TWELVE TIPS FOR TEAM BUILDING: HOW TO BUILD SUCCESSFUL WORK TEAMS
According to Susan M. Heathfield, there are several tips that can be done on how to make teams effective. In a team-oriented environment, team member could contribute to the overall success of the organization. They work with fellow members of the organization to produce these results. Organization need to differentiate this overall sense of teamwork from the task of developing an effective intact team that is formed to accomplish a specific goal.
Executives, managers and organization staff members universally explore ways to improve business results and profitability. Successful team building, that creates effective, focused work teams, requires attention to each of the following.
Twelve Cs for Team Building
|Clear Expectations||Has executive leadership clearly communicated its expectations for the team’s performance and expected outcomes? Do team members understand why the team was created? Is the organization demonstrating constancy of purpose in supporting the team with resources of people, time and money? Does the work of the team receive sufficient emphasis as a priority in terms of the time, discussion, attention and interest directed its way by executive leaders?|
|Context||Do team members understand why they are participating on the team? Do they understand how the strategy of using teams will help the organization attain its communicated business goals? Can team members define their team’s importance to the accomplishment of corporate goals? Does the team understand where its work fits in the total context of the organization’s goals, principles, vision and values?|
|Commitment||Do team members want to participate on the team? Do team members feel the team mission is important? Are members committed to accomplishing the team mission and expected outcomes? Do team members perceive their service as valuable to the organization and to their own careers? Do team members anticipate recognition for their contributions? Do team members expect their skills to grow and develop on the team? Are team members excited and challenged by the team opportunity?|
|Competence||Does the team feel that it has the appropriate people participating? (As an example, in a process improvement, is each step of the process represented on the team?) Does the team feel that its members have the knowledge, skill and capability to address the issues for which the team was formed? If not, does the team have access to the help it needs? Does the team feel it has the resources, strategies and support needed to accomplish its mission?|
|Charter||Has the team taken its assigned area of responsibility and designed its own mission, vision and strategies to accomplish the mission. Has the team defined and communicated its goals; its anticipated outcomes and contributions; its timelines; and how it will measure both the outcomes of its work and the process the team followed to accomplish their task? Does the leadership team or other coordinating group support what the team has designed?|
|Control||Does the team have enough freedom and empowerment to feel the ownership necessary to accomplish its charter? At the same time, do team members clearly understand their boundaries? How far may members go in pursuit of solutions? Are limitations (i.e. monetary and time resources) defined at the beginning of the project before the team experiences barriers and rework?|
|Collaboration||Does the team understand team and group process? Do members understand the stages of group development? Are team members working together effectively interpersonally? Do all team members understand the roles and responsibilities of team members? team leaders? team recorders? Can the team approach problem solving, process improvement, goal setting and measurement jointly? Do team members cooperate to accomplish the team charter? Has the team established group norms or rules of conduct in areas such as conflict resolution, consensus decision making and meeting management? Is the team using an appropriate strategy to accomplish its action plan?|
|Communication:||Are team members clear about the priority of their tasks? Is there an established method for the teams to give feedback and receive honest performance feedback? Does the organization provide important business information regularly? Do the teams understand the complete context for their existence? Do team members communicate clearly and honestly with each other? Do team members bring diverse opinions to the table? Are necessary conflicts raised and addressed?|
|Creative Innovation||Is the organization really interested in change? Does it value creative thinking, unique solutions, and new ideas? Does it reward people who take reasonable risks to make improvements? Or does it reward the people who fit in and maintain the status quo? Does it provide the training, education, access to books and films, and field trips necessary to stimulate new thinking?|
|Consequences||Do team members feel responsible and accountable for team achievements? Are rewards and recognition supplied when teams are successful? Is reasonable risk respected and encouraged in the organization? Do team members fear reprisal? Do team members spend their time finger pointing rather than resolving problems? Is the organization designing reward systems that recognize both team and individual performance? Is the organization planning to share gains and increased profitability with team and individual contributors? Can contributors see their impact on increased organization success?|
|Coordination||Are teams coordinated by a central leadership team that assists the groups to obtain what they need for success? Have priorities and resource allocation been planned across departments? Do teams understand the concept of the internal customer—the next process, anyone to whom they provide a product or a service? Are cross-functional and multi-department teams common and working together effectively? Is the organization developing a customer-focused process-focused orientation and moving away from traditional departmental thinking?|
|Cultural Change||Does the organization recognize that the team-based, collaborative, empowering, enabling organizational culture of the future is different than the traditional, hierarchical organization it may currently be? Is the organization planning to or in the process of changing how it rewards, recognizes, appraises, hires, develops, plans with, motivates and manages the people it employs?|
HOW TO BUILD HIGHLY EFFECTIVE TEAMS
According to Carter McNamara( MBA, PhD),
Too often, teams are formed merely by gathering some people together and then hoping that those people somehow find a way to work together. Teams are most effective when carefully designed. To design, develop and support a highly effective team, use the following guidelines:
- Set clear goals for the results to be produced by the team. The goals should be designed to be “SMART.” This is an acronym for:
- Set clear objectives for measuring the ongoing effectiveness of the team. The objectives, that together achieve the overall goals, should also be designed to be “SMART.” Objectives might be, for example, to a) to produce a draft of a project report during the first four weeks of team activities, and b) achieve Board-approval of the proposed performance management system during the next four weeks. Also, write these objectives down for eventual communication to and discussion with all team members
- Define a procedure for members to make decisions and solve problems. Successful groups regularly encounter situations where they must make decisions and solve problems in a highly effective manner. Too often, the group resorts to extended discussion until members become tired and frustrated and eventually just opt for any action at all, or they count on the same person who seems to voice the strongest opinions. Instead, successful groups may enable make decisions and ensure that all members are aware of the procedure.
- Determine the membership of the group. Consider the extent of expertise needed to achieve the goals, including areas of knowledge and skills. Include at least one person who has skills in facilitation and meeting management. Attempt to include sufficient diversity of values and perspectives to ensure robust ideas and discussion. A critical consideration is availability – members should have the time to attend every meeting and perform required tasks between meetings.
- Assign the role of leader to ensure systems and practices are followed. The leader focuses on the systems and practices in the team, not on personalities of its members. For example, the leader makes sure that all team members are successfully staffed, understand the purpose of the group and their role in it, are active toward meeting that purpose and role, and utilize procedures for making decisions and solving problems. Besides that, the leader does not always have to be a strong, charismatic personality while that type of personality can often be very successful at developing teams, it often can create passivity or frustration in other members over time, thereby crippling the group.
- Planning team building activities to support trust and working relationships within the team member. Team building activities can include, for example, a retreat in which members introduce themselves, exercises in which members help each other solve a short problem or meet a specific and achievable goal, or an extended period in which members can voice their concerns and frustrations about their team assignments.
- Regularly monitor and report on status of team members toward achieving the goal. It is amazing how often team starts out with a carefully designed plan, but then abandons the plan once the initial implementation of the plan is underway. Sometimes if the plan is behind schedule, team members conclude that the project is not successful. Plans can change and just change them systematically with new dates and approval of the changes.
- Regularly celebrate team members’ accomplishments. One of the best ways to avoid burnout is to regularly celebrate accomplishments. Otherwise, members can feel as if they are on treadmill that has no end. Keep your eye on small and recurring successes, not just the gold at the end of the rainbow.
TEN WAYS LEADERSHIP CAN MOTIVATE TEAM BUILDING AND PERFORMANCE
Managers, supervisors, and team leaders need to understand how communication and recognition can help motivate team members to have better attitudes and become more productive. According to Shirley Fine Lee, many ways exist to motivate team members to build a better team and increase the team and individual performance.
Presented for consideration are ten possible ways for managers, supervisors, and leaders to motivate their team with little budget and resources that may not require higher-level management approval. Most ideas can be implemented merely by a change in team accountability or the way the manager or leader communicates with the team and encourages the team to grow itself.
- Be positive and set a good example for the team.
- Share information on projects and business openly with the team.
- When possible, let team work through their conflicts, but be ready to resolve negative conflict and bad situations before team morale is damaged.
- Give feedback for improvement when necessary in a positive and thoughtful way.
- Show appreciation for the work team does using different methods for rewarding team and members.
- If a team request or member idea is not understood, ask for clarification or examples.
- Actively listen to team complaints, ideas, and improvements.
- Allow the team to evaluate its leader and suggest improvement ideas to help the team with respect, trust, and confidence in their leader.
- Show confidence in the team by supporting their work and needs.
- Do periodic team assessments with the members on how the team is doing as a way to increase awareness of what is right and identify opportunities for improvement.