Blog No.4 – Roles
It’s not quite Netflix, but if you have been following the series so far, you’ll know that these blogs are lifting the lid on Performance Climate System (PCS). It is the leadership and team performance analytical tool built around the concept of organisational Climate. Simply, how leadership affects climate and how climate drives team performance.
Today’s episode focusses on the second of the six foundation blocks that PCS evaluates. Starting with Goals last week, we now move on to Roles. If you are reading this out of sequence, next week we will discuss Processes, then Adaptability, Connection and Resilience in the weeks thereafter.
What we mean by…..
Roles: the right internal organisation of team strengths and capabilities
The theory is straight forward. Acting on it and constantly refining it is where the skill lies. In thinking about Roles, we are really exploring role clarity and the contribution of the different players in the team. It is the ‘Who’ of team performance. In high performing teams, each team member fully understands their own role and responsibilities. They also understand what others do in the team and can take over or cover gaps when necessary. The leader’s task is fundamental in ensuring sufficient people with the necessary balance of skills are deployed in the right areas. We call it team balance. PCS also assesses the extent to which the team feels it has the right resources and structure to deliver on the goals and objectives.
Alongside our own frameworks, the PCS Pro report analysis also incorporates Dr Bruce Tuckman’s ‘Stages of Team Development’ model. Of the stages that Tuckman defines (Forming, Storming, Norming and Performing), getting ‘Roles’ right should be a key component during the ‘forming’ stage of team development. Possible subsequent role conflict is a significant cause of competing behaviours in a ‘storming’ team.
Roles, in more detail:
As with each of PCS’s six leadership pillars, Roles is broken down in to three elements:
Roles & Responsibilities: Do team members have clear roles and responsibilities that are aligned to the team purpose (itself based on ‘Goals’ – see previous blog #3)? PCS assesses whether actual, detailed and effective job descriptions are in place and covering relevant skills. It ensures that they are backed up by appropriate induction and understanding of responsibilities across a team. It also looks at boundaries, gaps and overlaps between individuals’ terms of reference.
Team Balance: Are the right people, with the right skills, in the right roles. Namely, is it genuinely clear to everyone that the necessary capabilities and capacities are embedded, in order to deliver on the team’s Goal-led output? Equally, what is being done to address gaps, empower flexibility, ensure currency of skills and validate that the team balance can deliver on the team’s purpose.
Resources & Structure: Is the team and organisation structured and resourced effectively to deliver high performance? In this section, PCS validates that the right resources are in place for the team to effectively achieve its mandate, whilst verifying that the team structure is actually right for purpose. Equally, could either resources or structure be better or more optimal now whilst also future-proofed so far as possible?
Once all these ‘Roles’ factors are clearly established, based on the vision set within PCS’s ‘Goals’ pillar, any team ought to be well placed to move on to look at how it will drive its productivity and performance. In next week’s instalment we will delve in to PCS’ take on assessing organisational ‘Processes’.
Toby Ellison, May 2020
Are the roles clear in your team?
If you’re a HR or L&D leader looking for an objective and analytical way to assess how your remote teams and their leaders are performing in the current climate, look no further than our PCS Lite tool. Quick, simple and online, PCS Lite is a survey-based tool which gives you a snap-shot of how your teams and leaders are performing in 6 key areas critical to team performance and wellbeing. The resulting report will highlight areas for attention and give practical advice on how to improve them resulting in happier, healthier and more productive teams. Try PCS Lite here.