How to Improve Teamwork and Build Better Teams in 2020
A winning team works together and achieves challenging goals efficiently. A good team makes it look easy. But there is much more to building a winning team than just putting together a group of qualified people. A team works best when team members bring their unique skills and talents together.
Develop a plan for the team to share the workload early in the project phase. Define the shared goal and ensure the team members understand their purpose. This way they can help each other, and each team member can contribute their strengths, be passionate and committed to the vision, and delegate efficiently. Let’s break it down.
Winning teams are passionate. Team members fully embrace the vision and feel that their contribution has value, making them highly motivated to give their all. Mutual trust, respect and support are key. Ideally, these team members complement each other while each bringing their unique skills to the table. It’s all about balancing personalities so that the group works well together and challenges each other.
What is the team’s purpose? Make sure that the purpose is clear to all that are involved. Outline the end goal and what each team member’s role is in achieving this goal. Is the team creating something new? Improving on a process? Enacting a big change? Laser-focused inspiration paves the way for winning teamwork and helps the group as they face roadblocks and make choices.
After the team has been created and is clear on their purpose, it’s time to break it down into individual goals and tasks. Create a team schedule outlining the tasks with deadlines, milestones and responsibilities. Each team member should have a role and be committed to that role. In addition to the team itself, don’t forget about other resources that may be required to meet the team goal. Consider things like time, materials, physical workspace, additional support and money.
Set expectations early and often. Make them clear and make sure that everyone understands. Decide how team communication will work and how team members will contribute their ideas and receive feedback. Have a conflict resolution process in place. Clear expectations set the tone for the team’s conduct and contributions.
The Review process
It’s important to review the group’s performance regularly. This can be through team meetings and one-on-one conversations. Is progress being made? Ask questions to determine how the team and each member is doing, what they have achieved, what they have learned, challenges they are having and what improvements can be made along the way.
A little recognition goes a long way. Celebrate the team and its individuals. Recognize small milestones, big milestones – all milestones. Recognition boosts morale and motivates the group. The key is to be consistent. From a simple ‘thank you’ at a team meeting to an entire team lunch, recognition should be inspirational and encourage team members to keep achieving milestones towards the team’s goal.
Comfort is key
Consider ergonomics as part of your team’s productivity. A more comfortable work environment makes work easier, reduces injuries and increases overall efficiency in the workplace. Things like ergonomically designed keyboards and office chairs can help prevent musculoskeletal disorders like tendonitis, muscle strains and back pain. You’re not just looking at improved productivity, but improved quality of life.
Don’t overlook the break room when it comes to comfort. A comfortable space to decompress and escape stress can be a big morale booster. The less stressed your team is, the more productive they will be. A space with comfortable furniture, fun decor and satisfying snacks can really help create a home away from home.
Take a break
Speaking of break rooms, allowing team members to take frequent breaks is an essential part of a thriving workplace culture. It gives your team time to de-stress, refresh and refocus for the rest of the workday. Without a break, it’s too easy for our brains to tune out and be less productive for the long haul.
Taking a short break isn’t a waste of time. It recharges people and improves overall job satisfaction. But according to a recent survey by Tork, 38% of employees don’t feel encouraged to take a lunch break, and certainly don’t feel they have permission to frequent a break room during the workday.
Gone are the days of working non-stop to look like a hard worker. The reality is that it’s the performance that matters, not how many hours you spend looking busy. Workplace norms are being redefined every day and employers need to stay up to speed. Taking breaks during the workday brings increased productivity, improved mental health and more creativity. Plus, taking the time to stretch and step away from screens reduces muscle stiffness and eye strain.
Set the bar high
Creating a high-performance workplace culture can energize your team members, raise profitability and help you beat out the competition. A dysfunctional workplace brings down morale and creates conflict among coworkers, customers and other stakeholders. Keep things simple, communicate expectations clearly, collaborate and do things right the first time.
Make team bonding a priority through things like regular video calls, icebreakers to start meetings, a water cooler channel in your team collaboration app and hosting regular social events.
Remote working arrangements can also increase productivity and efficiency and are part of every desirable workplace culture today. The average American commuter spends over 200 hours commuting each year. Long commutes are a source of stress and make for low energy employees. In addition to commute time, working remotely also saves workers money on fuel each year. Give your team choices in how they work to see happier, more productive employees.
Want to learn more about embracing the modern workplace and what makes a high-performing team? It’s important to educate yourself and spend time finding solutions to strengthen your team. Attend a class, register for a webinar or take advantage of an e-learning opportunity like KnowledgeCity’s course on team building.