How To Help Your Team Step Up

Aug 18, 2022
Kobi's Team

A couple of months ago, I took six weeks off for a holiday and had to leave my team to handle things in the office. At the time, I thought I would get at least a few calls or someone ringing about an emergency- but I heard crickets. It was fantastic. However, it was no accident that there were no calls or issues to deal with. It meant that the steps I took to escalate and scale my team paid off. For the last 17 years, I've been growing this organisation with the dream that I could have some freedom. It's one of the many reasons I started my business. When I was younger, I was tied up and burnt out working full-time for my boss and I didn't have any freedom. In fact, one time I had put in two weeks time off for a holiday and gave him four months notice only to have my holiday cancelled last minute. 

If you're somebody who is tied to your business and you haven't figured out how to take a holiday, I'll tell you the steps you need to help your team step up and how you can delegate and elevate!


Think About Your Destination

No, I'm not talking about where your business is going, I'm talking about where you want to go for the holiday you need! Get yourself a piece of paper and do some reflection- really do it. In thinking about the next 6 months ahead, where would be somewhere fun, given the constraints of a global pandemic, to have a holiday? A place to reset and recharge. You don't have to be a leader to do this exercise.


Get Your Mindset Right

If you see yourself as the smartest person in the room and the person with all of the solutions then you're never going to be able to take a holiday. You have to change your mindset. Ask yourself, how can you give your team more experience? How do you let them make some mistakes and create a space for them to do so? Whilst you're in the office you can give them some encouragement and guidance, so when you're gone they have the confidence to problem solve themselves. 


What Are Your Goals and How Do You Document Them?

Next, start to think about the key goals and how they're documented. At Best Practice, we have an A4 sheet of our KPIs and we consistently work on them, aligning them to our goals and adjusting them to challenge our team in a proactive way. Before I go on any break, I ask my team if they are happy with their KPIs whilst I look back at their past performance, so I'm not dropping them in the deep end. This way they are excited about gaining experience from problem-solving and taking more responsibility.


Upskill Your Team With Professional Development 

We recently did a LinkedIn survey about what motivates people to work and it received 2500 responses. The top answer by a mile was the opportunity for professional development. During our performance reviews, we like to ask our team members what they would like to learn in the next 12 months. As a leader of the team, it's important to think of the team's objectives. What we like to do is try to enhance everyone's strengths. As a result, I do take some time during the week to have a look at my team and the things we need to achieve. I find out who's good at what and I make sure the right players are being inspired and motivated towards those objectives. We've thought about what the big team goal is, the revenue goals, the marketing goals etc. and that helps us to be a financially sustainable organisation so we can continue to serve our customers. 

Furthermore, I will gently influence the types of professional development and the learning and development that people are doing. After, my executive team and I will make sure our teams have got the right parallel competencies. For example, if you're in marketing, it would be sales and customer service. If we educate and empower our team with parallel knowledge, they will have more empathy for other team members in those areas. This is the glue that sticks the team together and it allows me not to be the sole energy source in the organisation.


Related Article: Scaling Up The People In Your Organisation


How To Make Professional Development Super Effective

To best delegate and elevate it's important to check out the learning pyramid. People who listen to lectures only retain about five per cent of that knowledge. That means you need to deliver that script 20 times to have that information sink in. You can record videos for some internal training, but that's only going to help people retain ten to fifteen per cent of information. If someone is reading a policy or procedure they will only retain about twenty per cent of that knowledge. The MOST effective learning method is the teaching method. 


For example, in our marketing meetings, each team member does a teaching session about a small part of marketing for five minutes. The person who teaches is selfishly doing the most learning. I've embedded a huge amount of information into my teams by using this method and it gives me the confidence to know that my teams are well equipped. As the leader, you need to steer your teams' professional development so it supports the company's goals and ensures that in every team meeting, everybody is teaching something about their area of business, not some random topic that they want to talk about. 

Moreover, one of the most effective things you can do to coach your team is to ask great questions and to learn how to stop and wait for the answers. Your team is going to then begin processing the information available to them and begin problem-solving themselves. You're the coach! A swimming coach is not going to swim the laps for their students, they're going to guide them and encourage them to do so. 


Related Article: Inspiring Coaching Principles


Set Yourself Up With A Dashboard

Lastly, set yourself up with a dashboard so you can remotely track your teams' KPIs. Think about how that information is going to be reported so you don't need to pick up the phone or check emails. You can just check in every couple of days to look at the numbers and see if they're right and that you're on the same page with the person that's responsible. 


Keep learning,

Kobi Simmat

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