Collaboration – The Power of Teams by Cindy Stradling CSP, CPC
A productive and cohesive work team is likely your most powerful asset in the workplace. When your team or teams are functioning at full capacity, projects and everyday tasks are completed without issue, and in a manner that produces high quality results. At the same time, when teams function well together, they offer each member the chance to shine and allow for creative thinking that keeps work fresh and innovative.
Putting together a great team can take time. However, there are ways to speed up the process so that you can assemble a team that will work well together quickly. Here are some tips for putting together the right group.
1. Practice diversity. Diverse teams offer the opportunity for different kinds of thinkers and differing perspectives. Mix teams by age, experience, and background for the best collaborative effort. Keep in mind that no matter how hard you try, it may take several tries to get the perfect group assembled.
2. Keep similar core values. Though it is important to have diversity on your team, your team will be more successful if all the members share core values like work ethic and reliability. These traits help prevent workplace conflict and build respect among the team.
3. Give teams time to mesh. Teams usually need a little time to find their “groove” in order to maximize each member’s strengths. Don’t expect perfection right away. Take time to have meetings and retreats that help to strengthen the team by giving them a chance to work together on something other than the daily task at home.
4. Make changes quickly when there is not a fit. While it is important to give teams time to adjust, there will also be times when it’s clear that one member isn’t a good fit. When this happens, make adjustments as needed. There’s no reason to sacrifice the team’s productivity, or the satisfaction of the members to avoid making waves.
There are many uses for teams as well as many ways to create teams in the workplace, and many ways to keep teams happy and motivated. Cross training helps to ensure that a team functions normally when members are absent, and incentives help to keep teams motivated to perform at the highest level. Take the time to think outside the box and see which of the processes and projects in your organization can benefit from the team approach.