As an HR manager, you’ll know that dysfunctional teams equals people issues that will inevitably end up on your desk. Whether it’s niggles that have been left to fester or difficult conversations that should have been had, the problem is nearly always more difficult and time-consuming to solve by the time it gets to you.
This is what gives you a headache. You have so much on your plate already, and having to take time out to solve these kinds of issues stops you from doing the work that’s going to really help take the business forward.
And potentially if you don’t resolve these problems you could end up worrying about legislation hiccups or grievances or more.
You know that things need to change, and it’s not enough to put a sticking plaster over the problems any longer. The real issues need to be identified and dealt with.
Enter the accidental manager
From experience, you know that managers can have a huge influence on team culture and function, so any attempt to solve team or people issues might start with them.
But what happens when a manager inherits their role, and with it, a dysfunctional team?
For an HR manager, supporting accidental managers into their new role is important, because any problems are only going to come back to you, and the performance and profitability of the business is going to suffer.
How an accidental manager can hit the ground running
Reduce uncertainty and bring in change positively
When a new manager takes the reins, they might be inheriting a team where performance issues, attendance issues, or conflict went unchecked. Add change into the mix and a dysfunctional team can go into meltdown.
Change can be unsettling for people, so to reduce uncertainty and any further negative impact on the team, the new manager should take the time to get to know people and allow them to ask questions and share their concerns.
Involving teams in change and making them feel listened to will increase the chances that any changes are positively received.
Introduce some clarity and direction
A common cause of team dysfunction is team members not understanding their roles and responsibilities, or not having any direction around behaviours and values. How will a team function well if people don’t have any common values to get behind? What if they can’t see how they contribute to wider business goals? How can they be expected to work hard without any clear direction? Teams need to know what is expected of them, and more importantly, what won’t be tolerated.
Identify what needs to change to make things better
When a team is dysfunctional it’s usually because issues have been left to go on for far too long. Maybe people weren’t given clear direction in the past, but they might thrive when someone comes in and gives them something to rally behind. It could be that certain processes or a lack of training or proper feedback have been harming productivity, engagement, and morale. If this is the case, it might be that some effective training and evaluation of work processes are what’s needed to get things back on track.
The good news for HR Managers
One of the key ways you can deal with dysfunctional teams and prevent people issues from taking up your precious time and harming the business is helping accidental managers hit the ground running.
How can you do this?
You can start by enlisting some outside help from a consultant like me who has been there and who has the experience and credentials to help you turn things around.
The points I’ve made in this blog about where team dysfunction comes from and how it can be dealt with are a great starting point for making your case to the director who holds the purse strings.
With the support of a consultant, you can develop teams and managers, build better team cultures, and prepare the business for going into the new year (and a new decade!).
What I can do for you?
I can help you get to the bottom of your people and business issues. I can give managers the tools to build great teams, deal with difficult conversations, and create a positive and collaborative team culture. I can give teams a sense of clarity and direction, and get everyone pulling in the same direction. I can look at any wasteful or ineffective work processes and help you change what’s not working.
And for HR managers like you, I can give you your time back, help you tell directors what needs to change, and I can help you go into the new year with the confidence that those old niggles are on their way to being resolved.
Let me help you turn things around and approach your job with new-found enthusiasm in 2020!
Get in touch to find out how I can help.