Investing in Team Development: 6 Things Branch Managers need to think about

Man talking to staff

Investing in the development of your team can be hugely worthwhile. If you get it right, it results in increased performance and market share, along with development of a high-performing culture and an attractive, high-value employment brand.

By contrast, investing in team development can also be an incredibly expensive waste of time and money - and a frustrating process if you don’t get it right.

Here are six things you can do to begin to set up a Talent Development Programme that will grow your capability and that of your team:

1. Stop spending money on non-targeted solutions

Your capital is precious. The amount of money leaders in the real estate industry throw at training and motivational events that don’t produce any measurable results is staggering (It’s not for lack of good intent. It just lacks clarity on what is and isn’t a worthwhile investment for whom and at what time).

Don’t - waste your money on non-targeted solutions.
Do - invest time, energy and money on solutions that target individual’s specific capability gaps.

How do you work out what their capability gaps are? This will come down to two things; the type of culture you have developed, and your coaching skills.

2. Develop a learning culture that makes failure and conversations about struggle, safe

Real estate is a highly competitive, performance-oriented industry.

Ironically, the impact of this ‘performance-orientation’ means that learning - the precursor to performance - is not safe for many, because not knowing (and needing to learn) can be interpreted as a sign of weakness. Egos lead behaviour. People put on a face and self-protect. They only show the good stuff - the wins, the image.

Developing culture is one of the 4 Pillars to High Performance. As leaders we need to develop cultures where learning is openly celebrated, and conversations about failure and sharing where we’re struggling are safe.

That way, we can understand where our people need support and identify learning and development plans.

3. Help your team to create meaningful goals

Having clear goals is important for motivation. But it’s critical that your team’s goals are things they are deeply connected to, based on what they genuinely care about - not just arbitrary income figures that lack any traceable connection to their genuine aspirations and values.

If they don’t ‘start with a deep why’, the action they take - and any development they undertake - will likely be arbitrary and ineffective.

Engage in real conversations with your team members about what drives them and focus on creating a culture to support the achievement of their genuine aspirations.

4. Know what the critical elements of performance are - and how your people are performing against them

To develop your people, you need to understand what ‘performance’ actually looks like - broken down into technical and behavioural elements - and how they are performing against those elements.

This will enable you to work with them to create an effective learning and development plan - and support them over time to develop competency.

5. See yourself and your leadership development as a key part of your Talent Development programme - and invest in you

The success of your team is significantly influenced by what you do. This is not only true, it’s also an attitudinal choice of a professional manager. Amateur managers, by contrast, blame their underperforming team members for their disappointment and lack of results.

Your attitude and ability to coach your team effectively is critical to their development and success. After all, they don’t know what they don’t know - and that’s why and where they’ll be struggling to lift performance. It’s up to you to help them to fill in the gaps.

If you’re like most managers however, when it comes to helping your team develop, you’ll have your own learning gaps. It’s not enough to tell them what to do, assume they’ll do it, and then get frustrated when they don’t. You need effective leadership and coaching skills. If you don’t have them, get them.

6. Develop Talent Plans based on two things: a) Your team members goals and b) where they are currently in relation to them

For a plan to be robust (and effective), it needs to fall out of real clarity about two data points:

a) A clear vision for the outcome (what do you and your team want to achieve); and

b) Understanding where they are currently in relation to that vision - in detail (current competencies and competency gaps.)

Once you have these clear, the action plan should become immediately clear.

Talent development is a significant opportunity for managers. Doing it well will not only result in a happier, higher-performing team and have you stand out from the crowd - making recruitment and retention much easier - it will also help you to achieve your goals.

Jasmine Platt is a high-performance specialist. She consults with head agencies, franchise owners, and branch and sales managers to help them grow their teams, lift team performance and expand their market share. For further information, you can contact her directly on 021 37 5050 or visit her website