Small Steps to Becoming an Outcome Focused Team
You’ve been talking about becoming a more outcome-focused team but haven’t made much progress. Don’t worry, it’s not as hard as it seems if you take it step by step. The key is starting with some simple changes. Before you know it, your team will be achieving more than ever by staying laser-focused on outcomes.
The truth is, most teams get bogged down in activity and busywork. They confuse having lots of meetings and discussions with real progress. What they’re missing is a clear vision of the outcomes and results that actually matter. Once your team aligns on the key outcomes that will drive impact, the path forward becomes much clearer.
The good news is you don’t have to overhaul everything at once. In fact, that approach usually backfires. Instead, pick a few easy wins to get the momentum going. Choose one outcome you all agree is critical to focus on. Then identify a few small changes to your routines and habits that will drive measurable progress on that outcome each and every week.
Celebrate those wins, no matter how small. Let your success motivate you to strengthen your outcome-focused muscles. Tackle the next outcome on your list. Before you know it, you’ll be achieving at a whole new level and wondering how you ever worked any other way. The secret lies in starting small but thinking big. Your high-performance, outcome-focused team is within reach if you just take that first step.
Define What It Means to Be Outcome Focused
To become an outcome-focused team, first you need to define what that actually means. An outcome-focused team concentrates on the end results and impact of their work, not just the tasks or activities. They ask themselves questions like:
•What are we ultimately trying to achieve?
•What difference will we make?
•What will change or improve as a result of our efforts?
Discussing these questions with your team will help provide clarity and alignment on your shared goals and objectives.
Once you have a clear vision of the outcomes you want to accomplish, break down how you’ll get there into concrete and measurable steps. For each activity or task, consider how it connects back to the broader outcomes. If something is not directly contributing, it may not be the best use of your time.
Review your progress regularly and make adjustments as needed to stay on track. Celebrate wins, big and small, to keep morale and motivation high. An outcome-focused team is always evolving and improving to maximize their impact.
Becoming outcome-focused is a journey, not a destination. Start by choosing one outcome to focus on and build up from there. You’ll develop new habits and mindsets over time through practice and persistence. With work, your team can transform into a high-performing group that delivers real results. Focusing on outcomes, not just outputs, is the key to next-level achievement.
Keep at it and stay focused on what really matters – the difference you make, not just the work you do. Before you know it, you’ll be an outcome-focused team achieving at a whole new level.
Assess Your Team’s Current Focus
To become an outcome-focused team, you first need to assess how focused on outcomes your team currently is. Ask yourself these questions:
- Do you have clear key outcomes defined for your team? If not, make defining 2-3 key outcomes your first priority. These should align with organizational goals and priorities.
- Does your team regularly review progress towards these outcomes? If not, schedule time each week or month to review metrics, key results, milestones, blockers, and next steps. Celebrate wins, big and small, along the way.
- Are individual team members’ goals and key results aligned with the team’s key outcomes? If not, work with each team member to ensure their goals support the outcomes that matter most. Provide coaching and resources to help them achieve their goals.
- Does your team spend more time discussing activities and tasks rather than the results and impact of their work? Shift the focus of your meetings and conversations to outcomes and results. Ask open-ended questions to encourage new thinking.
- Is your team recognized and rewarded based on achieving outcomes or just for effort and hours worked? Work with leadership to implement a reward system focused on outcomes and impact. Both team and individual contributions should be rewarded.
Making a few simple changes by assessing your current focus, defining key outcomes, reviewing progress routinely, aligning individual goals, shifting meeting focus, and reward outcomes can help significantly increase your team’s outcome-focused results. Focus on outcomes, celebrate small wins, and continue making progress each and every week. Before you know it, you’ll become a highly outcome-focused team!
Set Clear Goals and Metrics for Success
To become an outcome-focused team, start by setting clear goals and metrics to track your progress. Think about what your team wants to achieve and how you’ll measure success.
Define Your Goals
Get input from all team members on the key results or outcomes you want to accomplish. Come to a consensus on 3 to 5 concrete and measurable goals to focus on over the next quarter or year. For example, increasing customer satisfaction by 20%, improving productivity by 10%, or reducing costs by 15%. Write down your agreed upon goals and share them with the whole team so everyone is on the same page.
For each goal, determine 1 to 3 metrics you’ll use to evaluate your progress. Metrics could be things like:
- Customer satisfaction scores from surveys
- Number of support tickets closed
- Revenue generated
- Costs reduced
Review metrics regularly to make sure they are still relevant and helping motivate the right behaviors. Update or replace them as needed.
Track and Report Progress
Assign responsibility for monitoring metrics and report on progress during team meetings. This helps keep goals top of mind and allows you to make adjustments to stay on track. If you see you are behind on a goal, brainstorm ways to improve as a team. Celebrate wins, both big and small, to keep morale and motivation high.
Becoming an outcome-focused team is a journey. By setting clear goals, choosing good metrics, and consistently tracking progress, your team will build the habit of aligning daily priorities and decisions with the results that really matter. Make incremental improvements over time, learn from both successes and failures, and your team will achieve amazing outcomes.
Adopt an Experimentation Mindset
To become an outcome-focused team, adopt an experimentation mindset. Try new ways of working together, evaluate what’s effective, and make changes as needed.
Don’t overhaul your team’s entire way of working at once. Pick one new routine or process to implement, like a weekly check-in meeting or a shared project schedule. Test it out for a few weeks and see how it impacts team productivity and dynamics. Make tweaks as needed before introducing something else new.
When testing a new approach, determine clear metrics for success ahead of time so you can properly evaluate it. Track things like project completion rates, client satisfaction scores, or employee engagement surveys. Review the data as a team to determine if the new method is achieving the desired outcomes. Be willing to accept if something isn’t working and try a different tact.
Solicit regular feedback from team members on what’s working well and what could be improved. Create an open environment where people feel comfortable providing constructive criticism. Anonymous surveys or one-on-one conversations may make some team members more inclined to share their honest opinions.
Don’t continue with something that isn’t yielding good results. If your experiment isn’t achieving the outcomes you’d hoped for, make adjustments or try something else. As a team, determine what you learned from the experience and what you want to modify to improve future experiments.
An experimentation mindset takes an iterative approach to change. Make incremental changes, evaluate the results, get input, make more changes. Repeat this cycle frequently and your team will continue evolving to become more outcome-focused over time. With small steps and an openness to learning, your team can transform into one focused on achieving results.
Celebrate Achievements Along the Way
Celebrating wins, no matter how small, is key to building an outcome-focused team. Recognizing achievements along the way keeps your team motivated and engaged in the overall goal.
As a team lead, make a point to call out any progress, milestones met, or objectives achieved. Whether in meetings, team communications or one-on-one, highlight the work that’s driving results. Say something like:
- “Great job delivering that project on time. Meeting deadlines is so important to our success.”
- “The client feedback on your presentation was fantastic. Your hard work and attention to detail really paid off.”
- “I appreciate all the extra effort this week. It’s making a difference and I’ve noticed the difference.”
Provide rewards and incentives
Offer rewards and incentives, monetary or otherwise, for achieving key outcomes. This could be a team lunch, extra PTO day, gift card or spot bonus. Tie rewards directly to specific targets or KPIs to keep the focus on outcomes.
Celebrate bigger wins
For major achievements or when your team hits an important milestone, celebrate in a bigger way. Throw a party, take the team out for a nice dinner or do an engaging team building activity. Make celebrations memorable to keep motivation and morale high.
While staying focused on the end goal, celebrating progress along the journey makes the work rewarding and worthwhile. An outcome-focused team that takes the time to recognize and appreciate achievements will sustain the motivation and energy needed to drive results. Keep your team engaged by highlighting the wins, big and small, that are moving you closer to success.
So there you have it, a few small but impactful steps your team can take to become more outcome-focused. Don’t underestimate the power of small changes – they can truly transform how you work together over time. Focusing on outcomes, not activities, is the key to achieving real results. Staying aligned on priorities, giving constructive feedback, and learning from both successes and failures will put your team on the fast track to high performance. The best part is, these steps don’t require a big investment or overhaul to implement. You can start today by picking one area to focus on, make a plan to improve, and go from there. Becoming an outcome-focused team is absolutely within your reach if you take it day by day. Start small, think big, and keep your eyes on the prize – achieving awesome outcomes together. You’ve got this! Now go out there and start achieving.