Highly Effective Practices for Building Teams

Senior Strategic Partner, Charles Parnell is a long standing expert in team development, having worked with thousands of individuals over the years in non-profit, for profit and governmental agencies. Teamwork is essential and is a continuous learning tool for all organizations if you truly want to continually develop your workforce.  Enjoy this week’s Power Idea.

The discourse in the global workforce is that work is focused on teams and processes. Let’s focus on the team component. Depending on the nature of the work, it may be best to focus on individual rather than team performance. It’s accurate to state that a significant amount of work lends itself to the team concept. A team is defined by multiple characteristics, but simply put it is a group of individuals working together to achieve a common goal. The members must rely on each other to achieve these goals. They share responsibilities for achieving mutually defined results and they also share the rewards. The relevant question is how you build a successful team. Here are some practices that are key to answering this question:

  • Hire talented players – look for players that have the requisite attitude, skills and passion for work and the desire to achieve results that can be measured
  • Communicate openly and candidly with team members at all times – it is the key to the success of the team. You must be specific about what you expect the team to accomplish. The members must be included in defining outcomes and deadlines for work output.
  • Ask for and expect feedback from team members – listen carefully and respond in a reasonable amount of time
  • Delegate decision making to the team members – don’t make decisions for the team or restrict them from making decisions. They will perform better when they feel empowered
  • Value and care about the team members.- they will sense this and be more committed to you and the organization
  • Provide the tools and resources needed for success – they will admire and respect you for making sure that they have what they need to be successful.
  • Promote team identity – establish a team identity that makes them feel good and gives them a sense of pride.

What Makes a Winning Team?

There are two key factors: tasks and relationships. What that means is that the task or performance, along with relationships or interpersonal dynamics must work together to achieve optimal results. It is critical to integrate the task with relationship behaviors. Teams need: a clearly defined mission and goals, ability to operate creatively, ability to build upon individual strengths, support from leadership and others, the ability to evaluate its own effectiveness and clearly defined responsibilities.

Studies have shown that all teams go through stages in their development. These stages are: Forming, Storming, Norming and Performing. Each stage has individualized characteristics. The size of the team doesn’t affect the outcome. It’s imperative that the team members are focused as they move through the stages for development.

The following are types of teams that are common in organizations: self-managed, self-directed, functional and cross functional, senior executive, middle management, process improvement, project, new design and virtual. It’s clear that if leaders understand the various types of teams and their functions, they will be able to form the most appropriate teams to get a job done.

There is tangible evidence that highly effective teams will increase the prospects of organizations meeting and exceeding their strategic goals. They will increase their market share and brand in the marketplace. They will increase their ability to attract and retain superior talent. SO LETS START AND COMPLETE THIS JOURNEY.

Have a Great Week!

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