Building and Retaining Successful Teams

Last week we hosted an event on building and retaining successful teams, one of the core challenges to any leader in our sector at the moment. Antonia Newman shared her top tips and how she has managed incredibly successful teams in the past. As such I wanted to include a summary of my three take-aways from the event.

Believe in people

Start with this as a fundamental, it sounds simple but can be difficult particularly if your team don’t do things exactly how you would. Or if they are new to the organisation and you don’t automatically start with trust or belief until they “earn “ it. People who are believed in by managers are more likely to develop better self-belief and then confidence to do their jobs so it’s valuable to show and tell your team you believe in them.

Strategy and behaviours

Retaining a team will be easier if you create a shared purpose and goal, give your team something to believe in and to focus on. Make sure they know their role in this purpose and the impact they can have for your charity, this will instigate a sense of belonging and more collaborative environment to work in.

Within a fundraising environment it’s also important to keep an eye on internal competition which can be unhealthy. You want people to be target-driven but don’t want a culture where some teams feel more valued than others as this builds resentment so linking everyone’s individual role back to the shared purpose can be helpful.

Creating Opportunities

People get bored in roles if they aren’t given new activities, development opportunities or tasks so it’s important to create opportunities for others and be mindful that as a leader you should push them into situations where they will get recognition. Does your junior team get the chance to sit in with the CEO or meet the SLT? Do they get to lead on gifts or just have to do administration? Does someone’s portfolio have to be limited to only making asks of a certain level?

If they aren’t getting to do things outside of their normal day-to-day or getting recognition the chances are they will move on more quickly.

More informally, another one of Antonia’s key tips was to make the workplace fun. Remember you aren’t running a regime, people have a choice where they work and with more focus on cultures and work/life balance you need to make sure your office and team environment is one that people want to come back to. Making time for socialising and fun alongside work can relieve the stress that your team is under.