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    10 Essential Team-Building Tips for Women Business Leaders

    I am a firm believer in the power of a well-orchestrated team. As women business leaders, it’s our job to make sure all players share a common vision and have the same end game in mind. Here are some ways to ensure that you are coaching and guiding your team to optimum outcomes, gathered from “Ten Team Building Tips for Managers.”

    1. Communicate goals clearly
      This sounds as if it is a very simple tip, but it’s clearly not done in many companies. I agree that the company’s leadership must set goals, otherwise if employees are left to guess, a chaotic workplace can be the result.
    2. Define responsibilities
      I find that this is a particularly sensitive area, especially when there are areas of employee responsibility that overlap. I agree that if roles are well-defined, there will be less opportunity for confusion and less job dissatisfaction.
    3. Provide equal training
      This can be difficult in smaller organizations when budgets are tight, but I think it is important to offer equitable training to your staff. However, I do shy away from having employees train each other, as this can lead to problems down the road when one employee sees himself or herself as another’s “trainer.”
    4. Encourage relationships
      We all work long hours, and it can be difficult for employees to get to know one another. Allowing for a longer lunch hour now and then to give employees a chance to enjoy an extended meal together will foster closer relationships and could create a better working environment.
    5. Empower
      It’s hard to “let go,” but leaders simply must empower employees and give them enough responsibility so they can feel invested in their jobs. You’ll need to keep an eye out for problems, but giving employees some degree of decision making helps them feel they are trusted.
    6. Provide feedback
      I know in my own business, regular and consistent feedback is something I encourage. It helps everyone to stay on course and eliminates the “yearly review” jitters because employees already have a solid idea of how they’ve performed throughout the year. Being open and clear about your expectations and your employees’ performances makes a much better work environment.
    7. Reward
      The suggestion here is to reward the employees as a group rather than individually to inspire cooperation and teamwork. Even if you cannot afford to send you and your staff to a fancy resort for a “retreat,” I think ordering lunch for staff, or giving staff the chance to leave a few minutes early on a specific Friday can make a huge difference in morale.
    8. Set reasonable deadlines
      In many businesses, there is enough leeway to allow for a little “wiggle room” on certain assignments. Or you may be able to split tasks between employees to help relieve tight deadlines. Sometimes, however, deadlines are not negotiable, and if employees have to put in extra hours consider some “perk” to make them feel appreciated.
    9. Meet regularly
      I request an informal lunch meeting monthly with each individual staff member. This is a great opportunity to get to know my staff, and also gives them a non-stressful chance to get to know me. I actually find out many interesting things about my staff I wouldn’t know without these meetings.
    10. Discourage back door reports
      We’ve all worked with someone like this before. It’s the employee who thinks he or she needs to recap every meeting and give their “take” on it. I agree that this behavior should be nipped in the bud and strongly discouraged. Once you start letting this employee think they have a direct line to you, you’ll regret you encouraged them!

    It is so important to give your employees a sense of “ownership” in the success of the company.  I talk about my belief in this concept in another blog, “5 Ways Women Business Leaders can Encourage Employees to be Intrapreneurial.”

    One Response to “10 Essential Team-Building Tips for Women Business Leaders”

    1. [...] The bottom line for me is this: Engaged and happy employees will naturally translate into engaged and happy customers. And shouldn’t that be every business leader’s goal? I think creating an awesome team is the one ingredient you cannot leave out of your business plan’s mix. Here are some more blogs on team-building to consider: “5 Creative Ways Women Business Leaders to Engage Employees,” and “10 Essential Team-Building Tips for Women Business Leaders.” [...]

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