Leaders are constantly asking their teams to work better together and increase performance. Because we are in the leadership and teambuilding business, I get calls all the time from leaders who tell me their team is doing just fine, they want to do a fun teambuilding event and would like to figure out a few ways that will help their team perform even better.

As a performance consultant, I have learned that it pays to use a team survey to establish a baseline for the current state of the team before jumping ahead with an event. When a leader contacts me, I always suggest they take our baseline team survey. It never ceases to amaze me, when leaders get their survey results, that they are astonished. I think you know why…the results are not what the leader expected.

As a consultant it’s my job to help leaders and teams figure out what to do to perform better together. Even if you have not taken our leadership or team survey, here are a few tips that will help any leader identify and work through normal team issues. Increasing team performance starts by asking the right questions.

  1. Ask the right questions. Performance coaching might not be part of your everyday job so reach out and find out what you should be asking. Use questions that are relevant to high performing teams.
  2. Don’t be afraid to be direct. People would rather that you are direct because it makes it easy to be direct back. Tell your team exactly why you are surveying them. Like…”we all assume we are functioning well as a team, but we don’t really know the issues that are stopping us from being the best we can be and that’s why we are doing this survey.” Ask direct questions like “how likely is it that would recommend this team to a friend?”
  3. Make it safe to gather honest responses. Surveys should be anonymous. It should be absolutely ok for people to share their opinions without suffering in any way. When you share the results it’s up to you as a leader to let everyone know you value their honesty.
  4. Share the results with everyone who took the survey at the same time. Debriefing as a group puts everyone on a level playing field and doesn’t allow anyone to minimize the results.
  5. Work together to come up with solutions. Use everyone’s brain power. People are smart and can come up with good ideas when they are put to the challenge. Use a team process to create a plan to move forward.