1. Explain decisions. People are much more willing and eager to do the WHAT when they understand the WHY. Let your team know the thought processes behind objectives, how the outcome effects the organization and what they can expect by way of time and resources. You’ll find people more apt to jump in with both feet and get the work accomplished in less time and with more enthusiasm.
2. Share goals. Can you give your team members the top three goals for where you are headed as a team so they may use as a filtering system for their decisions? If they are really clear on the goals, you’ll find that their productivity will rise and their ability to focus on what’s most important will increase as well.
3. Collaborate versus delegate. While delegation is a critical component for every leader, collaboration can bridge gaps between people, resolving issues before they even arise. Can you reach out to other people in your Credit Union, across departments or even outside your team to find new, mutually beneficial ways to problem-solve, build momentum and grow? It’s a powerful connection when you can.
4. Say no. While that may sound counter intuitive, we often have to say NO to some requests in order to say YES to the things that really matter. Can you give your team members the autonomy to say no as well? If their plates are too full or they are not the right fit for a project for example, they should have the security that they can communicate with you and leadership without repercussion.
5. Host a town hall. When I was in the oil industry in Australia, I had a boss who did this on a regular basis. He’d gather top leadership and host an open question session with all of the team members. It was such a valuable experience for us all to be able to speak directly and openly with the stakeholders in our organization. It made everyone feel like they were part of the process and an integral part of the team. Can you invite a gathering of essential leaders to help answer questions and provide clarification to the team executing on the ideas?
6. Communicate often and early. We are not always in the know of issues and requests coming down the pipeline. Member issues. Change requests. Budgetary issues. Changes in structure or policies. Smart leaders don’t keep all of those things to themselves, or wait until the last minute to share. They communicate often and early about all things that effect how and when team members need to respond to their tasks. That way, everyone can get on the same page and get what needs to be done accomplished in the best and most timely way possible.
7. Design over process. Can you begin each project strategically questioning the design of how things have “always been done?” Look for the opportunities where you can design a more effective team. Where you can re-think old processes, improve skills, fuel innovation and encourage positive change?
All of these strategies are aligned with building trust within your team by helping everyone work cohesively and efficiently. It’s also what helps people jump in when they know there is a crisis or a goal without hesitancy or complaint.
How could you begin to build a team of one unified vision? What steps can you take to bridge gaps and build trust and transparency within our Credit Union?