How to Cultivate Long-Term Commitment Within Your Team

Many teams today are not really teams at all – organizationally, structurally, and motivationally they are not set up to work as individual parts of a larger, unified whole. Often they reflect outdated organizational charts that have little to do with current reality. There are times when a leader realizes their team is actually a collection of individuals who are looking out for themselves. Left in this state, a team can actually become a divisive and damaging cancer to the organization.

Is it little wonder, then, that leaders seek help in cultivating commitment within their teams? The problem isn’t necessarily with the team members or leaders themselves, but what the team is being asked to do: work together without any larger sense of organizational direction or purpose.

If your team needs a boost in commitment, consider taking the following action.

Solution: Create a robust culture where people buy in.

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THE QUICK SUMMARY – All  In, by Adrian Gostick and Chester Elton

In the highest-performing teams and companies, managers create a “culture of belief,” following seven essential steps of leadership.
To have any hope of succeeding as a manager, you need to get your people all in.

Whether you manage the smallest of teams or a multi-continent organization, you are the owner of a work culture and few things will have a bigger impact on your performance than getting your people to buy into your ideas and your cause and to believe what they do matters.

Bestselling authors, Adrian Gostick and Chester Elton, answer the most overlooked leadership questions of our day: Why are some managers able to get their employees to commit wholeheartedly to their culture and give that extra push that leads to outstanding results? And how can managers at any level build and sustain a profitable, vibrant work-group culture of their own?

All In is a vital resource which will empower leaders everywhere to inspire a new level of commitment and performance.

A SIMPLE SOLUTION

Organizational consultants, Adrian Gostick and Chester Elton, used the results of a massive study of over 303,000 employees from 25 high-performance companies around the world to identify three characteristics that were present in every organization.

They found that team members who were engaged, enabled, and energized provided their organizations with a significant increase in performance.

Team members with high E + E + E characteristics were not only committed to the organization, but were enabled to constantly look for areas where they could add value to the organization, and demonstrate the energy to follow through on their commitments.

If your culture is clear, positive, and strong, then your people will buy into your ideas and cause, and most important, will believe what they do matters, and that they can make a difference.

In the highest performing cultures, leaders not only create high levels of engagement – manifested in a strong attachment to the organization and a willingness to give extra effort – but they also create environments that support productivity and performance, in which team members feel enabled. And finally, they help team members feel a greater sense of well-being and drive at work, in other words, people feel energized.

Engaged – Team members understand how their work benefits the larger organization, and have a clear understanding of how they are responsible and accountable for real results. They are also able to see the value of their contributions to the organization’s larger mission.

Enabled – The organization supports team members with the right tools and training, and leaders spend 75 percent of their time coaching and walking the floor to ensure that team members can navigate the demands of their responsibilities.

Energized – Leaders maintain feelings of well-being and high levels of energy through daily encouragement, helping team members balance work and home life, and recognizing individual contributions.

– Adrian Gostick and Chester Elton, All In

A NEXT STEP

The authors of All In identified the three drivers of Engaged, Enabled, and Energized as necessary to create a strong organizational culture. Not only that, but any single driver without the other two will not produce exceptional results.

Use the following exercise at your next team meeting to determine the roadblocks your team may be encountering in trying to achieve the Engaged + Enabled + Energized goal.

Consider Engaged, Enabled, and Energized as destinations that your team needs to reach in order to be successful. For each of the three destinations, discuss the following questions:

  • What roadblocks are keeping our team from reaching our destination?
  • Who put them there, or keeps them there?
  • Who is most equipped to move each of them?
  • Which of our values assists in moving this roadblock? (To learn more about how working values or missional motivators define culture click here.)
  • What does the road to each destination look like with the roadblock gone?

Develop a plan to dismantle each of the roadblocks identified. Report on the progress monthly until all roadblocks have been cleared.

CLOSING THOUGHT

While all too often teams are “teams” in name only, individual commitment to a larger whole is an integral part of the success of any organization.

By creating a robust culture, church leaders can help their teams maintain commitment and accomplish their Great Commission call.


Part of a weekly series on 27gen, entitled Wednesday Weekly Reader

Regular daily reading of books is an important part of my life. It even extends to my vocation, where as Vision Room Curator for Auxano I am responsible for publishing SUMS Remix, a biweekly book “summary” for church leaders. I’m going to peruse back issues of both SUMS and SUMS Remix and publish excerpts each Wednesday.

You can find out more information about SUMS Remix here. Subscribe to SUMS Remix here.

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