Long experience, the tempo of work and three-hour meetings — everything that hinders the work of the team consisting of the best professionals on the market.
Let’s imagine the situation: finally, you have gathered all the necessary specialists into your team, all they are high-quality professionals and you can already picture your company achieving its goals in the shortest time and its incomes increase rapidly. The management plans a vacation on the Maldives and only the HR department knows where the catch is. The point is that professionals with impressive work experience compromise rarely. Each one tries to adjust all processes to his or her needs believing this is the only right way.
Long experience is not the reason to ignore other people’s opinions
A good professional becomes more and more confident in himself or herself, his or her approach to work with time because this way he or she has managed to solve tasks successfully. That is why many specialists are ready to change their approach and try something new only in the case when usual actions do not bring the desired result. In its turn, this affects both his or her colleagues and the whole company directly.
Our own experience proves it: previously during the weekly meetings of the department managers everyone argued himself or herself hoarse and wasted hours of other people’s time instead of listening calmly and trying to draw something useful for himself or herself or tell about achievements of his or her department. Now we manage to save time by regulating the meetings: the timing is strictly limited, unclear issues requiring more than 5 minutes are discussed by colleagues later and only in those departments which the issue concern. This way we managed to shorten the meetings from 3 hours to 40 minutes and the department managers have learned to listen patiently.
Professional deformations of the personality are not a diagnosis
When you have called about 200 customers today and the manager asks you to conduct a one-hour webinar at the end of the day, a sudden wish to kill is no surprise. Or you are completely focused on creating a new site architecture and are coding enthusiastically, but your colleagues keep distracting you to join the birthday congratulations or restart a computer, or anything else. And there are thousands of such situations! How do you keep your temper then?
However, professionalism is defined by the ability to show discretion and composure in such situations. For example, IT guys introduced the following scheme: they spare certain periods of time when they can be distracted by organizational/corporate matters that are not related to their direct responsibilities. The customer service department suggested planning corporate presentations more carefully, so they are not appointed on busy days and go as effectively as possible.
Autonomous work doesn’t mean desynchronizing efforts
A separate category in the company are specialists who are accustomed to autonomous work. No, not because doing the work without waiting for help from others is bad. It’s bad to withdraw into yourself, forgetting about communication with colleagues or the leader, because they can prompt something new or remind about well-forgotten old tricks that are still relevant.
For example, when updates are published on the company’s website, the development department often forgets to inform colleagues from marketing, advertising and other departments about it. Therefore, it is important to immediately establish a clear process of information and synchronization between the production department and the promotion department. Most probably, this won’t go without stresses though.
Development — yes, overloads — no
A fairly common problem is the overloading an employee who always relies only on himself or herself. Especially if a person is constantly developing and growing in his or her speciality. After all, how else to move forward, if not to take on new and interesting tasks, even if they are very complex?
It is important not to overdo it, but to estimate your abilities carefully, otherwise, emotional burnout and constant fatigue will be eternal companions in the work process. In this case, the delegation of part of the tasks, the search for additional employees, and sometimes simply advice or support from a colleague can help.
Different pace of work is normal
Each speciality in any company requires a special mindset, the speed of work and a certain scrupulousness. This is where the problems arise, because some employees are used to communicate with people and quickly solve the customers’ problems, and someone is accustomed to quietly write a high-quality and cool code that requires silence and incredible concentration of attention. In this case, there is simply no other way out than to seek a compromise.
To avoid misunderstandings and offences, try to practice “hours of silence”. This is a special allotted time during the day when particularly strong lovers of communication work humbly and quietly. And in order to speed up communication between employees, transfer all communication to one Slack system, where everyone should answer the question within one hour or must explain when the necessary information will be if he or she is not yet ready to provide it immediately. After a while, these steps will lead to an understandable average rate of work.
What if this is about you?
If you understand that some or most of the situations listed are very similar to the problems of your company, do not despair. All of these problems have one simple explanation — employees simply do not see a common goal and the success rates of their work have been chosen not quite right. Here are some tips:
- Make retrospective reviews, strategic sessions, regular meetings to synchronize all departments an integral part of the work of all departments. Yes, they take a lot of time. Yes, they provoke to arguments. But once employees understand why they work and what contribution they make, there will be fewer problems, and ways to solve them will be found faster.
- Do not solve all the problems alone: let the staff do it themselves. The American general who led the operation in Iraq found a simple model of work: 3 minutes for discussion, then ways of solving the problem are suggested. Those who have proposed something should do this task, they are provided with the necessary resources and autonomy. In this case, there is a 90% chance that the problem will be effectively solved, and employees will feel their importance and freedom of action.
- Most likely, you will have to rebuild the processes in the team, allocate short-term and long-term goals correctly and, possibly, to review them several times. But this will help make the work of the team coherent and effective.
- If one of the professionals leaves at the time of setting up the processes, then, most likely, he or she is not ready to work in the team and will slow down the rest in future. While those who remain in the team, can become more effective and optimize the existing mechanisms in the company.