Henry Ford famously said: “If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself.”
Every team leader knows that his or her success depends on the team’s success. Team building is an art and a science, and excelling at it is a sure-fire way of achieving success. We list down seven tips that will help you and your team find greater success this year:
Get to know your team better
Young American poet and motivational speaker Mattie Stepanek said: “…where there is teamwork and collaboration, wonderful things can be achieved.” Every team is formed of individuals, and it’s essential for the leader to know them well. Knowing their strengths and capabilities, and understanding and embracing their will help you match competencies to tasks, setting the team up for success. This also ensures there’s good camaraderie between the team.
Make time for personal and professional aims
The workplace and home may be separate but achieving happiness in one sphere is bound to spill over into the other. Economists at the University of Warwick found that happiness makes people more productive at work. Their research shows that happiness can increase productivity by as much as 12%. Ask team members about personal goals and make an effort to figure out how to help them achieve them. Investing more in employee support leads to an increase in employee satisfaction, and may culminate in better teamwork.
Link aims to larger company objectives
No one likes to work in isolation, so try and show your team members how planning and projects pay off for the company. Connecting the dots and showing them the big picture makes team members feel like they’re a part of the organisation’s success. Share the company’s goals, discuss how individual efforts can help get there, and tie back everything to the role your team plays in the company’s overall success. Staff members who know they’re integral are more connected to their work.
Involve your team in the goal-setting process
Success depends on a well-drafted and executed game plan. Involving your team in the goal-setting process can help align their goals and match their strengths and skills with the organisation’s overall objectives. Schedule a meeting with your team to get preliminary ideas and work with them to draw up clear plans, keeping milestones in mind.
Make sure the goals are challenging yet achievable
Setting goals is well and good, but it’s pointless if they aren’t realistic. Multiple experts advise setting goals that are S.M.A.R.T. Goals that are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-Based have a far greater chance of being accomplished than general goals. Being overly ambitious with your goals may end up lowering morale, if employees find they can’t meet their goals. The team leader will need to find the fine balance between challenging and achievable. Research shows that writing goals down may help motivate the team to achieve them.
Define roles & responsibilities and streamline processes
Once your team and individual goals are set, move to clearly defining the roles and responsibilities of everyone on the team. This isn’t easy for often people don’t seem to have the skills and competencies that their roles call for; for most, their ideal roles may be outside their job descriptions. Evaluate every team member and their talent and then assign them roles and responsibilities – someone may be the best team player, while another may do his or her job best on their own. Your aim should be to ensure that unique strengths and differences come together and work as a powerful united force.
Be proactive with feedback & celebrate success
Effective and timely feedback is a critical component of a successful employee management program. It helps keeps individuals and teams on track, and lets them know how to improve. However, feedback must be proactive and constant; it should be given before it needs to be given. Apart from providing formal and informal feedback regularly, also plan for team feedback. This will help align your team around company goals. Open and honest professional relationships between everyone in the team will pave the way for success, for the team and the company. Do take the time to acknowledge and reward team members when they deserve it. Celebrating small successes will set your team up for bigger success.
An old African proverb says it all: “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” So work on building your team and help them work hard to achieve success this year.