“Great things in business are never done by one person. They’re done by a team of people.” Steve Jobs
There’s a reason why the old phrase “teamwork makes the dream work” continues to be recycled through generations - it remains to be one of, if not, the most important saying in business.
But now the saying comes with even more relevance.
The pandemic has brought tough times for everyone, which is why it’s more important than ever to utilise your team members. By working together, supporting one another and pushing each other to achieve certain goals, there's nothing to prevent you from reaching new heights of success. Whether you’re an in-office or dispersed team; every team of any size or sector should be channelling certain skills and philosophies to get the best out of your entire team.
Let’s face it, the primary business reason that people complain about particular colleagues is because they wish they'd be better team members. Those who deviate from the rest of the team’s values end up causing aggravation - hence why it’s imperative to ensure everyone is sat in the same boat.
We need strong team dynamics to pull through this turbulent time. Companies who foster employee happiness outperform their competitors by 20 percent, but without great team work, individual happiness and productivity is harder to achieve. Everyone needs a little push at the moment, and a little inspiration from colleagues can really make the world of difference.
So how can we build a great team? Help send everyone in your team to a happy and productive future with these tips!
It’s All In The Communication
It might sound obvious, but many teams miss the fundamentals when it comes to good communication. Regular connection with teams is one of the most important requirements for productivity, but teams need to find a happy medium between under-communication and communication overload. This entirely depends on your team’s objectives, and whether work is collaborative or independent. Teams working on a project together might prefer to update each other on an hourly basis, yet others might find this distracting and prefer to have just one daily meeting. It’s good to communicate these preferences within your teams to assess what works best for everyone, but whatever method is chosen, clarity and concision need to be given at all times.
For example, as a manager, you might think that what you’ve communicated to somebody was transparent enough, but your employee on the other end could be stuck in the dark after misunderstanding their task. To prevent this, keep communication simple and don't overload people with information, as this can over complicate matters. Get individuals to repeat back their deliverables and ensure everyone is on the same page. This could be done via verbal communication or written, again, it depends on your team’s preferences. When you communicate with your team, clarify tasks and goals with each other too as regular words of affirmation can boost productivity and remind everyone of the shared objective.
Have Trust In Each Other
To establish good communication within your team, a foundation of trust also needs to be at the heart of all working relationships. If your team fails to trust each other to do their job, this could result in continuous nagging, micro-managing or even worse - unfair criticism. Remember that everyone in the team was hired for their different skill sets, so while you might want to offer your expertise in a colleague’s area, it’s important not to control the situation or underestimate their abilities. Having a positive foundation of trust will allow room for constructive criticism too, as employees are likely to understand that the feedback comes from a healthy, helpful place.
Set the right goals
Without regular goal setting, teamwork can suffer. The wider picture can be forgotten or lost entirely. The leader of the team should outline all objectives regularly, but if they miss this opportunity take the reins and ask yourself what your objective of the week is. The chances are, if one employee becomes passive, this could permeate through the entire team which could be detrimental to the company. You know what they say about one bad apple, right? Understand your key performance areas and place these into the business’s wider goals. Ask questions such as: “how will this task contribute to the business’s vision” and “how can I help the business in X area” - this critical thinking will boost motivational levels across the team by providing much needed context.
Remember to Support
Ultimately, if a team member feels like they’re not being supported, especially during the pandemic, this will have a drastic impact on not just the individual's performance but the team’s as well. Support should be accessible in your team, whether it’s simply asking how someone is, how someone is coping with workload, or simply offering a helping hand. Without this type of kindness and appreciation, your team will struggle to bond and build strong connections, that will lead to increased productivity, efficiency and effectiveness.
Finally, always remember to have a laugh. We’re living in strange times so all teams need to have some fun - even if it is over Zoom!