The importance of fostering team development
Team effort is at the heart of achieving business goals and objectives in retail. Fostering team development is a cornerstone of effective leadership and one that requires preparation, flexibility, drive and respect for the qualities that each individual brings to the team, combined with an acute awareness of how to use those qualities to serve the business.
Leaders are measured upon their ability to lead their teams and create a learning environment that enables staff to grow both personally and professionally in conjunction with achieving business goals. An educated and engaged workforce is easier to lead and is more likely to welcome new practices and procedures, equipment and resources into the business. In today's competitive and ever changing retail sphere, people strive to acquire new skills to ensure their employability.
The initial phase of employment is the most critical in the establishment of trust, fairness, pride, security, belonging and a desire to contribute. This directly impacts employee retention and attrition rates as the higher the level of engagement, the higher the level of performance, discretionary effort and overall employee satisfaction.
The importance of induction cannot be underestimated however, as the challenges of managing the induction in a way that works for the employee, the business and the HR team can be extremely challenging. It is important that leaders develop a comprehensive induction plan to set new team members up for a successful future. This induction should include:
- Key senior managers to provide an overview of the business
- Overview of the businesses’ history, mission and vision
- Highly engaged team members sharing their area of passion
- Introducing new recruits to all colleagues, showcasing their relative experience and strengths
This level of engagement is important for team members to identify their role in connection with their manager and the organisation. It aligns each employee’s personal goals with the organisation’s strategy and contribution requirements. As teams work together over time, they develop bonds and begin to demonstrate the desired levels of performance, and it is important that leaders continue to support their teams through various ways including:
- Boosting employee engagement by giving teams a clearer understanding of how their day-to-day work contributes to long-term business goals
- Keeping goals on track by monitoring progress against goals more frequently
- Facilitating team communication to shape the way the development of team culture
- Guiding the team in solving problems and making decisions both creatively and collectively
- Improving goal alignment by increasing communication and providing greater transparency into the business goals that influence the team goals
- Strengthening accountability by providing clear and measurable goals
- Increasing opportunities for cooperation and collaboration, focusing on shared goals.
Fostering team success is an ongoing responsibility and should continually be reviewed and updated according to new team entrants. Taking the time and setting the intention to informally chat with, learn about, and listen to the individuals that make up your team is essential for workplace harmonisation and retail success. The more that organisations move toward a less hierarchical structure, the more valuable relationship building becomes.
Looking for new ways to foster your teams’ development? The ARA Retail Institute provides industry leading workshops for leading and developing staff.
Find more information about the services provided by The ARA Retail Institute here.