In every workplace, there comes a time when you will need to work on projects as a team. For managers who are not used to group work, it can be a challenge to establish a cohesive team. Even for managers who work with teams all the time, it can still be a challenge to get people to work together.
No matter if you're building a team for the first time, or just trying to refine the process, here are eight ways to successfully build a cohesive team:
Establish a mission. The most important factor to determine before selecting members is your team's mission. Decide the goals of the group and how you will accomplish those goals. Then select team members who will contribute best to the mission.
Look for diversity. The most successful teams require diversity. Diverse teams have access to many people with varying skills and experiences. A diverse group will be able to pull from all these experiences in order to achieve the mission.
Practice teamwork. Team-building exercises are the best way to see how individual members will work together to accomplish a goal. Before your team has to work on important tasks, see how they handle something simple like an ice breaker. Who took the lead? Who worked well together? Use what you observe and apply it to the real mission. Plus, your team members will bond with each other in the process.
Utilize individual strengths. Determine the strengths of each team member and assign them to specific tasks based on their strengths. Delegating based on strengths is the best way for the group to accomplish its goals. Be clear about what each member is responsible for and hold them accountable.
Communicate effectively. A team cannot be cohesive if communication is ineffective. Make sure to methods of communication are consistent. Clearly explain the team's instructions and goals. Make sure all messages are constructed for the benefit of the team.
Give feedback. Throughout a project and after a project is complete, you need to give your team feedback. This should be a combination of individual feedback and for the team as a whole. Explain what worked well, what didn't, and the results of their project. Constructive feedback will make for a more cohesive team during the next project.
Ask for feedback. Not only should you give your team feedback, but also you should ask them to give it to you. Ask what they thought worked well and not so well. Multiple opinions can really shine a light on flaws in the process. Plus, your team members will feel like their opinion matters when you take it in to account for next time.
Celebrate success. When your team successfully accomplishes the mission you established at the beginning, it's important to recognize them for it. Make sure the group knows you appreciate their work and thank them.
Building a cohesive team is a never-ending process. With every new project comes different challenges. It is important to consistently make sure your team is working well together and reaching results effectively.
What are some other suggestions for building a cohesive team?