Building Amazing Teams
by Cindy Stradling CSP, CPC
Through all the research I have done and in my personal experience I have found there are many factors required to build amazing teams. The key one is communication, which is really not surprising because it is the key to any great relationship, whether in a personal or professional context.
Often when I speak to clients about their particular situation when they are looking at having a team development session delivered, they frequently want the same results. They want their teams to develop more cohesive, a new level of respect for each other’s differences and a bond of trust that allows for open and authentic communication. There are many ways to design programs and exercises that can create these outcomes.
The most important step is to tie the outcomes of any training initiative to the company’s mission and vision. By doing this, it gives people the tools and skills to learn to walk the talk and everyone is working for a common goal. When leaders clearly define what they want to create with their team, there is a higher likelihood that the learning will transfer back to the work place.
Effective leaders know that building an amazing team something that needs to be worked at everyday, not just when they are engaged in team building activities.
Here are my recommendations to building an amazing team:
- Team members have a clear understanding of their role on a team and they understand what is expected of them
- They have Team Operating Agreement (or sometimes called a Code of Conduct) – this is an agreed upon set of rules on how the team members will interact and communicate with each other.
- Team members are empowered to make some of their own decisions (this is of course once they have the adequate training, experience and skills)
- They have a sense of collaboration – that everyone feels they are an important part of the bigger picture
- Effective teams have excellent communication skills – they are able to give and receive honest feedback
- There are opportunities for individual growth and continuous learning
- Encourage social interaction with the team members – a pub night out can go a long way to building deeper relationships (of course this is only if any drinking is kept to a minimum)
- There are opportunities for team members to express their creativity
- A sense of fair play needs to be present – that everyone has the same opportunities to advance and that everyone is treated equally
- Leaders need to provide ongoing feedback on what is working and not working, not just once a year during appraisal time
Acknowledgement for a job well done goes a long way to encourage employees and teams . It is also important to acknowledge when someone takes initiative to make things better. This will encourage others to attempt new more efficient ways to do things.