Team effectiveness is critical for growth. Every business or company consists of a team – usually divided into different units or departments. These teams work together to help the company achieve its goals and objectives. However, team effectiveness is one of the significant differences between very successful companies and average or not successful ones.
No matter the kind of business, setting up a team is never enough – it’s really just the first step. In essence, every company must ensure they have the right people and processes in place to improve work efficiency and boost productivity.
In other words, a great company is a reflection of outstanding teams because these teams are at the forefront of every task, workload, idea, goal, and result. And with efficient teams and processes, a company will build collaboration, improve idea sharing, reduce individual workloads, reduce costs, and maximize profits.
However, effective teams don’t just exist; neither can you build one overnight. It takes a lot of work from top to bottom. Usually, it would help if you had an action plan or roadmap that clearly defines your business goals and help every team member understand their role in achieving them. And this is where a document like a team charter comes in.
So, in this article, we’ll be giving insights into how to build an effective and continuously productive team, the importance of team charters to achieving this, and ultimately, building a successful business with employees who are duly rewarded and happy.
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How to maximize team effectiveness
As stated earlier, leading a team – regardless of how big or small it is – is not for the faint-hearted. Managing people is more complicated than it looks since different people with varying backgrounds, temperaments, and skillsets come together as a team.
However, what makes a great leader or business owner is the ability to manage these different people in the best way to achieve the goals for which they were hired. This begins by making everyone understand the company’s vision, business goals, and objectives, then believing in these dreams enough to key into them.
Once they are on the same page, you’ll be on the road to having a group of professionals who believe in each other, depend on each other, and work together to achieve the goal(s) you’ve set before them.
However, it is essential to note that as a leader, success begins with you. You define what success is to your employees and then set them on the right path to achieving this with the proper support, processes, and procedures.
Here are some hacks to building a highly efficient and productive team:
1. Hire the right people
The first step to achieving team effectiveness is having the right talents and professionals. This is why you must have a solid recruitment process to ensure you have the people with the right skillset joining your team.
However, while focusing on potential hires’ knowledge, skills, and abilities, you must also ensure they are a perfect culture fit. You don’t want an employee that’s good at their job alone. Instead, you should have people who can do more and bring more to the table. These all-round talents have the soft skills like communication, empathy, and teamwork to collaborate and work with other people without any problems.
Recruiting right will save you time and costs you’d rather invest into replacing unfit hires from time to time. It will also help ensure you have people you can depend on to be in control and do their jobs with little to no supervision.
Similarly, when hiring, you should focus on diversity and inclusion. Having a diverse team comes with a lot of benefits, including a feeling of togetherness from people from different religious, racial, sexual, and age backgrounds. This broad mix of people, thoughts, and ideas will develop into vibrant ideas, high productivity, and a befitting bottom line.
2. Lead with gratitude
It’s true that the primary reason employees are hired is for them to work and get paid. However, employees can underperform and still get paid – which is why you must appreciate your employees for doing their jobs well. This is a key to increasing team effectiveness.
With a grateful mindset, you’ll help your employees realize that you value them and their contributions. It will also give them the push to work harder, get more plaudits and recognition, and invariably continue striving for success for you and your business.
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Every form of employee recognition is good. But people and different, and as such, you should find out which approach works best for each of your workers.
Since it’s also very easy to get swamped with work and forget some details, you can set reminders to show gratitude to your team from time to time.
3. Consider well-being
We’re at a time where everyone is literally going through personal issues and still has to navigate being their best at work. In essence, to help your employees find a better balance between their personal and professional lives, ensure you have a work environment that prioritizes their physical and mental health.
To do this, you can put up prints or images around the workspace that remind them that it’s okay to take a break if they feel overwhelmed.
You can also have check-ins with them to find out how they’re doing during meetings, provide tips and resources to help them learn how to have a healthy work-life balance, suggest stress-relieving exercises to them, or even get a trainer to come by your office occasionally to coordinate in-house workout sessions.
Ultimately, you’ll have healthy people with their best selves working with you, which will put you on the right path to improved team effectiveness.
4. Set the action plan
As a leader, you’re solely responsible for the success of your business or team. You know what success means to you, and you should ensure you communicate this with your team. To ensure effective communication of such, you need a plan of action that everyone needs to take to arrive at the set goal.
With an action plan, every team member understands the task at hand because you’d have broken it down into achievable bits and milestones. You’d have also clearly explained everyone’s role in the project, ruthlessly prioritized their contributions, and made a clear path for success.
5. Clarify goals, roles, and responsibilities
Everyone has a role to play in a team. They were also hired for these different roles and responsibilities. So, every individual should be clear about the uniqueness of their job and strive to attain the goals.
Usually, these roles and responsibilities are determined by the CEO or human resource department, but you can also let team leads make adjustments if necessary. This will foster camaraderie and healthy conflict since everyone understands their involvement in the company’s objective.
With clarity of roles also comes focus and dedication. You’ll have your team in order, build accountability, avoid role overlap, and have a laser-focused and productive team.
6. Identify your team’s weaknesses and strengths
There’s simply no perfect person or team. In essence, every member of your team will come with their strengths and weaknesses. And it is the duty of the manager to identify these and keep them in mind when assigning tasks or delegating duties.
You can also use your teammates’ strengths and weaknesses to the company’s advantage by grouping them into teams for projects and assignments.
For instance, if someone has excellent presentation skills, you can let them present to clients, while someone with good research skills can work on ideas and initiatives to enrich the company presentation.
Team effectiveness stems from leveraging the right people in the right roles. As careers progress, your team member may want to try new opportunities so create paths within your organization for them to experiment.
You might find that a person in marketing would be amazing at sales, or that one of your financial analysts is actually a solid operations specialist.
7. Recognize the right time to start
Once you’ve established everyone’s roles and expected contributions to a project or the business as a whole, ensure you keep them on their toes and that they’re productive. In other words, you should be clear about when they should kick off their tasks and follow up with clear timelines.
This way, everyone can hit the ground running and start implementing whatever ideas they have into the project. More importantly, it would be best if you let them do the jobs for which they’ve been hired freely and trust them to deliver.
8. Give your team members ownership
As stated earlier, you hired your team members to come onboard and leverage their skills and expertise. So, you should foster an environment where they can do this. When you give employees ownership, they’ll be more proactive in making decisions, and you can also hold them fully accountable for their contributions – whether good or bad.
Having an ownership mindset will also help your employees feel valued and be willing to deliver whatever you’ve entrusted them with to the best of their abilities.
9. Ensure proper communication
Your team’s productivity is strongly linked to effective communication. When communication becomes a problem within a group, the group will most likely fail. In essence, you should ensure you have effective communication measures in place, and your team also understands their importance.
When there is a communication gap, people will be confused about what to do, how to do it, when to do it, etc. So, as the team lead, you should ensure you’re clear when assigning tasks. You should also look out for potential communication issues and conflicts among your subordinates.
To make it easier for you, you can use a team charter for this purpose. A team charter is a document that highlights a project, the human and physical resources involved in the project, and the timeframe. It will help everyone understand and communicate their parts in the bigger picture to achieve collective goals – since everyone contributes to the document, and not just the management.
10. Conduct meetings with clear objectives
Meetings require investments like time, cost and money – and the goal of every meeting is to ensure every stakeholder is on the right track to get work done. Unless your appointment is aimed at this goal, then they aren’t productive.
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And to achieve great results from meetings, it’s essential that you’re specific about their goals to be conveyed and discussed.
You should also leave room for contributions and ideas from your teammates and be time conscious.
11. Conduct team building activities
It’s important to bring your team together with fun activities to improve productivity and camaraderie among them. Usually, employees may not like each other due to personal reasons, but when you initiate team bonding activities, you’ll defeat animosity and indirectly resolve brewing or existing conflicts.
12. Make the workflow efficient by using the right tools and technology
In challenging industries, like construction, time tracking is critical for project success in a hybrid work setting. It allows construction managers to see where work is being done and by whom, and identify issues early on. By tracking construction progress, construction managers can make data-driven decisions that improve project efficiency and avoid costly mistakes. In a hybrid work setting, construction time tracking can also help construction managers manage teams remotely by providing visibility into who is working on what and when. With the right construction time tracking tool in place, you will be able to manage your construction project effectively, regardless of whether team members are working in the office or on the job site.
Having the right tools and technology in place will help improve your business processes and project management activities. With the latest technology, you’ll have a tech-savvy team that can efficiently get work done.
Similarly, communication can be seamless between your team and clients, and you’ll be able to save time and improve teamwork since many processes are automated.
13. Instill the culture of coaching
The world is constantly evolving, and your team also should. Have learning and development at the forefront of your business processes to help employees learn and improve their skillsets.
You can help your team learn by giving them feedback on tasks they’ve done and coaching them in the process. You can also invest in peer coaching or buddy training for people to learn and try new skills within the workplace. This will make it easier for them to receive feedback directly from their peers instead of from the management only.
14. Consider work environment
Your work environment and infrastructure can set the pace for business success. With a beautiful work environment with modern designs, perfect lighting, comfortable furniture, and other facilities like flowers, everyone will be happy to come to work.
It might seem insignificant, but the physical environment has a direct impact on how employees feel. Apart from physical beauty in the environment, a healthy environment for the mental health of the employees is also very important, as things such as toxic environment or interactions negatively impact productivity.
15. Exchange feedback
Feedback is essential to productivity. Without a feedback mechanism, your employees won’t know what they are doing right or what needs to be worked on. For example, a team member will not work on being more efficient if they don’t know they’re lagging behind.
In essence, implement performance reviews and both positive and constructive feedback processes to encourage employees who are overperforming and help underperforming ones improve. Don’t forget that you may need to guide or coach the underperforming ones. So, ask if they need your support in any way.
By doing so, you’ll give them the option of choice and have them accountable for their actions. And you’ll be able to save time and resources that would be invested in other less productive activities that such employees would have embarked on if you didn’t redirect them.
16. Build trust by networking
Usually, there are many employees within different teams in a company. And your team cannot work in isolation. So, as a team leader, ensure you create ways for your team to interact and network with people from other departments.
The advantage of this is that when there are projects that require collaboration between both teams to get things done more effectively, it’ll be easier for everyone to get along – since they’re not entirely new to each other.
To do this, you can create networking events across different teams. You can also have team members join a mentorship program as mentors or mentees to learn from others. Just ensure the people involved are open to such plans and are knowledgeable about what they have to do.
17. Reward and appreciate employees
Everyone likes being praised for a good job well done – and will most likely do more if rewarded for a well-executed task. Appreciating your staff is another key component to building team effectiveness.
So, for every win – no matter how little – you should praise your team. To make it more genuine, don’t use generic expressions like “good job!” Instead, you should be specific about exactly what job was done, their role, and their achievement(s).
With positive feedback, your employees will feel more valued and motivated for every task. Similarly, other employees will emulate the good works of their recognized team members, and you’ll build healthy competition.
Incentives will also work better with recognition. So, have monetary and non-monetary incentive options to appreciate employees instead of limiting it to just words.
While at it, don’t forget that failures are also part of the business. So, when your team fails, you should still acknowledge their efforts put into the task and encourage them that it’s okay to take calculated risks and still fail sometimes. Similarly, the rest of the team can learn from such an experience and avoid similar failures.
Ultimately, you’ll build a formidable and productive team that’s encouraged to work hard and achieve results.
Rome wasn’t built in a day, so creating team effectiveness won’t happen overnight. Making your team highly productive takes a lot of effort, time, sweat, and other resources. However, it’s not impossible if you’re willing to.
With the right people and mindset, you’ll be on your way to achieving success. But the onus lies on you to provide the physical, mental, and emotional support that your team needs to perform well and help smash your goals.
So, you can start laying the foundation today and continue building your dream team one day at a time. Ultimately, you’ll realize your dreams are valid, and you’ll be able to impact lives and build a successful business.