Building a successful team is not a task you can achieve overnight. It’s a complex process that requires your efforts as a leader. Communication, cooperation, and resource allocation are three main factors to pay attention to. The five steps explained below will help you improve your teamwork and productivity as a team.
- Define the Purpose
There must be a purpose for the formation of a team. What work exactly has the team been formed for? And how does each team member interpret that mission? Clearly, getting the purpose clearly defined for everyone is critical.
- From the Purpose Come the Goals
Goals are concrete targets based on the mission. They are S.M.A.R.T. – specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound.
Example: Sales will increase by 10% in six months. Every goal set must have these elements.
- Assignment of Roles and Responsibilities
Every team member must have a clear picture of their role/responsibilities and must have accountability for those tasks. Critically, all team members must also understand the inter-relationships among all of the tasks, for that will increase the sense of ‘community’ among the members.
- Establishing the Rulebook
Teambuilding requires that everyone is playing by the same “rules.” Indeed, teamwork activities demand this. Sometimes role-playing team building exercises will be necessary so that everyone has a clear idea of their individual and collective part in rules compliance.
- Establishing Decision-Making Procedures
Good decisions are made when there is enough information, when each team member has that information, and when every member has the opportunity for input. A good leader will investigate various decision-making models, bring them to the team, and make a collective decision about which model works best for them.
Exactly What is Teamwork?
In the end, it is a process. It does involve the three factors highlighted at the beginning of this article – communication, cooperation, and resource allocation.
Communication: Clear and open communication is the result of lots of things. From the time we were in school giving verbal presentations, we have understood the importance of being clear in our communication. The other prong, openness, comes from trust – trust that all ideas can be placed on the table, that conflicts will not be ignored but, rather, addressed and resolved, and that listening is just as important as speaking.
Cooperation: Cooperation is built upon two things – everyone meeting their roles and responsibilities and trusting one another. It means open sharing, assisting, and having each other’s backs.
Resource Allocation: Roles and responsibilities must be divided and assigned based upon the strengths and skills of team members. When team leaders get this right, micro-managing disappears, and team members rise to the expectations set for them.