KNOW YOUR TEAM
According to Forbes (2012) it takes great leadership to build a successful team – team building requires a keen understanding of people, their strengths and what gets them excited to work with others. Fully knowing your team means that you have invested the time to understand how they are wired to think and what is required to motivate them to excel beyond what is expected from them.
Feedback is the key to assuring any team is staying on track, but more importantly that it is improving each day (Forbes, 2012). Feedback should be proactive and constant. Many leaders are prone to wait until a problem occurs before they give feedback.
Initially you may consider a series of team sessions to build trust and relationships within the team(SHRM, 2006). Once the team is grounded, you may benefit by having quarterly or bi-annual team building sessions. The type of team building you choose, from classroom experiential to rope climbing, needs to match the culture and challenges of the team. Whatever you choose to do, make sure that there will be valuable learning and fun.
THINGS TO THINK ABOUT
- EXPECTATIONS. A common vision for all team members is essential for team building and organizational success. Has your leadership in the organization clearly communicated its expectations for the team’s performance and expected outcomes? Do team members understand why the team and their positions were created? Having clear expectations is key to any successful team.
- COMMITMENT. Do team members want to participate? Do they feel the team mission is important? Do members perceive their service as valuable? Do they anticipate recognition for their contributions? Do they expect their skills to grow and develop as part of the team? Team members know “who does what, why and how they’ll grow”.
- COLLABORATION. Does the team understand group process? Do members understand the stages of group development? Can the team approach problem solving, process improvement, goal setting and measurement together?
- RESULTS. Do team members feel responsible and accountable for team achievements/failures? Do team members spend their time finger pointing rather than resolving problems? Can contributors see their impact on increased organization success?