In the last few months, we talked to many senior managers about how they lead their teams. Our ambition was to understand how they work towards having a happy team. And unfortunately, many of the initial replies were, "we have a full HR department, and they are handling this kind of stuff."
Now, we are telling you this story because we want to highlight how shocked we were by the great number of people who are confused about the role they should play in the organization.
That’s why we want to explain right from the start that keeping employees happy is a direct part of a continuous team improvement approach. And continuous team improvement is more closely linked to the team, not HR. Because let's face it, the improvement of each team is something only for the team.
We at Hapkey want to foster self-improving teams. We want to create a solution that gives teams more abilities to drive continuous team improvement, to be used by the leader and their team, not by the HR department.
But what exactly is continuous team improvement all about?
First of all, it is a notion that is closely related to the Cycle of Continual Process Improvement, also known as the Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) Cycle. And if this is the first time you are hearing about this, then you should know that this cycle has four repetitive steps.
Basically, it’s very much in line with the idea of closing the feedback loop between leaders and employees.
With the definition on the table, let's check out and try to understand the main features of continuous team improvement:
Does this sound like something the Human Resources department typically handles? We don’t think so.
But just to make a case and prove our perspective, let's look more in-depth.
Take HR, for one. This department is in charge of recruiting, managing payroll, and benefits. They oversee compliance with labor laws, offer employees training possibilities, etc. Basically, HR is responsible for ensuring that employees are empowered and productive.
In contrast, leaders are the ones that should identify and address issues that may be preventing teams from working together effectively and achieving their goals. And to do so, they may need to analyze data, conduct their own surveys or interviews, and use tools to improve teamwork.
And it’s not just us saying.
So to translate all of the above, HR is typically focused on the individual employee. In contrast, leaders who practice proper continuous team improvement focus on the team as a whole.
Of course, we don't want to tell people how to run a business. And most importantly, we don’t wish to imply what tools to use to keep everyone happy. We just want to help them realize that in today's business world, leaders need to step up and change their mentality. They need to 'take the bull by the horns' and not rely on HR to do their work as well.
In conclusion, we want to talk directly to you, the leader who understands how important this approach is. We want to highlight the crucial role you play in identifying and addressing issues within the team. Finally, we want to point out once more that continuous team improvement is crucial for your team and, indirectly, your organization's success. Because taking good care of your team members might save you not only your key players but also your business.
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