As a fellow Canuck, and hockey lover, I’m left utterly disappointed after the Vancouver Canucks loss earlier this week. Like many fans, I’m left wondering – what could our team have done differently? How can we improve for next season?

Instead of flipping cars, or trashing stores, I’ve decided to vent my grief by creating a brief list of tips for improving team performance. Had the Canucks applied these tips, perhaps they could’ve avoided defeat. Luckily for us, these tips arrive (hopefully) before an riots have been started about how our teams perform. We can all make use of these insights to help improve team performance.

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1. Lead by example

  • If you want your team to improve their performance, then improve yours! Be a model of what you want your team to look like.
  • Don’t just be the manager of the team, be part of it.

2. Constant Communication

  • Have a continuous flow of communication throughout the team. Make sure you’re involved too. Open communication is important for a team to work well together.
  • Make it easy and comfortable for employees to approach you.  If a team member can’t approach you, it creates a tense environment.
  • Regular, focused 1:1s help managers ensure their teams get the ongoing mentorship they need to learn faster and consistently achieve their goals. It should be about improving performance all year long, not just at review time.

3. Delegate

  • If you delegate effectively to team members, it liberates time for you to think about how to manage the team better. Make sure you delegate the responsibilities to the right people – it will keep them learning.

4. Hold them accountable

  • This is a hard part of the job, but very necessary! Stay on top of individual performances; if one person is lacking, the whole team will too.
  • Your expectations should be the same for everyone on the team. No special attention.
  • Often just a few team members will drag down the performance of the entire team and waste a lot of your time. Address performance issues immediately rather than waiting till a performance review!’
  • Learn from Stephen Miles, a Vice Chairman of Heidrick & Struggles on how to deal with under-performance.

5. Keep it light

  • You want people to enjoy their work, if they don’t, they won’t want to do their work.
  • Try scheduling something once a month to have fun with the group and interact outside of work.
  • As a manager you need to be a supporter of that fun!

While these tips may be particularly applicable to Vancouver Canucks Captain Henrik Sedin – they can be helpful for you and your team as well.

And if the Canucks, like many second place teams, decide to go through some ‘reorganization’ in the off season I hope they check out these tips from thought leader and executive coach, Stephen Miles on how to assemble your high performing team from scratch.