Effective teamwork is key to success. As the business leader, it’s up to you to bring together the collective efforts of your people and guide them towards achieving your overall business goals. What are the must-have ingredients of a successful team? And how can you make sure your team has what it takes?
Everyone in your team needs to know what the ultimate business goal is. This starts from the top of the company where clear strategic goals for the business are set. At the next level there should be shared departmental goals and, finally, individual goals for each team member.
When team members understand what they are aiming for they can pull together and apply their individual and collective efforts to achieve their goals. A clear understanding of the objectives will save time and effort being wasted by being directed in the wrong direction.
Every successful team needs an effective leader. Leaders provide the vision and inspire the right behaviour to foster a team approach.
Good leaders share the job of managing and collaborate with others where appropriate. They are flexible in their leadership approach, adapting to the needs of the situation and their team members. They look to develop and enable their team members, so that they in turn can become future leaders of their businesses.
Often, a more ‘consultative’ leadership style will bring better results than being a ‘directive’ leader. Telling people what to do and relying on their compliance – or even obedience – will rarely result in an effective team. Empowering your team members to take ownership of tasks will result in greater commitment to the team’s goals, more ideas and improvements to working practices.
Getting the balance right
Getting the right balance in your team is not just about putting together the optimum number of people and a good mix of technical skills. An effective team will also have members who complement each others skills, values and motivations. Some of your team members will have great organisation and implementation skills, others will have excellent inter-personal skills. If possible, find roles within the team that suit each person’s individual strengths, rather than highlighting their weaknesses.
A team of individuals who have a sense of belonging and a spirit of commitment to the purpose of the team can be remarkably successful.
As leader, how much of your personal energy do you put into building team spirit and supporting your fellow team members? Do you get them together to celebrate successes, discuss morale or listen to their ideas on how they can perform better as a team? Team-building events outside of the workplace can be a great opportunity for developing team spirit. It doesn’t have to mean getting everyone up on a high ropes adventure course; an impromptu lunch trip or round of cakes can also have a positive impact.
Being an effective business leader and developing a successful team is rewarding for you and your team. If you lead a team that has achieved outstanding results we’d love to hear about them. Tweet your team successes to @RfMmore.