You’re only as good as the person next to you. This is something that nobody believes, but if you want your employees to work well as a team, you have got to start pushing this notion forward. We all strive for individual recognition, but if you’ve got a crack team of specialists or a group that need to deliver a project on deadline, then you must address this matter right off the bat. How is this done?
Forging something like group dynamics begins before any task has been set. By practicing exercises, you can see how every member works before you set them anything important. Who took charge? Who stood back and let everyone else carry on with the task? In finding out how people work, you can utilize their skills much more effectively. Plus, it gives the team a chance to get to know each other better. Team building exercises are viewed as trite by some people, but if this is the case, do you want this type of person on your team in the first place? While basic sociology determines that people will fulfill a certain role in a group dynamic, you need to take this into account when setting up a group of workers. It’s very simple to let people “get on” with a task, but looking at how each person in that group embodies a role is a little signifier of how the team will work together to accomplish these tasks.
Communication between the members of a team means nothing if you can’t communicate yourself to them in the first place. Be clear in setting out goals, plans, actions and instructions. Set a precedent, especially when it’s a very important task, and you will be laying out exactly what you expect of each member of the team. Likewise, if you’re going to be setting a standard, it might not be met with approval, which can upset the dynamic. Feedback is vital from both sides. You can give individual feedback to a person if they need to pick up the slack, or if you feel that something isn’t gelling, it may be down to you. Opening up the floor for honest feedback is something to be encouraged, and it’s not an easy thing to set up. Honesty may not feel like the best policy in business, but if you want a team to work together, then it needs to be part of the criteria.
You need to celebrate your accomplishments with your team. Every person takes praise in a different way. Some take the “aww shucks” approach, and some actively seek it out and bask in the glory for a little while. So reward them as you see fit, from employee recognition tokens to gift bags, or even just a simple handshake. However you see fit to praise your team, do it, but make sure you mean it too. The value of hard work needs to be rewarded.
Building a team will always require changing, and the dynamics will always alter, but if you adapt to the new challenges and maintain an honest forum, it will help to make a team that works together well.
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