How to build a strong team- 10 steps

Unfortunately we are in a generation where everyone wants to stand out and be in the lead. This has led to very many unhealthy competitions and rivalries in families, private and public organizations.
Nothing beats team work in life. No leader can ever succeed without an efficient and effective team. Bob Morgan traces the success of the air force during world war 1 to team work. The story is the same today. Every real success in any endeavor is an outcome of teamwork.

what is teamwork? Teamwork is the collaborative or joint effort of a group of people with a common purpose and objective, to complete a task in the most effective and efficient way. It include members ability to work together, communicate effectively, anticipate and meet each other’s demands, and inspire confidence, resulting in a coordinated collective action.

While Teamwork calls for sustained leadership and goal orientation, the success or outcome of every project is hinged on the contributions of the team members. These contributions include their skills, capacities, experience and a whole lot of variables that will be harnessed by an efficient leader to realize the project’ objectives.

There are many factors that determine whether an organization grows or not. Many of these factors like capital, prevailing economies, political environment and government policies are beyond the management or business owner’s control. However, there is one factor that nearly all business owners can control that may directly determine long term business success: hiring the right people, and coalescing them into a successful and powerful team.

Strong and high-performing teams do not happen by chance or just by recruiting the best hands. They require careful cultivation from a team leader with a strong sense of team values, goals, and code of ethics. Without the conscious guidance and exemplary acts of the leader to the team, an effective team work is almost impossible. Find below 10 steps that have been tested and proven to help organizations create high-performing team.

Establish expectations from the beginning. Do not leave your team to guesswork. Be very specific in your expectation of them. Create an organizational culture for your team.

Identify individual strength and recognize them. As much as you want to have a strong team, recognize the fact that each member is a personality and areas of strength varies. Do not disregard anyone irrespective of their perceived weakness. Focus on their strengths and acknowledge them.

Create connections within the team. Encourage members to relate with one another not just as colleagues but as people on a journey together. Team games, recreational activities and travels can help solidify relationships. You may for instance take team meetings outside the office to a tea room, a weekend at a resort or a games field.

Exercise emotional intelligence. Be interested in team members’ welfare. Great leaders are emphatic. They show interest in the happenings around the lives of their team and do not just treat them as machines. Ask after their families, remember their birthdays, visit when they have health challenge.

Reward excellent performance. Do not just openly acknowledge good performance, ensure such performances are rewarded. Rewards can be in forms of commendation letters, bonuses, vacation trips or promotion.

Communication must be clear, unambiguous, consistent, continuous and documented where required. Do not assume that your team knows what to do. The communication line must be open and accessible. So improve on those communication skills; effective communication can keep working relationships strong for decades, while silence can break things apart very quickly.

Establish a strong feedback channel . It’s not enough to communicate, you must create an efficient feedback mechanism and be ready to review constructive criticism. Every issues raised in a feedback wether positive or negative must be addressed and cleared with the team.

Motivate Motivate Motivate. Great leaders create avenues for their teams to improve. Motivation helps a team to grow and perform optimally. It can be simply by the examples set by leadership. Avoid open criticism rather dwell more on individual strength. Positive reinforcement is a more productive manner of motivating team performance than shaming those who messed up.

Encourage diversity, creativity and innovation . Do not stereotype your team. Allow creativity among your team. Remember they come from different backgrounds, experiences, ages, and opinions. Do not insist that things must be done in specific ways.

Build trust. Create an atmosphere of trust by delegating responsibilities. Give crucial assignments and entrust your team to deliver.
Great things in business are made happen by a group of people. Teamwork is the reason an organization thrives. No one succeeds alone. The strength of each member is the strength of the team.

Adenike Babajamu (June 2021)

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