7 Steps to Create Effective Teamwork
Building effective teams that work together well and impact the goal and each other positively doesn’t just happen without a plan. Teams need certain tools, strategies, and tactics to help them avoid missing deadlines, experiencing interpersonal conflict, and more. When you understand what teams need to work together effectively, you can set your teams up for success.
Why the team exists and what the results are supposed to be are especially important for each team member to comprehend. Understanding the meaning behind why the team exists is a vital part of building an effective team that can work together for a common goal. A good leader is needed to help the entire team understand the vision and hoped-for impact they’re trying to create.
One of the mistakes leaders and even companies make is trying to make the purpose statement some long elaborate and overly wordy paragraph. If it can’t be stated simply, it can’t be repeated regularly and will not be celebrated systematically.
Focus on making it simple. At Harbour Resources our purpose is: “delivering excellence in leadership and personal growth.”
We measure everything we do against this simple purpose statement.
A System and Process
It’s hard to do anything efficiently without a system and process that helps drive the projects along. Being organized to run smoothly may require software, tools, and an understanding of developing procedures to get things done most efficiently. For example, potential bottlenecks are noted when roles are assigned, and a process is created to avoid them.
The key system we help leaders implement is a Quit Losing Talent Culture System. We focus on 4 key strategies and install tools to help the leader and team understand what it takes to build a team that performs at a high level and sticks together for the long haul.
Learn more about our Quit Losing Talent system here.
Mutual Respect & Trust
Everyone on the team needs to trust and respect each other, but they also need to do the same for themselves. They trust their skills and those of the people on the team. When this happens, no one is second-guessing everything without a solution as the team makes an impact.
Trust and respect do not just happen. You've heard before everything rises and falls on leadership. You must make sure this is a key focus in your leadership. Leaders must drive trust and respect. You must create teambuilding and work sessions to create a bond between your team.
Today, we face so many outside forces that have chipped away at our trust and respect for another person. When this happens, most people aren't aware they are bringing discontent for the world into the workplace, and it begins to impact trust and respect for our teammates.
Leaders must get engaged to make sure they do not allow the outside challenges to become the inside way.
An understanding of the entire communication process is helpful to all group leaders and members. Having a straightforward way to get messages to each other and a sense of everyone’s roles helps projects get done faster and more expertly.
When I work with companies and organizations I teach them a 5-step process.
- WHO–needs to know what I know
- WHAT–do they need to know, specifics not generalities
- WHEN–don’t allow people to guess, or let someone else share before you do as the leader
- WHY–what is the why behind your information…not because the boss said so. Attach it to a why
- HOW–many ways can you communicate what and why. Email, text, verbal, Zoom, writing, billboard.
In my experience, most leaders do not think through these 5 questions and the messages don’t get shared correctly, or the wrong information is shared by others, making you look bad as a leader.
Defined Roles and Responsibilities
When you take the time to define the roles and responsibilities in all teams, it makes it easier for each person to know what to do. It will positively impact the group because it eliminates questions about who is doing what and who to ask about certain tasks. People like knowing what’s expected of them.
When people don’t know, then they sit around and wait on someone else to do their job and they point fingers at each other. If you want to remove competition within your team, create clarity and then conduct regular coaching meetings to ensure each team member understands and is performing at a high level of expectation.
While this goes back to the designated roles, so each person knows their responsibility, if the leader isn’t good at delegating each task and discussing all the steps that must be done to finish a project, something might get missed.
I only use delegation as the heading because it is what most people know, but as a leader, you MUST learn how to equip others and not just delegate to them.
Every leader I coach learns our 5-step equipping formula and it has helped leaders and employees gain a new respect for each other.
If you would like to learn more you can listen to this episode of LeadUp Podcast.
A Measure for Success
What gets measured gets moved.
Knowing how to track and measure your team's actions is a wonderful way to motivate your team and learn how well things are going. If everyone on the team can track the progress being made individually, as well as as a whole you can see what even the smallest contribution does to the result.
Finally, it helps if your teams build relationships that enable them to enjoy the work they do together. When you need to work with and spend time with other people, it doesn’t help for everything to be serious all the time. Instead, find ways to build relationships by taking breaks, enjoying a meal together, and participating in team-building activities such as a weekend camping or skiing trip.
Follow this advice consistently over time and you will find yourself leading a team out performing even your highest expectations.
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