Teams do not come ‘ready-assembled’ – they are like furniture flat-packs meaning you must build them yourself. Even when you have a high-performance team, things can go wrong so building never really stops!
Top Tips for on Great Teams
In my experience, here are my top tips for building a great team.
- Select the right people
Unless you are starting up a new team, most of do not get to select everyone on our team – we might inherit some people or be required to include others such as when creating a new project team. If you do have the opportunity to recruit new team members, think carefully. Consider the mix of skills you already have in your team and new skills the team will need in the future. Think about the mix of personalities and remember that diversity is something to encourage.
- Plan how to introduce new team members
Think about your ‘on-boarding process’. When would be the right time to introduce a new team member? How will you introduce them to everyone else? How will you induct and train them? Remember, the successful introduction of a new team member can set them up for success or failure!
- Set specific goals for the team
All teams need a sense of purpose and direction. As the team leader, you need to determine the team’s goals and objectives. You also play a key role in setting the team’s values and holding everyone accountable to you and to each other – how will you do this?
- Be a role model
Lead from the front and demonstrate the behaviours and values that you want your team to develop and use. If you want your team to be on time, then you need to be on time. If you want your team to meet deadlines, then you must meet your deadlines.
- Cut out toxic behaviour
Conflict and toxic behaviour are relatively common within teams. The key is to ‘nip it in the bud’ before it spirals out of control. If you let things slip, teamworking, communication and feeling valued will soon be lost – once lost, it is hard to re-capture it.
- Diversity and differences of opinion is a good thing
The problem with lots of teams is ‘group-think’. Often people from the same backgrounds and experiences share common ideas and opinions. To avoid this, encourage diversity and different ideas and approaches and view diversity as a strength.
- Make time for your team
Even the best teams want to be valued. Chat to them. Listen to them. Learn from them and acknowledge their skills and achievements. If you manage a remote team, then you need to work even harder on making the time for your team.
- Make time for team members
Never forget that teams are made up of individuals. Chat to them. Listen to them. Learn from them and acknowledge their skills and achievements. Remember, we all like to feel valued and special, but make sure you do not have favourites, or you might find yourself having contributed to a ‘toxic’ culture (see number 5).
- Develop, delegate and deliver
You have the right mix of personalities and skills in your team. You have discussed and agreed team and individual objectives. You have been leading by example, the next top tip is to make sure you continue developing your team, by delegating responsibility for results and delivery. If you need to make more time (for the team or individual team members) then do so – the outcome will be productivity and performance.
In my experience working on team-working is never finished!
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