6 Steps for creating Effective Teams and a Collaboration Culture at Work
It is an undeniable scientific fact that humans are built to live and work in groups. Throughout the history of humanity, our species has always been striving to create strong social structures that would benefit the majority and protect its weaker members.
From tribes to today’s multicultural megacities, we evolved and achieved greatness by collaborating with each other. This is not by any means something that happened by chance.
There were many circumstances that stalled this process and moved us backwards (wars, economic catastrophes etc.) but somehow we have always managed to pull through. The “team” has most of the times prevailed over absolute, totalitarian regimes in the course of our history. Besides, politics is not as far a concept than the one of creating effective teams that can manage the different aspects of a business.
Εstablishing effective team culture in business
That said, just like each society has its unique culture the same applies to organizations. We hear a lot about the notion of how team culture is important for success, but what does it entail in essence? And, how building a new team culture for your business will benefit your company?
Organizational teams are an amalgamation of multiple individual personalities, skill sets and microcultures that operate together towards common goals. When people of different backgrounds and subcultures come together flowing as one, they can form a new culture! The culture’s dynamics is influenced and developed by the company’s leaders and how they believe it’s best to move forward.
In our previous articles, we discussed the importance of leadership and team building initiatives. In this week’s post, we are going to elaborate on creating effective teams and what makes forming a new business team culture successful.
Effective collaboration at work is the result of your combined efforts as a team manager, so let’s break them down one by one with some examples of how to build trust in the workplace!
Effective team-building strategies for the workplace
Building effective teams and inspiring teamwork is not an easy task; however, being a great leader requires serious people skills, a sense of trust and employing team-building methods and ideas for your office staff.
#1 Get to know your team
The first and most important thing you need to do as a leader is taking the time and learn more about your employees’ personalities and especially what drives them to perform better.
In order to do that you have to put in the effort to create meaningful professional relationships with them while paying attention to their various competencies and quirks.
This way they will trust you more and feel at ease in the workplace. Building effective trust in teams is quite important when you want the members to collaborate without falling into conflicts. Their opinion matters and involving them in the decision-making process will also boost their confidence and this will, in turn, reflect on the team’s effectiveness.
#2 Establish leadership
Before even starting out to build up your team you have to ask yourself whether you have the appropriate leadership skills necessary for this role. Your position in the business is to provide employees with a clear vision and the organizational means to get there.
Effective team management is essentially guiding your team towards the company’s goals while allowing them to utilize their personal strengths to that end.
Oftentimes, you are also responsible for facilitating the smooth collaboration among team members, especially during stressful periods. Your job is to encourage transparency and keeping the communication channels open at all times for constructive conversations.
#3 Organize team-bonding activities
If you want your team to remain strong and united, organizing team-bonding activities is important. Taking your team out for dinner at a nice restaurant every once in a while will promote good communication. Furthermore, it is a great way to get to know each other in a less stressful scenery.
Taking it one step further, one-day trips to nearby destinations will work wonders in building a strong team and a pleasant environment in the workplace.
Showing you appreciate your team on a personal level as well, is extremely important to their sense of self-worth. Celebrating work anniversaries and birthdays is a nice way to express your appreciation for the dedication and effort they put in day in – day out.
Finally, supposing your budget allows it, dedicating an office space to build a playroom or a quiet room for employees to let them steam off, will create a positive atmosphere.
#4 Plan along with the team
If you want to find out how to manage a team successfully, one of the rules that apply universally is setting realistic goals. Being a good leader means discussing timelines and workflows with your team and coming up with schedules that will please the client but will not overwork your staff.
Instead of just delegating tasks and handing out deadlines, let your team determine the best way to go with a project. This will urge them to collaborate with each other and find the most effective project management strategy.
Try to listen to them, encourage brainstorming sessions and let them take full responsibility for their part in a project. Respecting their pace and workflow (to the extent they respect their duties) will give them the freedom to perform better without the burden of unrealistic expectations.
#5 Celebrate victories
Being professional doesn’t mean that you have to be strict and serious all the time. It’s refreshing for everyone if after every tough project you come together as a team to celebrate your success. Propose a toast with wine or champagne, if the occasion calls for it, to your team!
Thank them for their effort, their dedication and remind them how being a solid team is what made it all possible in the first place!
That may include some rewards as well, symbolic or substantial – you choose! You can hand out small but meaningful gifts, announce bonuses or well-deserved promotions.
#6 Learn together from failures
One of the most important aspects of building an effective team is letting failures teach you valuable lessons.
Your role as the team leader is to recognize those lessons and facilitate creative discussions around those subjects that require your team’s attention in the future.
By pointing out mistakes and inconsistencies you will be able to come up with contingency plans for similar cases that might arise. Discussing them with your team and allowing them to offer their input will cultivate a collaborative environment.