Teams that stand still and do not progress as a group will never be considered as high-performing over a long period of time. It is essential for continued success to ensure team members continue to acquire knowledge and skills over time.
Creating a "Learning Culture"
As a manager, you can make sure this happens by creating a 'learning culture' within the team. Despite managers being able to play a role here, it is also up to team members to proactively search for development opportunities.
An open and collaborative environment is also conducive to team learning, as it allows team members to learn from their mistakes and the strengths of their teammates.
There are a number of measures that can be taken, by managers and team members, to help to create this learning environment:
- The most obvious is the introduction of training and development programmes. These formal initiatives should be compulsory for all team members and present an opportunity for classroom-style learning, possibly culminating in a qualification.
- It is also important that every individual fully understands their responsibilities and the overall aims of the business. This ensures they can seek out development opportunities that are relevant to what is required of them.
- It is also the responsibility of leaders to act as coaches in this scenario. Individuals with more experience and a wider skill-set can help the junior members of the team by sharing knowledge and supporting their development.