We’ve all been a part of a team a time or two; whether it was in school or later on in life. The team experience for some can be a nightmare, but it doesn’t have to be. In the workplace, building an effective team is an art built on much more than just bringing coworkers together and giving them a task. Here are some tips to help you to build a stronger team in your workplace:
Leadership: There should be a strong, yet understanding team leader. While making decisions together is important, having a team leader to provide direction, assess progress, and inspire and motivate is most effective. The team leader should also be able to guide the team to reevaluate and improve its practices and discuss things that may be impeding its ability to improve.
Set Clear Goals: Make sure there are clear and concise goals and that everyone on the team understands them. All members need to understand how their efforts are contributing to the larger objective of either their department and/or the organization.
Encourage Effective Communication: People want to be heard. Everyone on the team should be able to trust each other and feel comfortable communicating no matter what the topic. Team members should be taught how to respond constructively when tension arises.
Understanding Each Other: Each team member is unique and has their own opinion to express and everyone should be encouraged to do so. It is important that all team members understand that there are no stupid ideas and that they won’t be put down for making suggestions. Respect one another and understand that varying opinions are what make team work so great. Get to know each other as people, not just professionals. Because being able to play well together is as important as working well together. Tension in a group often times stifles creativity.
Trust and Respect: Team members need to remember that there are several different types of communicators and not everyone is going to speak up and participate equally, if they feel they are not able to trust others. Team members should be honest and respectful to one another. Respect is essential to team building because once trust is lost within a team it is the most difficult characteristic to regain.
Stay engaged: If the team seems to be losing momentum, consider stepping outside the workplace to participate in a fun activity as a group or participate in a brain challenging exercise within the office in order to regain momentum. Often these activities create a new dialogue and help to ignite interest once again.
Recognize & Reward: Give positive feedback to each other whenever there is an opportunity. When progress is made reward the group and make sure everyone knows they are valued. Also, it is important to make sure that every team member knows that their efforts are going to be appreciated and that no one team member is going to get credit for the work of the entire group. Being part of an effective, efficient and productive team leads to greater success, whether it is working towards the completion of a project or the attainment of a financial goal. Utilize the tips above and you will be that much closer to having that high performance work group within your organization.
For additional information on team building, please contact New Focus HR, LLC.
Written by: Kristen Deutsch, M.B.A., CCP