Lesson Five:

Communicate Team-Wide

Now that everything is in place, you’ll need to ensure that everyone on your team is on the same page. They need to be setting the right priorities based on the work you’ve done so far in this course. They need to be on target with the number one goal, number one strategy, and action plan.

Create Guidelines

Aside from holding meetings and imparting this information verbally to your team members, you should also create documents that explain everything clearly and to which they can refer whenever necessary.

Your guidelines should include:

  • The main goal you’re going to be working toward over the next three months
  • The marketing strategy in detail that you will employ to get there
  • All the action steps involved in employing this marketing strategy
  • All resources needed and how you will procure them
  • How progress will be marked through the course of the three months
  • The key responsibilities of each team member

You can either give your team members printed documents or create digital files that they can access at any time. The advantage of using digital files is that you can make changes and updates, which may be necessary as you proceed. Online, you can also make it part of your project management software program and make it collaborative; for example, team members can collaborate on marking milestones or regular reporting of results.

Ask for feedback from your team. Ask them to review the guidelines and let you know if there is anything that’s unclear. They may also have ideas at this stage to streamline the process. For example, a sales person who’s out there in the field selling may feel that a sales goal is unrealistic and suggest something more reasonable.

Best Practices for Keeping Your Team Focused

As mentioned above, involve your team in the creation and implementation of your plan. If your team members have a hand in creating and implementing the action steps, they’ll be more engaged and more in-tune with what you’re doing.

Try to be as concise as possible. Give your team members all the details and the big-picture view, but you don’t want to overwhelm them with overly complex guidelines. Pare it down to the necessities and focus on concision and clarity.

Maintain two-way communication. In addition to asking for feedback from your team members, keep in contact with them throughout the project and make sure they know they can talk to you if they have problems, questions, or concerns. One way to do this is through regular one-on-one coaching.

Create and maintain strong relationships with your team members and between your team members. People who know each other will work together better, and this eases any kind of communication. If you know your team members well, you’ll understand their way of working, know how they communicate, can give feedback effectively, and so on.

Make sure you’ve delegated the right tasks to the right team members. If someone is bogged down doing something they’re not qualified to do, or if they’re struggling in some other way, it will be nearly impossible for them to stay focused.

Standardize practices with solid protocols. Create business protocols for getting the work done that are routine and consistent to help people stay on the same page.

Make sure that you’re focused yourself! As a team leader, you set an example for your team, so you need to make sure that you’re clear and focused on your goals and strategies first. Make sure you understand the plan you’ve created thoroughly.

Organize your team with to-do lists. A to-do list offers a focused, prioritized list of specific actions that need to be done. If you can provide to-do lists to your team and each member, this helps everyone stay on task and understand priorities.

Look for inefficiencies. Go over your action plan and protocols and look for ways you can save time and work for your team members. When people get bogged down with routine tasks that could be carried out more efficiently, they’ll lose focus and burn out.

Create a schedule and rhythm. Create a work flow that is the same or similar each day so your team members know what to expect. For example, hold a regular meeting in the morning at the same time, with coaching sessions scheduled throughout the day. If a team member knows that they have two hours to work in the morning, they can be their most focused during that time.

Motivate your team. Give them regular reminders of the goals you’re working toward and the reasons for the goals. Create small rewards for each milestone or each achievement, and spread the rewards evenly around so that no one feels unappreciated.

Deal with conflicts immediately as they arise. Try to defuse conflicts and resolve them in such a way that all parties are satisfied.

Let your team members blow off steam. It’s good to run a tight ship but give your team members plenty of opportunities to relax and unwind as well. Small breaks help people maintain focus. Break up the process with lunches, parties, and other social engagements where people can forget about work and just have fun.

Best Practices for Eliminating Distractions for Your Team

You’ll also keep your team focused on your goal and the tasks at hand if you eliminate distractions as much as possible. Here are some guidelines for doing that.

Keep the lines of communication work-focused. If you’re using an app or program for communication during the project, or simply a work email, make sure the communications remain focused on the work at hand. Occasional personal messages may be permitted, but try to keep personal chatter to breaks, other communication channels, or other non-work time.

Create an environment that’s conducive to concentration. It’s okay to have fun stuff around the workplace, but remove anything that could be potentially distracting, or remove potential distractions to another part of the office.

Provide incentives only if they make sense. It’s great to offer rewards and incentives, but don’t create an incentive program so complex or so rewarding that your team members are just working for the rewards. Use it to motivate, but don’t let it distract from your goals.

Offer tips for your team members on managing their personal technology while working. For example, you may recommend to them to turn off all notifications for sites like Facebook or chatting apps. Give them time during the schedule to manage social media or other personal technology.

Make sure priorities are clear. Your team members may have routine work to do in addition to work on your project. Help them schedule and prioritize so that they never have to do two things at once.

Learning Activity:

  1. Draft your communication document to share with all team members involved in your marketing, even if you only have one person involved. Include the elements listed in your plan:
    • Core values for your business
    • Your most profitable products and services
    • Description of your best customers
    • Why your best customers buy from you
    • The #1 marketing goal for the next 3 months
    • The #1 marketing strategy to focus on for the next 3 months
    • The top 5 tasks for implementing this strategy
    • Each person’s role in implementing the strategy
    • Dates for team review of progress