When it comes to running a successful business, nothing is quite as powerful as a well-oiled, highly productive team. What a group of skilled, dedicated and disciplined individuals can accomplish together is far greater than what any of them could do on their own. But great teams don’t always come together naturally. In fact, blending different personalities, abilities and agendas into a cohesive, high performing team can take a great deal of effort. If your property management company could use some improvement in this area, here are a few tips.
Determine the purpose
Throwing together a team for the sake of it won’t accomplish much of anything. Instead, leaders must take the time to first define the need and the purpose for the team. What is the desired outcome? What things are you looking to improve, change or eliminate? This purpose will become the engine that ultimately drives and inspires the team to move forward. It will also help you define the scope and timeline as well as how success will be measured and rewarded.
Enlist the right people
Once you’ve got a clear picture of what you’d like the team to accomplish, the next step is recruiting the right individuals. For best results, look for members who represent a broad spectrum of skills and abilities and who bring a variety of backgrounds and experiences to the table. Remember – diversity can spark new ideas and creativity. And keep in mind that most high performance teams are limited to between three and seven members.
Develop common goals
High performing teams tend to thrive in environments in which they are able to come together toward a shared purpose. Goals that everyone can easily understand, identify with and make a commitment to should be developed by team members with leadership input and/or oversight. Involving the team members in this process creates ownership, buy-in and a stronger commitment. If possible, plan an off-site event, away from the four walls of your property management office, where these goals can be set. As a bonus, this will foster trust and stronger, more meaningful relationships amongst team members.
Establish ground rules
In order for your team to perform at its very best, members must clearly understand not only the purpose and goals they’re working toward, but also the role each person plays in achieving that outcome. Set ground rules about things like decision making, conflict resolution, communication strategies and how results will be measured. Members should also know how much of a commitment is expected of them.
Make communication a priority
If the purpose is the engine that drives the success of your property management team, then communication is the oil that keeps that engine running smoothly. An engine without oil will seize and fail. So too will a team without open, honest and ongoing communication. And remember – communication is not just about talking and delivering a message. It’s equally about listening and asking questions.
High performance teams do more than just solve problems. Members should be actively involved in the process of discovery – a process which has its own rewards. As such, property management leaders should routinely encourage curiosity, out-of-the-box ideas and creative solutions that may sometimes push boundaries.
Measure progress and reward results
Your team cannot push themselves to achieve the best outcome if they have no idea where they stand at any given point. Don’t wait until the end of a project to measure performance. Keep track and keep your members informed. And remember to celebrate victories, even small ones. This will motivate and push your team to achieve more.
Once you’ve implemented all of the above, the last step is to let go and get out of the way. As a leader, you may still need to be involved to some degree, but remember the hard work and effort you put into developing a great team and then set them free to accomplish what you know they’re capable of. Trust and empower your team and you will see your hard work come to fruition.