Managing a group of people can be tricky. You’re likely to have a variety of different personalities, ambitions and work styles to deal with. In order to motivate and engage each and every one of them, you need to take that disparate group of people and transform them into an effective team.
First of all, what do we mean by “effective team”. An effective team is one that functions without any undue conflict. Its members work to support each other, maximizing their individual strengths and overcoming any weaknesses. Effective teams work productively and with motivation, all with an awareness of their final shared goal.
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If you feel your team dynamic needs some work, here are seven steps for transforming your workgroup into an effective team:
1. Establish Team Goals
Shared team goals are essential for team motivation. Make sure team members understand the role they are to play in helping the team to achieve its goals. When everyone feels they are working with purpose, they’re more likely to pull together and work productively.
2. Define Roles
Clearly defined roles within a team help your operations to run without a hiccup. You won’t have one person stepping on another’s toes or team members confused about who has responsibility for what. You’ll also be encouraging your employees to take ownership and accountability for their own particular area of a project.
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3. Hire with Team Culture in Mind
When you’re hiring new additions to your team, think about the overall team dynamic. You need to know that any new employees are going to fit within the team you have created. In interviews ask questions that focus on this aspect of team culture to determine whether this prospective hire has the skills and the outlook to gel well with teammates.
4. Encourage Good Communication
Good communication lies at the heart of any well-functioning team. Set the example by being transparent and clear in all communications. You should also find a way for team members to share information, be it a regular meeting or a shared whiteboard. Keeping up to date with any deadlines and goals is also important. That way others can step in to lend a hand with a particularly heavy workload when necessary.
5. Encourage Collaboration
No manager looking to create a cohesive team should try to foster an atmosphere of competition or excessive pressure. If team members feel they are being judged at every turn they’re unlikely to reach out for support from their manager or teammates. Encouraging a culture of collaboration and asking for help when it’s needed will bond your team and produce better results too.
6. Be Fair and Consistent
Nothing breeds resentment within a team quite like a manager who demonstrates favoritism. Whilst you need to recognize the individual personalities of your team members, try to treat everyone equally and be consistent in your approach. Everyone will feel equally valued and feel that their opinions carry equal weight, thus improving your staff engagement and retention.
7. Celebrate Team Successes
A celebration is a great way to bring the team together in a more informal setting. Whether it’s a tea and cake break in the office or a night out on the tiles, celebrations can help your team to bond and learn more about one another. This kind of regular praise and acknowledgment also works wonders for team morale and motivation.
Developing and managing effective teams is a challenging part of a manager’s role. However, when you’ve successfully brought a team together and see everyone within that team working happily and to their full potential, it makes your work life a whole lot easier in the long run.
Sienna Walker is an experienced business and careers blogger, currently supporting Aubiz. She enjoys writing about unique ways both businesses and individuals can improve themselves and grow stronger. Feel free to follow Sienna on @SiennaWalkerS.