So much of today’s business success depends upon team-building and collaboration. Building a strong team is not just important, it is essential for companies that want to be competitive and successful.
Here are some tips to help your company or department build a stronger team.
1. Foster open communication.
Team members will soon stop communicating honestly if they sense that open communication won’t be appreciated and valued. Fostering open communication means affirming all team members’ contributions so that they feel comfortable putting more ideas forward, which will lead to a better quality of ideas over time.
2. Find positives.
Keeping the atmosphere of the team positive will facilitate better functioning. Negativity like backbiting, put-downs, and lack of confidence will impede the team in numerous ways. Positivity removes these obstacles, resulting in stronger team progress.
3. Set goals collaboratively.
The team won’t function optimally without collaborative goal-setting. The team will be more likely to buy into goals it helped set, so it’s worth taking some time to meet and determine some long- and short-term goals to work toward.
4. Expect change.
Successful teams aren’t static – they change and develop constantly in order to reach goals and work with ever-greater productivity. Expecting – and even encouraging – things to stay the same not only isn’t practical, it won’t benefit the team in the long run.
5. Assign roles.
Each team member should have a specific role that contributes to the team. Teams need leaders, support members, and a variety of other position-specific roles that will depend on what the team is trying to accomplish. Specific roles will prevent duplication of efforts to maximize productivity.
6. Get to know each other.
A team whose members don’t know each other on a personal level will be at a disadvantage when trying to work cohesively together. Part of team-building is interacting on a personal level and finding out each others’ strengths and weaknesses as they relate to working together. It is impossible to completely separate the work self from who people are outside of work, so teams shouldn’t try.
Celebrating when the team meets goals, lands a big client or gets to the next level in development will serve to help the team bond and keep everyone motivated to continue producing. Celebrations can take many forms, from bonuses – if management will give them – to a party or reception that marks a job well done.
8. Make adjustments.
There will be glitches and bumps in the road for even the most successful teams. The best teams know how to make adjustments when something isn’t working and turn a negative into a positive. Periodic evaluations will give some insight into problems that need to be fixed and adjustments that need to be made to move the group forward.
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