Teamwork is an element of business success that should never be underestimated. A strong team dynamic can help your business tackle the toughest of projects and come out ahead. But it takes preparation and a cultivated experience.
By JORI HAMILTON
Understanding what defines a strong team is the first step in crafting your own. Then, integrating policies and best practices to ensure team success will help you navigate the problems that can arise in competing personalities.
Every leader needs the group dynamics of a strong team working for them. Here’s what you should know.
Characteristics of a Strong Team
Strong teamwork is an oft-understated component of business success. With the right group of people, anything is possible—just watch The A-Team or any heist movie ever.
While business is less exciting than these action-adventures, the concepts are strangely enough the same. A strong team requires great work relationships that harness people skills and positivity to produce ideal results. Businesses that apply strong teamwork experience revenue-driving results that can make all the difference in a complicated pandemic economy.
Here are some of the characteristics of a strong team you need to help cultivate in your own work:
— Excellent communication skills
— Empathy and understanding
— Great leadership
These characteristics are much harder to synthesize than you might expect. With all the challenges presented by team communication—especially for remote workers—it is easy for one or more team members to lose focus while the others pick up the brunt of the work.
However, the right approach to team creation can help limit obstacles and improve outcomes.
How to Create a Strong Team
Creating a strong team is much more difficult than it may seem. A variety of obstacles can occur in even the strongest assemblage of talent, and your job as a business leader is to eliminate as many of these obstacles as possible while increasing the performance potential of your team.
This requires taking your team through all the phases of team performance with focus and collaboration. In the modern work environment, navigating the challenges of remote work is often one aspect of this effort.
While there is no guarantee when it comes to people working well together, team leaders can better prepare the support tools needed for a strong team with the following steps.
1 — Make sure your team knows and understands one another.
Teams are much more likely to work better together if the members already have established relationships and understand each other’s work styles. If this is not the case, try to create introductory activities that help teams get to know each other better.
When incorporating remote workers, this is especially important. Try to schedule consistent virtual meetings in which teams can talk freely and allow for instant messaging across teams to make sure communication is free-flowing.
2 — Set clearly defined goals and objectives.
Without objectives that every team member can clearly focus on and contribute towards, you’ll face a lot of wasted time and potential among your team. Setting clear tasks and ensuring that each item is definitively assigned to one or more team members helps mitigate confusion and lost time.
Many modern work platforms like Slack, Asana, or Microsoft Teams integrate assignable tasks in a neat dashboard. Utilize these resources to promote clarity.
3 — Stress the importance of clear communication.
Nothing ensures team success like quality communication. This should be made clear to the team at every part of the process.
Micromanaging isn’t necessary to make consistent communication possible. Simply make a goal of holding intermittent team meetings to go over progress, questions, and concerns. Encourage empathy and support teammates in all endeavors, and good communication practices will occur naturally.
4 — Ensure teams are supported through every performance phase.
Every project goes through a series of phases, each of which can come with its own set of challenges. From the formation to the adjournment stages, your team’s performance will be dependent on the tools they have to complete their tasks.
Guarantee your team has the resources they need from the beginning of the project. Provide communication platforms, itemized budgets, contacts, and more to smooth the flow of your group dynamic throughout the project.
5 — Allow for some fun
Finally, teams work best if they are enjoying the work they are doing. Allow for fun and games while the work is underway. This will serve the dual function of inspiring more cohesive team communication while making the work more engaging.
By following these steps, team leaders can support better communication and engagement among their team, resulting in better outcomes for any project. Though there is no accounting for how individual personalities might clash, by setting up a team that understands each other and their goals, you’ll keep problems at a minimum.
However, there are some common obstacles to team efficiency you should be aware of.
Eliminating Obstacles to Team Efficiency
There are many reasons why projects fail. From poor planning to communication, obstacles to success can negate the hard work you put into creating a strong group dynamic.
Luckily, however, being aware of these obstacles can help you and your team better navigate the challenges. Here are just some of the items to be aware of when team building for any project:
Lack of clarity — Do everything you can to ensure your team is on the same page with what needs to be accomplished.
Failure to adapt to communication platforms — If your team is struggling to use the communication tools you’ve decided on, explore alternatives.
Conflict — No amount of planning can predict the interpersonal and competitive conflicts that might arise in a team. Stress empathy and keep groups focused on objectives to keep conflict at a minimum.
While it will be impossible to plan for every obstacle to team success, maintaining an awareness of these items and more will help you navigate around problems where they occur. In turn, you’ll shore up your group dynamic and produce better results for your business projects.
Teamwork is a fundamental aspect of success for any business. Yet, building a strong team can be incredibly challenging. To manage group dynamics for success, team leaders need to keep in mind the characteristics of a strong team, plan to cultivate these characteristics, and keep obstacles to a minimum.
Following these tips can help any group maximize the potential of their business projects. Just remember to have fun.