classes, seminars, or online learning. You can also offer hands-on experience through assigning projects or new responsibilities.

SMEs may also become known for their expertise outside of your organization, which can help solidify your business’s reputation as a leader in the field. A socially outgoing SME (tall column 3 on the Omnia assessment) might enjoy participating in speaking engagements, conducting classes, or posting videos on social media to discuss relevant topics and give their expert insights. A reserved, analytical SME (tall column 4) may prefer conveying their ideas and solutions in writing and having their papers published.

Things to consider

Indeed lists 16 reasons why employees leave their jobs, and among them are needing more challenge, feeling uninspired, and searching for career growth. Many of these pain points may be eased with advancement in non-linear ways like lateral moves and cultivating subject matter experts. Some important questions to ask when helping your personnel grow are:

• What kind of career growth and advancement does your organization support and recognize?
• Do you put as much emphasis on lateral and subject matter paths as you do on leadership promotions?
• Do you celebrate and recognize lateral moves as much as you do promotions?
• Do you celebrate and recognize the impact your subject matter experts have on your clients and industry?

Every employee is different, so having just one road leading to career advancement means that some valued contributors might get off on the next exit. To retain top-performing personnel, you need to understand them. Omnia is here to help you develop your workforce by uncovering their behavior traits and natural motivators. Armed with these insights, you can pave just the right path for each employee that aligns with their distinctive attributes, strengths, and goals. Growing employees equals a growing business!

Mid-year, the end of the second quarter, school’s out! This is a great time to reflect on your career, check in on your goals, and see how you’re doing. So, how is it going? Feeling stress-free, engaged, and overall satisfied? Excellent! Check in with us next week for another informative article!

Oh, or no? Or maybe not all those things all the time? Maybe it’s time to do some soul searching to see what’s keeping you from feeling your best in your career.

Are you staying engaged?  

In all honesty, midyear is probably not the time when you’re going to feel 100% engaged at work. If you have kids, they have just finished or are just finishing school for the year. You’re shifting from last-minute-everything mode to give-them-something/anything-to-do mode. If you’re a former kid, you may be struggling to remember why and when we all agreed to work most of the summer instead of having it off like we used to. There are vacations to take, other people’s vacations to cover, graduations to attend, and fun places to go or wish you were going.

It’s ironic that I volunteered to write about this topic a few months ago, before I realized that I would be experiencing MAJOR life changes when it came time to write it. Midyear finds me picking up stakes and moving myself and my family long distance, to a different home, state and climate. If you’ve never sold your house and moved long distance, let me assure you, the process is full of distractions! If I wasn’t engaged by my career, I would probably have had a bit of a breakdown trying to do all this and keep working. As it is, I’m muddling through (I think) because I enjoy what I do, and I feel supported by my manager and teammates.

It's ok to not feel fully engaged all the time. If there’s one thing we discovered through these challenging last couple of years, it’s that we can all still get a lot done, even when our mind is very FULLY on something else. Still, some consistent element of engagement is critical to health, success, and happiness in your career. Think of your professional engagement as the lifeline that helps you stay successful even when you would be otherwise distracted. If there is nothing in your daily responsibilities that makes you feel energized and helps you keep your head in the game, it may be time to make some adjustments.

What is your stress level at work?

Whether we like it or not, some amount of career stress is inevitable. Most adults are doing some pretty incredible life-work balancing acts, and most of us have internal and external pressures about our performance. But chronic work-related stress left unchecked can lead to major problems. Are you finding yourself dreading work, lacking energy, struggling to concentrate on the job, and/or having difficulty sleeping at night? If so, according to The Mayo Clinic, you may be approaching or already experiencing job burnout.

If you’re feeling these things, chances are pretty good, you know the source. Maybe it’s conflict with a supervisor or colleague, maybe it’s deadlines or objectives that are impossible to achieve, maybe it’s chronic uncertainty about your job, or maybe you’re just not doing work that aligns with your strengths and motivators.

If you know your major stressor is temporary, you may do best to wait it out, but make sure you are focusing on self-care as much as possible while you do. However, being out of alignment with your core duties is not the kind of problem that will go away on its own or solve itself.

If you’re a competitor with no chances to compete, a people person working in solitude, an analytic dealing in generalities and hypotheticals all day, an innovator who always needs to strictly follow the rules, you are out of alignment. This can make all your daily work feel like a struggle. It’s not that you can’t be successful for a short time, but not being true to the needs of your personality is rarely sustainable and is almost always stressful.

The good news is the change you need does not always have to be that dramatic. It may be enough to make a small shift in your responsibilities – take on something new, swap something that doesn’t motivate you with someone who it does motivate. If management is sympathetic and flexible (which they should be, since helping minimize stress for employees improves productivity and profitability!) there’s potential for adjustments that could benefit both you and a colleague. That’s a win-win!

Do you have sufficient opportunities to grow?

Even if you’re totally happy with your work, culture, colleagues, and company (or especially if you are) humans require some kind of growth to stay motivated. We’re curious creatures who love to learn. Do you have goals beyond your basic responsibilities that you’re working toward? If not, this is a good time to explore your interests and speak with your manager about opportunities. Covering for colleagues during their breaks can provide an excellent chance for cross-training and exploration of different duties.

If you have growth goals in place or set New Year’s resolutions, how is your progress at this midpoint of the year? This is the time to look back and praise yourself for how well you’ve done or to make adjustments to your goals, if circumstances, opportunities, or interests have shifted. You’re only halfway through the year – there’s lots of time to adjust and get moving!

Knowing about yourself can help you maintain career satisfaction, productivity, and engagement and mitigate stress. A behavioral assessment, like the Omnia Professional Development report, can help you identify what you need to ensure success for the rest of 2022 and beyond. Reach out to your Omnia Success Team member for more information.

Since the very first business of starting cave fires in exchange for furs and hides, the transition from sales to service has plagued organizations. The early people had it right. Grog, the fire starter, sold the sticks and built the fire. His invoice was a grunt and a snort, and Accounts Receivable was immediately funded with a bundle of wheat. But, when it came time to stoke the flames, where was he? He needed a customer service team. Someone to tend to the fire, and when it got lower, build it back up with upselling opportunities. Grog’s 12-stick fire could have quickly become a bonfire capable of smoke signal advertising. “World’s Largest Cave Drawings, Next Exit!” 

Picture it, if you will. Your customer team is fielding customer requests, providing that excellent service your clients have come to know and love. Throughout each and every day, some of your clients are dropping hints left and right about their expanding needs and how just one small added service could drastically change their operations. Other customers are being vague, they are shielding their true needs behind what they think your customer service team can offer. After all, the sales process can sometimes be an arduous one. They may not want to go through that whole process again.

You need your front-line service team to not only recognize both scenarios as opportunities but also act on those opportunities, to either capitalize on them or send them to the people who can.

Customer service team members have a big role in your organization. They must deal with challenging situations with absolute confidence while still maintaining proper communications and fostering relationship growth. They must command respect while always showing it to others. But the best customer service team members are ones that are trained in the art of sales. Just like the situations above, customer service representatives that can ease the customer burden (and the sales team’s reselling and upselling burden) excel in their positions and streamline company operations.  

How can you identify the inner salesperson in your customer service team? Shameless plug: give them the Omnia Assessment and discover key traits that may lead to the discovery of great sales skills. 

The Right Balance of Service and Sales  

The perfect customer service relationship consists of three main aspects that allow the growth of service to clients: organization, communication, and passion. These three, working together, build stronger relationships and lead to the trust needed in upselling opportunities.  

Using the Omnia behavioral assessment, customer service team leaders can identify ways to develop their talent’s sales skills. Omnia’s user-friendly 8-column bar graph shows leaders exactly what traits a CSR has so they can tailor their coaching sessions to each rep’s specific needs. Even better, sessions can tap into the rep’s learning style and motivators. One size does not fit all!


Most successful salespeople have a strong column 1 in their Omnia results. This shows them to be naturally assertive. Individuals with a tall column 1 are driven, competitive, and goal-oriented, perfect for sales. With quotas to meet, they are going to do whatever it takes to close deals. However, most service personalities are the opposite, a tall column 2, which means they are naturally supportive, cautious, and eager to help. It makes sense that they are the people who can assist your clients, solve problems, make account changes, and answer questions. It’s a perfect fit. But with that, comes a reluctance to sell. Let’s face it, if they wanted to sell, they would be in sales. Coaching a customer service representative to sell means shifting your definition of selling. It’s important for them to position additional products or services in a way that does not make them feel like they are demanding or pushy. They need to see it as a service, a concrete way to improve the life or business of their customer.

Additionally, salespeople tend to be energized by social interaction, as characterized by a column 3 on the Omnia Assessment. Give them a zoom meeting or a microphone and watch out! Those with a taller column 4 tend to be more reserved. While you want your customer service team to be diplomatic and friendly (no one likes a grump on a service call), column 4 analytics are often better listeners, needs assessors, and problem solvers. They tend to be factual, direct communicators, so coaching on social awareness and rapport building will go a long way towards helping that service rep connect with the customer and thereby make it a little easier to make product suggestions.

Encourage your analytical CSRs to take the first bits of their service interactions to build personal connections with their clients. Doing so builds rapport and trust. If your client knows you care, they are more likely to care about their relationship with your organization.  

To Process, or to Act?   

Both. Definitely both. In looking at the third personality dimension, pace, people with an Omnia column 5 are fast-paced. “Call now!” “Book today!” Everything is urgent. The sale must close, the deadline is always approaching. Ever noticed how salespeople always ask for dates in the decision process? They are time-driven. Conversely, those with an Omnia column 6 are more systematically inclined. “What’s the process?” “How do we move from point A to point B?” Your CSR team is most likely more systematic. CSRs love processes and procedures. So, train your CSRs to act with some urgency when it comes to upselling opportunities. If they hear an opportunity to sell, put a timeline in place at the first start. Train to ask the question, “And when are you looking to make a decision on this?” That helps set the pace while remaining procedural.  

Lastly, the final personality dimension is linked to rules and guidelines. Salespeople are comfortable with ambiguity and like more leeway in how they handle sales. While it is important they maintain some sort of respect for the rules of the organization, they are often weaving around and through the rules to try to close the deal. Therefore, salespeople are often an Omnia column 7, where most customer service team members are, you guessed it, the exact opposite with an Omnia column 8. They have a greater reliance on the rules and guidelines. Rules provide comfort and increase confidence in column 8 personalities, plus it’s why your service team is detailed and accurate, which we can all agree is pretty important in service. Especially since the sales team has little to no time to pay attention to the details! Still, empower your CSRs to be a bit bolder when faced with decisions. They will want to take action within the rules, of course, but coaching them to ask questions that might open new opportunities, both with customers and within their respective organizations, is a win for everyone.

Using the Omnia Assessment for coaching your customer service team is an easy investment in the growth of your organization from the inside out. Learn your team’s Omnia personality numbers and use these coaching techniques to make sales interactions just a bit more comfortable for your fire-stokers. Grog is counting on them!  

Trying to build a cohesive team can feel like a puzzle sometimes. You have the pieces – a goal, the time frame, the people, and maybe even the idea of a plan. But how do you, as a leader, put them all together to create the whole picture: a group that works effectively together to achieve objectives?

According to Bruce Tuckman’s initial model of group development, teams become cohesive in four stages:

This is the ideal progress of a small group, leading to the successful achievement of a goal, but it doesn’t happen on its own. Without strong leadership, a team could get stuck in the early phases and never make it to Performing. There can be imbalances, inefficiencies, setbacks, and derailments. You, the leader, are vital to facilitating your small group through the phases – without taking over – and helping them become a cohesive, self-sufficient team.

Steps to helping your team succeed:

1. Outline The Mission

In the earliest phases of team development, you need people to understand their purpose and mission. What are they doing here and what do you expect from them? While the plan might not be specific in the beginning, the goal needs to be. Make sure you are clear from the start about expectations, timelines, and what’s at stake – the benefits of success to the individual/team.

2. Build Trust

Your team is going to need your time and resources the most in the beginning stages. They need to know you’ll be there, you’ll follow through on your promises, and their concerns are a priority to you. Not following through here not only hampers trust, but it models untrustworthiness. What they see is what you’ll get.

3. Communicate

Being clear, listening, and responding with specific information is key during all phases of team building. Say it out loud, and back it up in writing. Make sure they understand what you’re saying. Make sure you understand what they’re saying. You’re busy, for sure, but being available to hear people’s questions and concerns is critical. Most problems are caused by a lack of communication.

4. Facilitate Collaboration

Effective collaboration doesn’t really start until the Norming and Performing stages. Individual group members are focused on themselves in the beginning – making sure they’re treated fairly, not being expected to do more than others, or not being relegated to the background. Each team member needs to understand the importance of all the roles, not just their own. Your own role at this point is to help everyone shine, to help build trust among the team members.

5. Empower

Once people are collaborating (Norming and Performing), you need to step back. Consider yourself a resource to the team. Each member should now be able to solve problems and work through conflicts and challenges on their own. Be available to offer information but avoid stepping in to fix things. Encourage self-sufficiency.

6. Be willing to flex

It’s important to have a plan when undertaking any new project, team initiative or goal; otherwise, you’re just going to be spinning your wheels. The plans need to be flexible, though. Resources, guidelines, liabilities, and abilities are going to change as the team starts performing. Everyone will need to accept that adjustments are going to be needed. Knowing what is critical to complete as you go along will help your team regroup when plans change. Make a priority checklist, and follow up on it.

7. Hold everyone accountable

The larger the team or the longer term the goal, the more likely it is for some people to take on too much and others to fade into the background. You might have team members who notice when someone else has dropped the ball and pick it up. Some of that is great, especially if it’s reciprocated. If it happens too often, though, and it’s always the same one or two people picking up the ball, resentment can build, and performance can stall.

There needs to be accountability both for individual and team accomplishments. At meetings, confirm the promised steps were taken. If not, find out why not. Keep an ear out for discussions that need to be held one on one with the team member. Calling someone out in public is not the same as accountability. Get an agreement to make up the lost time or missing part. Accountability helps everyone.

Bonus Step: Self-knowledge

No one leader is going to be comfortable with each of these stages. If you’re the type of person who excels at building consensus and creating team harmony, you might not love dealing with accountability and conflict. If you’re great at seeing the big picture, you might not always consider all the necessary details to get started. If you are a detailed planner, letting go so the team can perform independently might make you nervous. You’re human; some things are going to be harder than others. If they weren’t, you wouldn’t need a team – you’d need clones!

Knowing your own strengths and weaknesses can help you move through these team building steps. Just because something isn’t easy for you, doesn’t mean you can’t do it. Omnia can help! We have Leadership Reports designed specifically for helping you leverage your strengths and minimize challenge areas for you personally. We can help you understand the specific needs of each of your team members, with the (professional development reports? Or is there a better option?) If you want to take a deeper dive into how your team can excel in the long run, we offer Team Development Reports. These reports analyze the behavioral traits of each team member and compare how they communicate and work together as well as how you, as a leader, can leverage strengths and mitigate difficulties.

When you put all these pieces together, you will build a successfully performing team. You can do it, and your Omnia Client Success team is on hand to help!

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