How to harness the potential of your team


You’ve probably heard that your employees are the key to your business success. In actual fact, success depends on your ability to lead and motivate your team as much as it depends on their capabilities. Even with a team of highly talented employees, businesses can still fail if their team is not energised and motivated to succeed.

Whether or not an individual or team lives up to their full potential largely depends on how they choose to behave and it’s up to you as a leader to create an environment that encourages high performance and adherence to your company values.

Here are seven ways that you can harness the potential of your team and drive your business forward to greater success:

  1. Hire positive people. Negativity can be a drain on even the most motivated of teams and even one negative person can bring energy levels down for everyone. Positive, energetic people will uplift others and help create a strong team spirit.
  2. Know your team’s capabilities and be prepared to hire or develop staff if your existing capabilities don’t match your business needs. It can help to have a strategic plan for the future, listing what capabilities you may need ahead of time so you can be prepared.
  3. Make your employees accountable for their actions by implementing development plans and undertaking regular performance reviews. Make sure there are consequences for behaviour that doesn’t fit in with your organisation’s values and rewards for those that enable success.
  4. Encourage your team to build relationships with each other, with you and with your customers. The stronger their relationships, the more effectively your team will work together.
  5. Look at your own style of leadership. Does it energise people or are you inadvertently draining energy from your employees by engaging in negative behaviours? If you are doing anything that could dampen the energy of your team it is well worth addressing this and making any necessary changes to ensure that you are leading in a positive way that energises your employees and doesn’t drain them.
  6. Take the time to earn trust and respect from your employees. This will make a big difference in your ability to influence their behaviour. If they trust and respect you they are more likely to listen to you and follow your lead than if they feel intimidated by you.
  7. Set high standards and lead by example. This will not only gain you respect from your employees, it will encourage them to do the same.

Having the right systems and processes in place to support your team is as important as having a grand strategic vision. By encouraging positive interactions and creating an energetic workplace culture you can provide the best possible environment for your employees to thrive and excel. As a leader, it’s your responsibility to find ways to tap into your team’s talent and harness their full potential.

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About the Author:

Jo Macdermott is the Chief Marketing Consultant at Next Marketing in Melbourne. She has 15 years of marketing experience, is a Certified Practising Marketer and is a sought after marketing media commentator. Jo specialises in working with small and medium businesses. Follow her on Twitter here.