Successful teams are more than just a group of smart people. Building a productive and successful team is a fine art, and is especially critical in small-to-midsize businesses where people wear many hats.
People must work effectively across the organization to accomplish tasks quickly enough to remain competitive. In many businesses, effective teamwork is viewed as the competitive advantage that can set you apart from the rest.
So, how does one go about building a team that can produce organizational excellence? Research shows there are critical components necessary to achieve success.
Selecting the right team members is essential. The people working on the team need to have diverse, yet complementary skillsets. There is nothing more valuable than a team that can bring diverse perspectives to the table, but naturally each member must be skilled and capable, with a defined role based on their individual strengths.
Once the right members are in place, the team must have clear direction, a compelling set of common goals, and an understanding of the big picture. That includes understanding the relevance of his or her job and how it impacts the effectiveness of others and the overall team effort. Determining what the team needs to accomplish and how a successful outcome will be defined promotes collaboration, increases commitment and improves quality.
Lastly, the team must work collaboratively and have mutual accountability. It is important to create a culture of responsibility, obligation and support. With this comes collaboration and a solid sense of interdependency, which stimulates opportunities for learning and improvement. The most effective teams define who is responsible for what and track individual and group progress. Productivity is rewarded and when individuals are struggling, the team provides support. The team creates positive pressure to deliver results, and members don’t want to disappoint each other.
Improving the performance of your team will lead to not only excellent business results, but also enhanced employee involvement, continuous improvement and growth, and innovation.
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