Every leader out there wants a strong team. But building one means constant assessment and reassessment of performance — of both individuals and the collective team. This can seem overwhelming if you don’t have a system or process in place to do so, and it’s especially difficult if you see “gaps” as problems. (Who wants to dig up more problems at work?)
The key is to see gaps not as weaknesses but as opportunities for growth and goal-setting. By working collaboratively, teams can identify what they do well along with areas to improve. This allows them to develop strategies that bridge the gap between their current and desired working dynamics.
In this blog post, we will explore the significance of assessing gaps and introduce a tool called TeamView℠ that can help you in this process.
Assessment of Gaps
Just like sports teams, organizations need to evaluate their performance regularly. This assessment should involve everyone, from leaders to employees, as it provides a comprehensive understanding of how the team currently functions and how they aspire to work together in the future.
Ask each team member to share their perspectives on team dynamics, including their:
- Current working environment
- Desired working environment
An assessment tool can help you create an aggregate picture of the team’s collective perspectives so you have a better understanding of where you’re at, as well as where your team wants to go.
Gaps Are Opportunities
It’s important to reiterate that gaps are not weaknesses but rather differences between the current state of the team and their desired state. Use the aggregated perspectives on team dynamics from your assessment tool to craft team goals together — as a team.
Collaborative goal-making can involve reflective questions, such as:
- Identifying shifts that work best for individual employees
- Tasks that each individual finds fulfilling
- Leveraging the strengths of team members in complementary ways
Viewing these gaps as opportunities for goal-setting and growth strengthens the team as a whole.
Engage the Team
Traditional engagement or satisfaction surveys do not capture the complexity of team dynamics or involve the team in finding solutions. On the other hand, assessing gaps together allows teams to:
- Identify who they can rely on
- Create a sense of ownership
- Foster shared responsibility
- Be more productive
When team members perceive themselves as part of the solution, they are more likely to feel positive and engaged at work.
Assess Gaps in Real Time
Assessing the inner workings of a team in real time (rather than only during annual reviews, for example) is a crucial component of building a strong team culture. While it’s essential to focus on individual strengths and their development, understanding the overall team is equally important.
At Talent Plus, we utilize TeamView, a tool that measures a team’s unity based on seven dimensions:
- Thought Process
Using TeamView, each team member answers a series of questions on a scale of one to seven. The aggregated results allow the team to identify the largest gaps and develop three to five initiatives to bridge those gaps in the upcoming year.
These team initiatives should be timely, measurable and require the involvement of everyone. By specifying clear process steps and assigning responsibility for each goal, teams can achieve measurable outcomes.
Embrace Gaps to Strengthen Your Teams
Assessing and addressing gaps within teams is critical for creating a strong team. By embracing gaps as opportunities for growth and collaborative goal-setting, teams can strengthen their dynamics and foster a positive work environment.
Utilizing tools like TeamView allows teams to assess and view their current state in aggregated form, and then develop actionable strategies to bridge the gaps and achieve their desired working dynamics. Remember, strong teams are built through continuous assessment, open communication and a shared commitment to growth and improvement.