A team’s spark can fade over time. It can become tired and uninspired. The team falls into a comfortable, deep rut that causes performance to plateau. These guidelines will help you recognize the signs and bring back your team.
The Phantom Stage of Team Performance
Tuckman’s five stages of team development are well-known to most of us. These include forming, storming, norming, performing, mourning, and performing. However, there is a sixth stage that describes the decline of a high-performing team. This stage is often called Dorming. It creates an illusion of performance as the couple settles for the status quo and comfort. Instead of being the most significant asset for the team, its maturity and past achievements are the barriers to its performance. This stifles innovation, improvement, and growth.
Recognizing the Signs of a Staggered Team
They live off the glory of their past. They get complacent. They become content with their business as usual, and they plateau in performance.
The team is reluctant to alter the systems and processes that have led to their success. It’s not broken. It doesn’t matter.
Their team’s unity creates a sense of cohesion that tempers their differences. They are less likely to experience internal conflict and more susceptible to groupthink.
The team becomes apathetic when they aren’t stimulated and settles for routines and easy answers.
Boredom breeds routine. The team loses focus on innovation and improvement, which leads to mediocre performance and poor results.
The team can become increasingly isolated and resistant to external influences if left to their own devices.
Commitment is replaced by compliance—the emphasis shifts to turf preservation and the preservation of the status quo.
Strategies to Rejuvenate the Team
External factors can often be a catalyst for team performance improvement. However, if a team is not exposed to external drivers, leaders must create conditions that encourage team growth and renewal.
Rekindle passion and revive enthusiasm
Connect the team to its vision, mission, and core values. Reexamine the ground rules to assess how the team is adhering to them.
Participate in a thorough self-review with the team. Is the team fulfilling its core purpose well?
Invite customers (internal as well as external) to meet the team. Get customer feedback and insight to help you design improvements.
Rethink paradigms and open up new perspectives
Instruct creativity sessions and invite outsiders. This will challenge and provoke the thinking of the teams.
Individual and group training can help you expand your skills and expand your horizons.
Facilitate What If and Why Not Conversations and challenge the policy, product, or process.
Organize team field trips to businesses from unrelated industries
Inject new talent
Stability and low turnover can lead to stagnation in a team. Rotate team members whenever possible, arrange temporary secondments, and recruit new members.
Prevention is better than cure.
Engage the team in strategies to improve their performance.
Encourage ownership and motivation by involving your team in planning, problem-solving, goal setting, and decision-making.
To increase productivity, don’t just raise standards or tighten the rules. Encourage continuous improvement and team learning, and your team will rise to the top.
To avoid burnout, ensure that everyone takes time for themselves. Teams that are tired lack the mental energy or clarity to make things better.
Success is fuelled by success. Look for the small wins and recognize the significant milestones. Keep your team motivated by rewarding and celebrating their achievements.
Maintaining a solid team is all about finding the right balance between support and challenge. A team that is successful builds, sustains, and renews itself by engaging in meaningful performance challenges. Well-supported teams have the ability to take on new challenges with confidence. Your mature team’s rich experience can be used to support them in pursuing their next great challenge.