Ownership empowers team members to make decisions and solve their own problems. To do this, leaders need to:
- Focus on common goals: remind everyone of common goals and how they contribute to those goals.
- Outline and/or review limits of authority: ensure individuals are clear about what decisions they can make independently and when they need to seek approval. This may not change from already established norms, but there may be adjustments required.
- Set your team up for success with appropriate resources: this may be determined by organizational constraints, but as much as possible, giving teams the right tools to easily connect and collaborate as well as access to necessary resources will enable them to make decisions and solve problems.
- Model best practices to demonstrate new norms: make use of technology and communication tools (chat and video) as well as behaviours such as setting limits of work hours (it may be easier to fall into the scenario of working at all hours/days when you have your office at home).
- Empower individuals to solve problems: guide team members to solve their own problems and make their own decisions (as appropriate). Over time team members will become more confident and need less guidance. The stress of the current situation can cause some to be less confident decision makers, so don’t be surprised if some team members seem to need more guidance at the start of this transition.
Accountability allows you and your team members to understand expectations and manage performance. Even if your team has well established accountability understanding, revisiting these when your team environment has changed is critical to reinforce and adapt as necessary.
- Help your team members to set clear, measurable goals. Review existing tasks and adjust (if necessary) for changes in work assignments or work roles. Help establish priority of these goals.
- Consider work assignment goals but don’t forget about personal development goals. In person professional development events may have been cancelled or postponed, but you can still encourage team members to seek new professional development opportunities online.
- Hold team members responsible for their behaviour and work. To function as a team, we need to rely on each other to deliver on our tasks and assignments and to approach our work with an appropriate attitude.
As explained in Part 1 of this series, have regular check-ins with everyone on your team to review tasks and progress, holding team members accountable for their work.
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