How to build an effective team?

The organizational chart displays not just the internal structure of the organization but also many other aspects. They include the various departments or units, their roles and responsibilities, categories of skills based on roles, and above all the relationships between individuals within the firm. As a new hire, there’s a lot that can be gauged from an organizational chart, especially where you fit in within the structure and your relationship with the rest of the members.

Now coming to the point, this blog is not about organizational charts but about teams and how they are built. I started with a brief about the organizational chart to bring to your notice that, when you look at your company chart, you will realize that irrespective of the type of structure – hierarchical or flat, teams are created and grouped based on either skills or roles and responsibilities. According to a survey, teamwork boosts the rate of successful innovations by an average of 15%. Hence, teams are the key entities that contribute to the growth of an organization. So, what makes teams click or rather how do you ensure that you have a high-performing team? You start by building the right team first. Let us look at the crucial steps to adhere to while building an effective team.

The right leadership and right team members

The source and efficiency of any team come from its leader. Hence, you must possess exceptional leadership skills to be in a position to envision the kind of team you intend to create and a sense of discernment to identify the right candidates for the same.

Define team goals and individual goals

Once, you have a team in place, the next step is defining the team goals first and then assigning individual goals to each team member based on their roles and skills that will effectively contribute towards the team goals in the best possible way. And the most efficient way to do it is to check if the designed goals are SMART – specific, measurable, achievable, reasonable, and timely.

Create conducive team dynamics

The existing company culture sets the foundation for interaction between individuals. All the same, every team shares a camaraderie singular to their group and has its own set of unwritten protocols that are created during the course of teamwork. These shared values are healthy and act as a cohesive force that promotes collaboration. As per a survey by Biz Group, employees who work in collaboration with others, tend to work 64% harder on a particular task with higher engagement levels, lower fatigue levels, and higher success rates. Hence, leaders need to monitor the team dynamics inconspicuously while taking a firm stand against any regressive traits that may arise.

Team meetings and one-on-one meetings

It is a good practice to address the entire team during team meetings rather than targeting a single member, even if you know that the said member is the reason for a particular shortfall. This approach fosters better teamwork, as every member feels accountable for the shortfalls collectively, and motivates them to collaborate with each other to achieve perfect results over simply focusing only on their individual roles and pointing fingers at each other. Having said that, it is equally important to conduct one-on-one meetings to address such shortfalls and share feedbacks personally. It generates a sense of respect and loyalty towards the leader in the long run.

Performance measurement metrics and constructive feedbacks

It is the leader’s responsibility to know their team members in terms of their strengths and weaknesses and develop performance measurement metrics cut-out to resonate with the individual expertise and capabilities. And it is equally essential to identify the underperformers and share constructive feedback with them. After all, a great leader always endeavors to elevate the performance of the team members and nurtures their abilities to new heights.

Communication and Innovation

Employee retention is amplified 4.5 times in companies that stress transparent and effective communication over its other counterparts. This is because, communication is the only means of achieving clarity on matters like employee concerns, teamwork, brainstorming sessions, pain points, and other aspects. Communication is pivotal in driving the performance of an entire organization and it starts at the grass-roots level called – team. Leaders must create a culture of open doors for anyone who wishes to discuss, consult, present, or even express personal grievances. It serves as an encouragement to all the members to come out of their shells and speak upon any matter. More interaction leads to better clarity which in turn leads to better collaboration, brainstorming opportunities and innovation, and finally productivity.

Conflict resolution and engagement sessions

Workplace frictions are a commonplace event but need to be addressed promptly. Conflicts are a result of differences in perception and opinion. Leaders should be adept at concluding conflicts justifiably. It is not always about finding the middle ground, but more often about identifying the root cause and painting the right picture for the members in question to understand their shortfalls. A lot of friction can be avoided by scheduling frequent engagement sessions that may include fun activities like outings or lunches or even games that bring out the lighter side of a person. In fact, I believe, it should be mandatory to have team fun activities regularly which can help forge stronger bonds between team members and also between the leader and the members.

Employee development and Appreciations

Employee growth is a topic central to the overall development of an organization. Each employee deserves an opportunity to exhibit their capabilities and hone their skills. Hence, it is the responsibility of the organization and the leaders to provide ample training and growth opportunities to equip their employees with skills of the future and nurture their development.

I don’t really need to state the impact of well-deserved appreciations and recognitions on the growth of an organization. Appreciations are usually valued over monetary benefits in the long run. They serve as incentives and motivate teams to work harder, experiment, innovate and boost their own development while contributing to the organizational goals too.

To build a high performing team is a huge responsibility with tremendous implications. Hence, the focus needs to be on creating an asset for your organization.