One of the foundations of effective teamwork is having a team with the correct balance of different skills. A good team achieves much more working together than the individual team members working alone.
Organisational & Performance Development can be either top-down or bottom-up, depending on your objectives. The focus should be to drive organisational change working with your executive team or support training initiatives at an employee level. The most effective Coaching & Development methods comprise theoretical and positive psychological interactional approaches to change. In other words, using behaviours, conversations and actions to create and sustain change.
This requires frameworks for both the organisation and the individual; they should be outcome-orientated, positive and most importantly, practical. One of the most critical functions of a leader is to clarify the purpose and value of the team’s performance. Trust and belief is a huge part of a team buying into the process and helping to influence the required outcomes.
The importance of goals
Goals and targets, whether general or specific, have several functions. Studies have shown that teams with particular goals outperform those without goals in most cases. As a result, the absence of clear goals is a common reason for team failure. Below are some examples of the function of goals:
- Challenge and motivate your team.
- Ambitious and challenging goals are more likely to improve motivation, provided that they are realistic.
- Goals set through mutual consent are much more likely to motivate your team.
- Consensus goals are set through open discussion and participation of all the team members.
- Taking part in setting goals generates a greater feeling of responsibility towards achieving it.
- Increase team performance.
- Look to improve the team’s previous performance by using ‘stretch’ goals.
- These goals drive the team to outperform the previous standards, regardless of how well the team performed to reach those standards. Teams are often able to do this.
We touched upon the importance of trust and belief in the leadership team to create success, which is an essential ingredient for effective teamwork. People are willing to trust others, but only concrete actions can establish mutual trust. Once you establish trust, team members are more likely to work together rather than compete with each other.
So, how can you effectively build and maintain trust in your team?
Here are seven ways you can create an effective team:
Keeping your team up to date and informed of changes in policy and decisions by open and truthful communication is vital for developing team members’ trust in you.
Be supportive of your team members’ suggestions and ideas. Make yourself approachable. Be available and encourage open discussion between team members. If you need to reject an idea, always be tactful and carefully explain your reasons.
The best way to show your team that you respect their ability is to delegate decision-making authority. Ask the team member to keep you fully informed of progress but try not to interfere unless it appears that the team member will not achieve set goals.
Give credit wherever it is deserved, with impartiality and without favouritism.
Be consistent and predictable in your actions.
Enhance your credibility by demonstrating competence and professionalism as the team leader. The team must be confident in your abilities.
7. Building team spirit
Team spirit may be difficult to quantify but naturally develops from trust and cooperation. Reinforcing common team purposes and goals to give a sense of unity can nurture good team spirit.
Vulnerability is critical for effective teamwork.
It is essential to review the performance of your team continually. Reviews will keep the team moving in the right direction and help you pinpoint areas where they need additional training. By asking team members for their views on the team’s progress, you can gauge how each one is developing and how they contribute to the group as a whole.
It is fundamental for team members to feel that their thoughts are valued. Clear, two-way communication between yourself and the team is vital at all times.