Turn your employees into a true team
If you’ve ever had the pleasure of working with a great true team of people, you know first hand how wonderful that is. A great team can work together, discuss ideas, disagree respectfully, reach consensus, and get things done all while allowing each member to work to their strengths. On the other hand, if you’ve worked with a team that just couldn’t pull together, you know what a toxic and miserable situation that can create. If you have a group of employees that you would like to turn into a cohesive team, you definitely have a challenge ahead of you. Fortunately, it is possible to get almost any group of individuals to work as a great team. You can start by putting the following tips into action.
Clarity on roles
When your staff lacks clarity about their roles and responsibilities, negative things can happen. People will unintentionally step on other team member’s toes
Many leaders choose to only have a post-mortem session if a project has gone poorly. This is a mistake because there are always new insights to be gained from any team experience. Even those that have gone very well. In fact, it may be easier for your team to discuss process improvement after a very successful project. This is because they’ll be feeling positive and upbeat. After a failure, there may be hurt feelings, stress, and other barriers to figuring out ways to improve.
Your team members should know that you are always there to provide direction and guidance. However, you want to be careful about creating a situation where you are brought into the mix the minute conflict or a problem without easy resolution crops up. When team members are are formed and the team becomes stronger as a result.
If you want a true team that works efficiently and effectively together don’t forget to give them the tools that will help them accomplish this. What works for your particular organization depends on your specific needs. For example, if you have team members in remote locations, you’ll want to find a good app for video conferencing. You may want to provide any software or guides for time management. Finally, you might want to provide an app that makes it possible to collaborate on and share documents. Just be sure that a lack of technology isn’t acting as a barrier to getting things done.
Provide incentives and rewards that are meaningful
First of all, sincerely delivered, specific words of praise are very effective in motivating members of your team. Even so, there are going to be times when you want to provide incentives and rewards beyond verbal encouragement. This is a great idea, as long as the things you provide are meaningful to all team members. Here’s an example. If you reward your team with a night at the ballpark, that’s a great way to thank them for their hard work, as long as everybody on the team is a baseball fan. On the other hand, catered lunches, time off, gift cards, and small cash bonuses tend to work well in nearly every situation.
Get to know them
As a leader, it is your job to know every member of your team. This means understanding their goals, talents, motivations, expectations, and the management style that works best for them. It is very important to remember that none of these things is static. Life circumstances, exposure to new things and a variety of other factors can cause any of things to change. Because of this, you should schedule regular one on one meetings. This is so you always know what each team member needs from you. Be sure that you are making the best use of each team members talents. Most importantly, you want to ensure that you are doing what a good leader does which is to help your team members find success.
Be your teams best example
Your behaviour in the workplace will absolutely set the tone that your team will follow. If you model cooperation, respect, the ability to gracefully handle conflict, and a willingness to take ownership of your mistakes, that is what your team will emulate. If they witness you using your position to get your way during conflicts, passing blame, and subjecting others to angry outbursts, your words about working well together will fall flat.
Team Building that works
There is a wide variety of team building activities that you can use to motivate your team. These can encourage them to work better together. These can include weekend retreats where team members are guided by a professional facilitator, through a series of planned activities. There are options for providing fun activities for team members to engage in during the workday. In fact, some entrepreneurs are putting ping pong tables in their offices to encourage friendly competition and social interaction between team members.
Together all of these approaches can help you turn your employees into a true team.
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