Teams are necessary for many businesses. But to build a successful team, you must do more than find a group of people with various skills. They should all work well together and communicate with one another.
You should also give them a clear and measurable goal for what you want them to accomplish. While creating the right team can take time and effort, it is worth it if your company’s production and profits increase.
Fostering a Sense of Teamwork
The most important part of building a strong team is hiring the right people and delegating tasks that match their skills. With that in mind, your company’s team members should also focus on the right priorities.
Managers and company leaders should play a hands-on role to ensure that the team is cohesive and moving towards the right objectives. There are several drivers for creating a strong culture of teamwork. These include:
- Creating a clear course of action
- Having a shared scoreboard
- Giving frequent reminders to team members
- Creating the team’s culture
- Showing respect to your team members
- Setting the tone
- Requiring accountability
- Communicating clearly
- Setting expectations for feedback
Creating a Clear Course of Action
Your team(s) will produce better results if they know where they are going. So it’s essential to lay out a course of action that includes goals and milestones for measuring progress.
While this might sound simple, it can be challenging. One of the most complex parts of creating a clear course of action is listing “too many” priorities. Jim Collins, the author of best-selling management books “Built to Last” and “Good to Great,” says, “If you have more than three priorities, you don’t have any.” Therefore, you must narrow down the most important objective and how you will measure your team’s success along the way. You should also make your plan simple so that it is easy for team members to grasp.
Having a Shared Scorecard
Another benefit to keeping your plan simple is creating a shared goal for your team to work towards. For example, a baseball team has players with different responsibilities, but they are all working towards the same goal. In this case, it is winning the game.
The shared scoreboard lets them know whether or not they are achieving that objective. Some experts feel that metrics are the best way to harmonize a large number of people. That way, they can all make decisions while knowing they are aligned with the rest of the company.
In contrast, if you do not have a scoreboard or another form of measurement, people will make up their ways to measure success, and these methods might not align with your company’s goals. Further, in companies where team members have their own ways of keeping score, there will likely be more arguing and fighting, which can be counterproductive.
Giving Frequent Reminders to Team Members
When you have a plan in place, you must continue reminding your team members of the priorities, even if it feels repetitive. People often have to hear something several times before they remember it.
Creating the Team’s Culture
Your company and team members need a set of values, behaviors, and cultural guidelines so that everyone knows how to work together. This means that your business will and won’t tolerate certain behaviors.
Because all companies are different, there are no specific rules about developing your team’s culture. For instance, in some cases, the company’s upper management will set the culture; in others, top executives will turn this task over to the employees.
After your company and team(s) have a culture in place, the next step is to live by it. This includes far more than just going through the motions. You can do some things to ensure your team will abide by the company’s culture, such as:
- Keeping task lists short. Many people cannot remember more than three things on a day-to-day basis. Focus only on the items unique to the group or organization. This can keep everyone aligned and moving forward.
- Providing specific values. If you use broad terms like “integrity” or “excellence,” team members may interpret them differently. Because of that, you should use specific words to promote the company’s values to your team.
Showing Respect to Your Team Members
If your team feels you don’t respect them, they won’t be motivated to perform well. Therefore, you should show respect to your team members. This can include allowing them to share their ideas and not micromanaging them.
Setting the Tone
Company leaders need to set a tone and model the behavior that everyone respects each other. While you do not have to become close friends with your employees, you should listen when they have a problem or concern and allow them to give feedback without worrying about backlash.
Teams are stronger when everyone delivers on their roles. This is why all team members should be held accountable. Otherwise, if one person doesn’t come through, it can negatively impact the entire group and the desired outcome.
Setting Expectations for Feedback
Setting expectations for feedback is another component of building your team. For example, some managers tell their employees that they will give them frequent feedback, so team members won’t be alarmed when it occurs. They will also be more open to hearing it and acting on it.
Does Your Company Have Strong Employee Teams?
Productive teams can significantly impact your company’s productivity and profitability. Therefore, you should focus on ensuring that your employee teams work together towards common goals. A team-building specialist can help you with a step-by-step approach to achieving your company’s objectives.