Is Your Team Unified Around Purpose?

Team Unified Around Purpose
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Now is a tremendous opportunity to make a difference and design a team unified around purpose.   The entire world is divided. Uprisings, revolt, conflict and continued uncertainty mark the times in which we live. These past 18 months have taken just about everyone their expectations and stretched their patience. This conflict and unrest has bled into the workplace. Turnover is high creating tension and indifference at work. This tension intensifies the challenges around the uncertainty and disruption in the supply chains. In a nutshell, managers are facing workflow challenges they have never seen before. 

Now is not the time to ignore these challenges and continue to operate based on the status quo.  And managers cannot solve this problem alone.

Even though everything feels like a crisis, it is not the time to panic. Go beyond feelings and recognize, this is the new normal. Leaders have two choices, they can continue to drift in this tension and uncertainty or bring people together around purpose, something everyone can agree on. The choice will have a profound impact on the outcomes.

Let’s break this down. People are resigning at record rates. Gallup calls it the Great Resignation, noted by other researchers as well. People are rethinking their lifestyle which includes how they work, how they school their children, where they live and what type of life they want. 

Companies have to also rethink how they organize their teams and how they promote their vision. The first iteration of this was learning to work remotely, followed by blending remote options with onsite work, shorter work weeks along with revised job responsibilities. With the need for across the board change, it is easy for staff to disengage and forget the why of the work.

How You Can Design a Team Unified Around Purpose

Purpose fuels momentum and focus. Having a well articulated shared purpose is essential to getting work done. Does your team know why they are doing what they are doing? As their manager, do you?

Uniting around a shared purpose ensures people are engaged which leads to higher quality and productivity.

Over the years, I have seen many leaders who feel stressed dismiss the idea of vision and purpose during challenging times. Yet, this unification is the underlying force that keeps people moving in the right direction.

In today’s environment it is incumbent on the leader to refocus people on the primary goals and reason everyone is there. Perhaps your purpose is safety, can your entire team get behind that? Or, is your team focused on producing excellent work, learning and growth, making a breakthrough in the market, or on a specific cause?  

Is it time to reboot your team’s purpose?

One way to do this is through a retreat where you can facilitate your team’s brainstorming in order to define or refine this purpose. The retreat is a vehicle to review or refine:

  1. Mission, Vision and Values
  2. Team’s SWOT
  3. How to work better together

If you want to learn the 5 Steps to a Successful Retreat, click here.

While the leader may guide the shared purpose, bring this to the team so everyone can be a part of this process. It is the action step of writing the purpose statement that engages people and inspires their best.  

Hold a group discussion on the following topics:

  • Client stories or testimonies about how your product or service helped them live or work in a better way.
  • Employee stories about what it means to be a part of the organization.
  • Ways that your team can make the world a better place through your everyday work.

By elevating the conversation to something everyone agrees on, you tap into other important needs people have for work. This includes the sense of belonging, the need for appreciation, the opportunity to do quality work and the ability to make progress; these four dominant needs can be met when everyone is united around a shared purpose. 

Can you see how everyone can be invigorated when there is a unified purpose?

Managers be bold and plan for your team reboot. Retreats do not have to be held off site, or be expensive. When planned well, they can last 4 hours and produce amazing insights and interventions. 

Click the link below and refresh your team. Download the free resource on retreats; be prepared.

Where to next?

Dr. Cynthia Howard

Executive Coach  Performance Consultant  LSSBB

It takes resilience and agility to stay focused in these disruptive times. We want to help you get ahead of the challenges in this digital age with short practical tips. Go forward. Be your best

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