Building a successful team

A strong team can drive a business towards success. Mentor HR consultant Edwina Redhead talks about how to ensure your team are working together effectively.

“Making the journey both fun and meaningful will have a significant impact on the dynamics of a team. It's widely documented that people who enjoy what they do will deliver better results".

In a business landscape that's rapidly changing, having a cohesive team that works well together is critical to performance and driving the bottom line. Often a business's competitive advantage comes down to the strength of its people and their ability to collaborate, communicate and innovate. So how do businesses go about building a high-performing team?

Whether you're working with an existing team or building one from scratch, it's important to get to know your people. What are their motivations? Where do their strengths lie? What conditions do they need to realise their full potential? People are different and understanding what each individual can contribute and bring to the table is an important aspect of establishing a strong team. 

Map the skills and attributes you have within your team and identify those that you still need. Businesses often select team members based on technical capability alone with little thought for individual traits, backgrounds or experiences. Psychometrically profiling a team (or building this into a recruitment selection process) can help to better understand work styles. Increasing awareness of each member's individual strengths will ultimately help the team as a whole to perform at its best.

What does success look like?

Once you have your team in place it's essential that everyone understands their role and the part they play. An effective team requires a clear vision with strong leadership that ensures everyone is aligned to, and working towards, the common goal. In practical terms, leaders should set well-defined expectations for how the team should operate, along with clear responsibilities for each team member. Individual or team objectives that are measurable should be set so that progress can be regularly reviewed. 

It's important that everyone in the team is aware of what success looks like and that any goal that's set contributes towards this. Some mistakes may be made along the way but a successful team will quickly learn from these. Make sure you have the right framework in place to ensure any challenges or setbacks - and the key lessons from these - are communicated to the whole team. If you're establishing a new team for a project, thinking about your methods and frequency of communication before the project begins, as well as considering individual work styles, will ensure your team functions at its optimum. 

In addition to learning from challenges or setbacks, celebrating key milestones will help to keep your team engaged and motivated. Making the journey both fun and meaningful will have a significant impact on the dynamics of a team. It's widely documented that people who enjoy what they do will be more productive and deliver better results. Help keep your team engaged by celebrating the small successes, recognising great work and giving opportunities for self-development and personal growth. 

By Edwina Redhead

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