TIPS FOR BUILDING SUCCESSFUL TEAMS
- Encourage diversity of skills and personalities amongst the team.Team success is a near certainty when all team members maximize their strengths, compensate for their peer’s weaknesses and when different personality types complement and balance each other.
- Build trust between team members. Trust comes through knowing each other, and team members feeling they can rely on others if they need help with what they are working on. New teams can benefit from team building activities which focus on building trust.
- Inspire a common vision. Belonging to a team means feeling part of something bigger than yourself. In a team-oriented environment, you contribute to the overall success of the organization. The team leader and all team members can play a role in identifying a common vision which unifies the team. This could include developing a team mission statement which sets out the team objectives and how the team contributes to the organizational goals.
- Examine your reward systems. Does your new team work environment support individuals working on their personal goals rather than team efforts? Pay systems typically recognize and reward achievements from individual employees, while performance management systems, appraisals and even promotion focus on workers’ personal goals. Establishing a new team can provide an opportunity to change the focus to be more team and group oriented.
- Involve the team in decision making. Each person on a team needs to feel that they have played an important part in reaching the team’s goals. Involving team members in decision making encourages shared ownership of outcomes. Although it is not always the case, a team that debates a decision until consensus is reached often arrives at better decisions.
- Develop transparency and awareness of what team members are working on. If teams understand who is currently working on what, this can help bring the team together and prevent internal tensions. As an example, you could post each team members current projects on a board. For a new team, this type of awareness of the role each person or sub-team plays in the bigger picture is even more important than for existing teams. It encourages collaboration and helps people understand how they can best support their colleagues.