Dale Carnegie of Orange County | Improving Leadership Effectiveness

Spring Cleaning Your Team

Spring is often referred to as the season of rebirth and regrowth. In North America, Spring Cleaning is the annual practice of thoroughly cleaning a house following the cold winter months. In business, the term is also used metaphorically for organizing the team and getting the enterprise in order.

In the business world, there can be a buildup of issues that affect the efficiency of teams. These issues are often caused by poor communication, lack of trust, conflicting agendas, and no sense of comradery. Without thorough cleaning and addressing these issues, there can be negative business impact on productivity and retention. So, how do you go about “Spring Cleaning” your teamwork?

Here are some quick tips to consider:

  1. Make a Schedule: Time is always an issue, so it is important to block out the time and activities that are important to get your team in order. Schedule the time in a way that the whole team can be together and not distracted with work tasks.
  2. Think “Serene” When You Spring Clean: Conduct your team spring cleaning in a place that will allow people to be more focused, relaxed and open. An offsite facility may be more conducive if your fast-paced office environment creates too many distractions.
  3. Always Start with Team Building: This should be fun and active. Experiential activities accelerate team building and can start breaking down barriers between team members. Make sure activities are appropriate for everyone by taking into account any physical disabilities present.
  4. De-clutter Communication: The team must let go of issues with each other and problems that have gone wrong in the past year. Create a safe atmosphere where people can express concerns and challenges with policies, processes, resources and other team members. This can be hard for people and may need to be facilitated through activities by a neutral third-party.
  5. Problem Solve When You Spring Clean: Team problem solving is an effective way to get everyone’s buy in on how to overcome issues and work more effectively together. Make sure the manager of the team does not offer an opinion during brain storming sessions. This can be perceived as the direction the manager wants them to take. This will also skew the amount of input others will provide as well as their commitment level to the solution.
  6. Let Spring Cleaning Set Priorities for Your Team: Once your team has created solutions to challenges over the past year, let them set priorities. They will be more committed to fixing the problems and working together more collaboratively when they set the priorities.
  7. Individuals Need to Shine: End your spring cleaning session on a high note. Recognize each person on the team for their strengths and contributions over the past year. Make sure that everyone is recognized for what they have done.

Cleanliness produces happiness and productivity. Spring cleaning team issues may be arduous, but the end result will give you a more efficient and effective team.

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