“Great things in business are never done by one person, they’re done by a team of people.”
One essential part of being a successful business owner is building an effective and productive team that exemplifies the company’s vision and executes its goals. Because behind every noteworthy organization is an exemplary team. For example, a great basketball team passes the ball around until a member finds the best opportunity to shoot. Each person has a specific and important role in winning the game, and not one player can do it without another. They are a TEAM. Most of you will agree that teamwork and collaboration are necessary for a business to succeed. However, you may fail to see a clear path towards creating this highly productive “Dream Team.”
In this blog, we will discuss the why, what, and how related to team building in a workplace.
Why does teamwork matter?
As we mentioned above, teamwork is a vital piece for a business that strives to thrive. And when an effective team is set up you can expect benefits like:
New and innovative ideas
Having a diverse team of talented individuals can help you stay on top of the competitive business market by providing fresh perspectives and bringing new, creative ideas to the table. All you have to do is keep an open mind and encourage your team to speak up.
This one is all about the “feels.” When you foster a positive and team-focused environment you will help strengthen the overall spirit of your workplace. Your employees will want to come to work each day and take advantage of the opportunities to contribute to the company’s future successes. Team spirit and productivity go hand in hand.
As we mentioned in the above topic, better teamwork leads to more motivation and increased productivity. A behind-the-scenes benefit to a higher production rate is that your team’s workload capacity becomes exponentially larger. Simply put, more is achieved in less time.
Self-Monitoring task completion
As a business owner, you should not be micromanaging your employees or forced to hold their hands to meet deadlines. Your focus should be on a few key aspects of your business and tasks you enjoy like those involved with the vision and growth direction of your company. Once you create a highly efficient machine aka “ Your Dream Team,” you should be able to walk away confident that they will complete each target goal with the highest standards.
Do the benefits of a highly effective team sound like something you want? Then, let’s dive into some generalized qualities of any successful team:
They have a clear direction and a common goal and this starts with you as the leader.
Everyone contributes their fair share of hard work, ideas, and time.
They offer support and assistance to one another inside and outside of the office.
Demonstrate trust and open lines of communication. There should be a sense of comfort within the group to voice opinions without fear of backlash. Again, starting with you.
Divi up the workload by assigning tasks related to each of their strengths and passions.
Hold each other accountable for their individual responsibilities, as well as yours.
How to create your “dream team.”
As the owner, you need to lead the way and promote the environment and style you want your team to have. Start by getting your employees involved in your part of the business where it fits and do your best to support them in their work as well. In addition, strive to show your team that you appreciate and are aware of all the great work they are doing. Be genuine.
Either you or your manager needs to provide the team with clear goals, expectations, and deadlines. This will keep everyone on task and give them something to work towards together.
When you are trying to teach a child good manners or a dog a trick you may reward them when they do the right thing or as reinforcement for positive behavior. When you are looking to create a thriving team-focused environment it is also important to provide incentives when they accomplish something together. This will make them more likely to support one another in group and individual projects. Another idea to play with is recognizing a group member who went above and beyond, as the “employee of the month.”
Open communication is obviously important for an efficient team, but this also needs to begin with you. As the boss you need to be the first to establish this open-door policy, so your employees feel comfortable voicing their opinions, ideas, and concerns with you. You can start by making one of your priorities conflict resolution. And then reach out to your team about inviting everyone to contribute to projects, asking for their feedback, encouraging people to ask for assistance when needed, and telling them you are willing to listen. Your steps will encourage others to speak freely and lead to a more cohesive team.
One concept you may not have considered is the layout of your office. Believe it or not, this can have a major effect on how people function together. For example, which of the following layouts promotes better teamwork? A giant space with tons of cubicles or an open table where employees can see and speak with one another without peeking around a fake wall? If you are working remotely with employees, you should encourage them to do virtual meetups for brainstorming, so each person feels included, special, and a valuable member of the team.
Team building events and social gatherings with your team outside of work can be great for fostering creativity and building team spirit. These events can be inside the office, outside, and virtual. A few fun ideas to get you started are:
Creating an office film (for fun and possibly for advertising (people like behind the scenes)
Organizing a team kickball game (outside for fresh air, exercise, and fun)
Fundraising projects that will raise money for a charity you all believe in
Actual team building activities and games: like high ropes courses, the human knot, etc. (team building game ideas)
These are ONLY a few of many ideas out there, get creative! And build your DREAM team!
Email Christy@lookatmybooks.com for more information on how we can help!