AC 1.1 Explain the importance of the team having a common sense of purpose that supports the overall vision and strategy of the organisation
For an organisation their vision is a seen as the big picture that they want to achieve. At ENWL the vision is “To be the leading energy delivery business”
The strategy is a set of smaller goals the organisation intend to achieve as part of the overall vision. Although an organisation will have just one vision it will have several strategies,
In any team it is important to have a shared sense of purpose that supports the overall vision and strategies of the organisation as it unites the team in working towards common goals and are motivated and engaged to achieve these goals. It also provides team members with an understanding of their role within the team and how this plays a part in that achieving the vision.
By having a shared sense of purpose it enables team members to work collaboratively in achieving the goal rather than working haphazardly to meet their objectives potentially at the risk or expense of other team members and ultimately of the organisation and allows everyone to share in the success of an organisation and motivating them to succeed both individually and within a team.
AC 1.2 Explain the role that communication plays in establishing a common sense of purpose
Communication plays a vital role in establishing and maintaining a common sense of purpose in an organisation. The way this communication is shared is also as important as the message as the style, frequency and person communicating can all have an impact of the message communicated. In order to maintain a shared sense of purpose the communications need to be targeted to fit the experiences and aspirations of the audience. They should also be clear and only focus on the points required.
Communication plays a role in creating job satisfaction for lower level employees. These employees may feel a need for senior leaders to demonstrate that they too live and work to the shared values of the organisation.
One to one communication between team members and their line manager such as one to one meetings and annual performance and development reviews are also key to creating sense of shared purpose. Top-down communication has a role in giving team members direction as well as a clear definition of the organisational goals
If these messages are not delivered effectively the team members will not focus their work towards achieving the goals, strategies and ultimately the vision of the organisation. This can lead them to feel disengaged and unvalued leading to poor morale and a higher turnover rate
AC 1.3 Assess the effectiveness of own communication skills on the basis of the above
I have assessed my own communication skills based on informal feedback and as part of my formal performance development review with my line manager. While I have not been in my current role for long I have had to develop my written communication skills and my presentation skills as I now have to deliver training to my team members.
While under taking the communication skills test (Appendix 1) I found that while I am comfortable having difficult conversations and that I check the understanding of others I need to work on my body language and preparation skills.
AC 2.1 Describe the main motivational factors in a work context and how these may apply to different situations, teams and individuals
Every team and team member will have a different set of factors that motivates them to do their best.
Motivation refers to the way in which an individual’s needs, goals and values influence their behaviour and how, from the management and leadership perspective, knowledge of this can be used to shape and strengthen people’s work related behaviours to improve performance.
Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is a theory of motivation comprising a five tiers of human needs, often depicted as hierarchical levels within a pyramid.
1. Biological and Physiological needs – air, food, drink, shelter, warmth, sex, sleep.
2. Safety needs – protection from elements, security, order, law, stability, freedom from fear.
3. Love and belongingness needs – friendship, intimacy, trust and acceptance, receiving and giving affection and love. Affiliating, being part of a group (family, friends, work).
4. Esteem needs – achievement, mastery, independence, status, dominance, prestige, self-respect, and respect from others.
5. Self-Actualization needs – realizing personal potential, self-fulfilment, seeking personal growth and peak experiences.
This theory applies to all businesses as team members require the basic needs before they can move up the pyramid. Without food the team member will become demotivated as they are hungry no matter how well their needs are met further up the pyramid.
AC 2.2 Explain the importance of a leader being able to motivate teams and individuals and gain their commitment to objectives
It is important for a leader to be able to motivate their team and team members as the leader plays a large part in setting the goals and objectives of the team and in making the work achievable, enjoyable and satisfying for those undertaking the tasks.
Leaders need to figure out what motivates each team member and the team as a whole so that the objectives can be modified to achieve agreed outcomes and satisfy all team members. Some team members may be motivated by financial gains, others by recognition and thanks and some by having a more positive work-life balance such as flexitime or they may need a combination of all these factors and more. A good leader should undertake one-on-ones to understand each of the team member’s career aspirations and any barriers to their progression. This creates a positive culture within the team and can be a moral boost for the team members when they feel their line manager has an interest in their career and progression.
In contrast a leader who does not show an interest will have a demotivation effect on a team as the team members will feel no matter how hard the work they will not receive praise and will have little opportunity for progression.
AC 2.3 Explain the role that the leader plays in supporting and developing the team and its members and give practical examples of when this will be necessary
Arguably one of the most important roles a leader plays in supporting and developing the team is to provide the team a sense of purpose. The leader is responsible for setting and defining the objectives and engaging with individuals in a team to work towards this. In large organisations such as ENWL there is an organisational vision and goal defined by the senior management team but this can seem irrelevant to junior team members. The team leader can set objectives that are focused on their teams own working practices and help to instil a sense of purpose and pride in their team and team members.
As a line manager I try to keep individual team members motivated by moving individuals around the team so they can gain experience and knowledge of the whole department this also helps the team have a better understanding of their colleagues work and where needed they can assist each other. Where I have more senior members of team I try to delegate some of my tasks to them as part of their development plan
This has allowed me to introduce a basic flexitime system in my team where team members can choose their start and finish times and can have either a morning or afternoon off once a fortnight.
Strongly like me Slightly like me Neither Slightly not like me Strongly not like me Learning points
I always speak clearly and concisely 5 4 3 2 1 Speaking clearly and concisely is important if you are to be understood. It can be useful to record yourself speaking to get an idea of how quickly and clearly you are talking and how concisely you actually express yourself. If you speak with a strong accent it can be particularly important to slow down and enunciate precisely.
I carefully manage my body language 5 4 3 2 1 Being aware of your body language can help you create the impact that you want to have. People draw cues about your meaning from your words, tone and body language so make sure that they are all congruent or you can cause confusion in the receiver.
I tend to speak before I think 1 2 3 4 5 This can be challenge for some people, particularly people who are strong extroverts who like to think aloud. The consequence of this can be that communication is unclear, disjoined or contradictory. You may say things you don’t mean. Try to make sure that you always think through what you want to say and why before you speak.
I always take the time to explain the context and background when I communicate with others 5 4 3 2 1 Understanding the context and background to a situation can be really important in helping people understand what you want them to do and why. It helps ensure that people are aligned and committed to the outcomes. It is always useful to start communications, particularly meetings, with a brief summary of why you are there and what you want to achieve.
I always try to understand the other person’s perspective 5 4 3 2 1 Thinking about the needs and perspectives of the other people means that you can tailor your approach to meet their needs, tailoring for example content, style or understanding level.
I tend to plan in advance what I’m going to say 5 4 3 2 1 It can be very useful to think through beforehand what you need to say. Many people mentally rehearse their communications in advance, particularly if they need to have a difficult or important conversation. This can help you plan what you’re going to say, consider the needs of the audience and think about any questions they might have.
I often anticipate what people are going to say and complete their sentences 1 2 3 4 5 It can be incredibly frustrating to have someone else anticipate what you’re saying and interrupt you; often they are not correct and have unnecessarily interrupted the flow of the conversation. It can also be seen as disrespectful. Always listen to what someone has to say, even if you think you know what you’re going to say, because they might surprise you.
I often use diagrams and charts to help explain things 5 4 3 2 1 People with a visual learning style can find charts and diagrams tremendously helpful for understanding what you are trying to communicate with them. It can be useful to think about how you can introduce a visual element to your communications.
I tend to check that the other person has understood what I said by asking them to paraphrase it 5 4 3 2 1 Getting someone to paraphrase back what they have heard you say can be a great way of checking that they heard what you wanted them to hear. It provides the opportunity to clarify misunderstandings and also encourages the receiver to think through what you’ve said which often helps them generate questions.
I tend to say what I want without worrying too much about the impact on the other person 1 2 3 4 5 It is always important to think about the likely impact of your communication on the receiver. You are unlikely to generate cooperation or engagement if you upset someone with a poor choice of words or sentiments. Being an effective leader requires you to flex your approach to meet the needs of the situation and individual, and this includes communications.
I always double check written communication before I send it 5 4 3 2 1 It is good practice to proofread your written communications. Not only does this ensure that your writing is credible, professional and free from errors, but it also enables you to check that you have expressed yourself clearly and concisely.
I am comfortable having difficult conversations 5 4 3 2 1 Having difficult conversations is a key skill for leaders and it is important that you are confident in your ability to do so. It can be helpful to ensure that you have a clear message and consider the possible responses of the other person in advance.
I often interrupt other people 1 2 3 4 5 Interrupting other people is rude and disrespectful and unlikely to facilitate effective communication or respect. You should avoid interrupting others, even if you have something really important to say. Wait until there is a suitable gap in the conversation.
People often say that they don’t understand me 1 2 3 4 5 If people say that they don’t understand you this is valuable feedback, ask them to explain why. Then use this information to make some changes. Unless it is understood communication is not effective.
I closely watch the body language of others 5 4 3 2 1 Body language can give you vital clues about how your message is being received and how the other person is feeling as a result of it. Take this on board and use it to modify your approach. For example if the person is leaning in and looking interested your approach is probably working, but if they suddenly lean back and stop smiling that suggests that you’ve probably said something they didn’t like and you have the opportunity to probe a bit more to find out why.
If I have a choice I always email someone rather than speak to them. 1 2 3 4 5 Email can be a very useful tool but it is limited and inappropriate for many communications. It is often better to talk to someone than send them an email because it promotes engagement, provides the opportunity for clarification, enables you to see their body language and is less likely to lead to misunderstandings.