Building Effective Teams

When thinking about how to build an effective team, the key word is “effective.” To be truly effective, teams must be in sync, committed to shared, actionable goals— and confident about their contributions. That doesn’t happen independently, so it’s up to people in leadership positions to ensure everything operates smoothly. That way, teams save time and money, feel more productive, and have more to celebrate.

This blog post highlights what makes a successful team, how to build a strong team culture, and more.

The importance of building an effective team

Efficiency is critical for business success and workplace productivity. Clear communication, a sense of belonging, and shared goals build employee engagement. Effective operations’ value alignment and positive interactions drive a positive workplace culture. Effective teams’ problem-solving skills also leave space for continuous learning, innovation, and mentorship.

These benefits give organizations a competitive advantage regarding recruitment and retention and support your business’s bottom line. Employees are more likely to invest discretionary effort into daily activities when things are moving smoothly, business is good, and the whole team is engaged. This, in turn, boosts effectiveness, efficiency, and productivity.

 What makes a successful team?

So, what makes a successful team? Higher levels of efficiency and effectiveness. Efficient teams are successful teams. Building effective teams requires leaders to:

  • Work collaboratively towards shared goals
  • Use effective communication skills 
  • Understand shared roles and responsibilities
  • Promote a positive workplace culture
  • Encourage flexibility and overcoming obstacles together
  • Know the signs of a good leader, for themselves and those they manage

Steps to building an effective team

Figuring out how to build an effective team can be overwhelming. What do you focus on and where do you start? Lucky for you, effectiveness is like a math equation. To perform at a higher level, you must be intentional about goals, communication, leadership, productivity, and incentives. To operate as effectively as possible, follow these eight simple steps.  

1. Set clear goals

To achieve goals, you have to set them first. Define precisely what you want to achieve and a timeline for getting it done. Clear, actionable goals and timelines make it easier for employees to understand company expectations and their contributions. Plus, clarity makes it easier to celebrate and recognize achievements, big or small.

2. Define roles

Defining individual roles and responsibilities is a crucial part of setting clear goals. To be effective, every person on the team needs to know their responsibilities — and how those responsibilities support their teammates’ goals and company vision. Giving employees clearly defined roles makes it easier for people to understand their jobs. And it helps leaders identify opportunities for development and improvement.

3. Communicate effectively

Communication is a vital part of all eight steps. Teams must improve workplace communication whenever and wherever possible. Think about how your teams brainstorm, collaborate, and inform each other. Are individual team members familiar with their coworkers’ communication preferences? Do people in leadership positions consider those preferences when motivating and recognizing their workforce? These are all moments when communication has a direct impact on team effectiveness.

4. Encourage collaboration

Things get done faster when people help each other out. Collaborating on projects saves time and nurtures innovation and a diversity of perspectives. Additionally, brainstorming and problem–solving together boost team morale and connection. All that makes teams operate more creatively, effectively, and organically.

5. Create a conflict management strategy

Conflicts will arise, no matter what industry you’re in. Whether it’s issues around communication, competition, or performance, you must know how to handle them. A plan or strategy makes it easier for leaders to respond to conflicts quickly and efficiently. That way employees maintain a healthy relationship with their leaders and teams.

6. Choose effective leaders

Successful companies understand the importance of leadership in the workplace. Choosing and developing leaders with effectiveness in mind sets the tone for everyone else. A strong vision, motivation skills, and a knack for performance are contagious. Before you know it, effective leaders will get everything and everyone in check. 

Learn more: How Leadership Can Improve Employee Engagement

7. Review and adjust

Iterations are another critical component of building effective teams. Look at your performance data and ask employees for feedback on their productivity. If opportunities for improvement emerge, jump on them and keep an eye out for improvements. If none appear, keep iterating until you find the formula for peak performance.

8. Reward and recognize employees

To keep teams operating effectively, leaders must reward and recognize employees regularly. Employee recognition makes people feel good and work harder, but it needs to be the right reward or recognition. Ask employees how they prefer to be recognized. Being intentional and asking for feedback often maximizes results and keeps organizations operating effectively and profitably in a sustainable way.

Attract top talent with Top Workplaces

Building effective teams requires talented employees. Attract top talent with Top Workplaces and keep them engaged with Energage’s comprehensive employee engagement platform. Nominate your organization today to get started! 

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