We have often mentioned the need for training in an organization and how it can help create a more effective organizational culture, higher productivity, and increased group learning. However, the demands of the modern-day workforce leave little time for formalized training, much less the level of training necessary to build a strong, cohesive team.
How can a leader build their team together and find time to impart new knowledge to their people? Here are three suggestions:
- Lunches - Keep the team together for lunch. Have a brief discussion about ongoing projects, best practices, and recent lessons learned. Encourage people to open up and discuss what issues the may be having in an open, informal atmosphere where people are free to share their thoughts and find new ways to solve old problems.
- On-the-spot corrections - As leaders, we frequently have to deal with issues after the fire has already begun. Intervention and creative inquiries can go a long way to discovering problems before they ever reach this stage. Maintaining a good connection with our team and an active communications channel can provide for many informal training opportunities to correct minor issues before they become major ones. As a leader, do not be afraid to give some quick guidance.
- AARs - After Action Reviews are one of the most influential tools that the Army has to offer for internal review and process improvement. Once a project, extended task, or other work is complete, take 10-15 minutes to debrief the work accomplished (or not accomplished). Ask four questions: What went right? How do we build on that? What went wrong? How do we improve that? Keep the discussion brief, informal, and open. Be sure everyone contributes to the discussion from his or her viewpoint. As a leader's role, document the ideas presented and be ready to implement new solutions into the next iteration of the project.
Time is precious at work; we only have so many hours in a week and training is often neglected - despite needing to be a high priority to continually improve and grow team members and the organization as a whole. Great leaders find the time to work closely with their teams and build iterative improvements - not leaving training to one-off events.
Thinking about how to succeed is important. Doing something to achieve it is essential. Connect with us to learn more about our range of Leadership Development services.