If you lead people you understand how difficult it actually is. Often we just wish that someone give us the top tips for top teams. Teams are a great way to work. There is strength in numbers, and a robust team can get just about any job done that is assigned to it. But, there are ways to build a strong, dynamic team and these tips can help.
- Shift the Focus Away from the Individual
There is a reason why people cite the overused phrase, “there’s no ‘i’ in team.” This is largely because teams work best when they function as a unit. It’s as true in business as it is in sports or any other activity. Think about sports teams who have a few hotdogs. Except in rare instances, the team does not do well when this occurs. A cohesive team always performs best.
- Set Goals with Team in Mind
There are plenty of dependencies that need to be considered when working in a team. Each member will contribute, and this needs a coordinated effort. When planning projects for a team, managers should get buy-ins from each member but with the team as a whole.
- Ensure Proper Communication
Without communication, members of the team will end up doing their own activities, without regard to how it affects the team. It’s important to coordinate all the activities of each member. This responsibility falls on the manager. However, certain team members will take the lead to make sure the team is functioning properly.
- Consider Activities Outside the Office
Strong teams occur when the team members know each other, inside-and-out. This doesn’t usually happen in the office environment alone. Interacting outside the office is important for team dynamics. It can be as simple as meeting once a week for drinks after work. The more activities outside the office the team gets involved with, the better.
- Team Building Activities That Help Others
More companies are discovering that having their teams get involved with volunteering can help to build the sense of community of the team. It feels good to help people, and this carries through to the team dynamic. The team can relate their experiences to each other which serves to strengthen the group.
- Have Fun as a Team
There is no rule that says you can’t have fun when working in a team. Try to set up activities in the workplace where members of the team can have fun while working. This takes some buy-in from management. But if teams show they are more productive when they have fun, management shouldn’t have a problem with letting that happen.
- Dealing with Problems
Overall, teams figure out how to handle problems that happen within. They step up and help out a weak member. However, this cannot continue on indefinitely and sometimes a manager will have to take control of the situation. It’s always best to let the team try to work it out first.
Think of two different types of external events that you and your team can participate in. If you are the leader of the team, ask each member to do the same. You could turn this into a monthly event where members alternate with the responsibility. Create a journal for the team that records solutions to problems the team has dealt with. This gives the team something to reference should they ever come across a similar problem in the future. Don’t rely on the memories of the team. Sometimes, problems can present themselves many months or even years later. The team may not have all of the same members as it did when the problem first occurred. Help out a weaker member of the team. Sometimes, all it takes to have the person turn around is to show them what to do. Other members can gang up on the weaker members. By diverting the situation, you can strengthen the weaker member and advocate on their behalf. Monitor their progress and if it continues to be a problem, consider working with your manager for solutions.