Building an effective and productive team requires a lot of effort - not only from the team leader but its members as well. Successful teams are productive not because members never disagree, but because they work their differences along the way.
Many factors can determine the effectiveness and productivity of a group including the size of the group and characteristics of its members; the stages of its developments or the tasks the group has to undertake, the kind of organisation in which the group is working, the group leader and of course their group communication.
So, here are some tips on how to build an effective and productive team:
#1 Clarify common and individual goals
Group goals much be clearly understood and should be relevant to the needs of the team members. Clarifying common goals will help you have a clear idea on your target and given deadlines - if they are any. These are clarified at the beginning but can be changed along the way so that there is a good match between individual and common purposes. Each member’s contribution counts towards the team’s performance and success so each one needs to show a high level of commitment to their common cause.
#2 Assess team behaviours
A key concept that is relevant to team working is cohesion. In order to achieve unity your group needs to be working in an environment that promotes high levels of inclusion, acceptance, support and trust. Obviously this will depend on the behaviours of each individual, starting from the way they choose to deal with other members of the team. So every now and then check if team members are satisfied with what has been said to ensure that everyone is on the same page.
#3 Participation and leadership distributed among members
In order to be effective, a team needs members who can be both leaders and participants. Although usually at workplaces there is a pre-elected leader within the team - either a boss or a manager, leadership can and should be distributed among members. Every member should be allowed to express their opinion and not be afraid of proposing their ideas to the rest of the team. Thus, there should be a two-way communication and open dialogue between group members.
#4 Conflicts should be encouraged and managed constructively
You shouldn’t be afraid of group conflicts; on the contrary you should consider controversy as a positive key to member’s involvement. Conflicts can actually produce constructive ideas and improve group performance and the quality and originality of decisions ensuring that the team is in good working condition. Here are some ways to successfully resolve conflicts:
- Ensure that team members have the chance to explain the problem as they see it.
- Establish rules so that members have the opportunity to express their opinion without being interrupted or mocked.
- Encourage members to solve problems themselves outside the group. If it doesn’t work, make sure that you or the leader is able to help them build conflict resolution skills for the future.
#5 Communicate success and progress
Whenever possible, review your performance and progress and let the whole company know what the team has accomplished. Make sure that you refer to each team member individually and reward them for their contribution and teamwork. Lastly, be prepared to receive and give feedback and encourage other members to do that as well.
By following the tips in this article, you will ensure that your team members are enjoying working with you and other colleagues as part of a team that promotes productivity and effectiveness in the workplace.
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