Teamwork is important for any working environment. If you want to see success, then you have to be prepared to maintain your team’s performance with some simple tips!
Sometimes we are so busy, we forget to pay attention to the basics of teamwork. From my experience, here are three things you should be doing consistently and constantly to maintain a high-performance team.
1. Be transparent and explicit about expectations. When we get busy, we assume our team knows what to do and that they are busy also. The busier we get the less we communicate. If you want your team to be fully engaged, you must continuously communicate about the goals and their responsibilities. Being able to link an employee’s responsibility directly to a goal is powerful.
2. Provide feedback to individual team members at least weekly. We improve when we take time to reflect and adjust our actions. Your team is no different. Feedback will trigger reflection and help them improve. Work to provide feedback that is supportive and challenging.
3. Help your team achieve the goals. Be a part of the team. Do not isolate yourself as a leader. You can help with the required tasks or you can help by removing problems and roadblocks for others. Contribute as much as you ask others to contribute.
Even if you feel you are busy, these activities should be on your agenda. They seem very basic, but I have seen leaders that drift away from these basics many times. Try to boost your focus on these actions, and watch your team overachieve! Ashley Lee wrote a great piece about teamwork recently and how to acknowledge and work with your teams to avoid any sort of dysfunction that may occur. Because there will be dysfunction at some point – we’re only human after all. We all make mistakes that we can learn from and that’s a natural part of this process, too! She expressed how important it is to think about teamwork as finding the middle ground of each team members’ perspectives in a way that won’t divert focus from the ultimate goal – success.
It involves the humbling of oneself; to step outside personal opinion, look at the greater picture and if necessary, admit that a different suggestion or action is in fact a better option for the project at hand. Yet, embracing collaboration isn’t simply about compromise. We can and should still work on designated portions of a system or project the way we feel is best aligned with our goals and expectations as contributors. It’s a balancing act no doubt and a precarious one at that.
Phew, that’s a lot of information to absorb, don’t you think? So how can we start that change? It seems pretty overwhelming and the starting point is going to be different from person to person. We can’t fit all of us into one tidy little box, can we? There is so much advice everywhere you look, on the internet and from other people, it can feel like you’re drowning in tips! Ashley looked to SmartSheet for some guidance.
Smartsheet, a product aimed to facilitate teams, training, work groups, etc., published The Ultimate Guide to Team Assessments. This article is rather large, but it is chock full of great information and tips on how to assess, improve and/or build strong teams in your office. Topics include:
- Teams vs. Groups and Why Teamwork Rules
- Assessments and the Stages of Team Development
- The “Five Dysfunctions” Team Assessment Model
- The Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team
- Choosing an Assessment For Your Team
- DIY Team Assessment Tools