Team building

Building the right team

With 5 generations at work, with a multicultural workforce becoming the norm and the shift in how people work (part-time, from home, freelancers, e-sourcing ), having team building skills has to be part of your business survival tool box!

But before you start with a group of random individuals and you transform them into one solid unit of efficiency, there are lots of steps you have to go through.

First, make sure to pick people on their best strength. Make sure it answers needs in the company. Why so much emphasis on strength? Because when you work using your strength most of the time, it’s not « work », it’s fun, it’s play, it’s success, it’s not counting hours until Friday at 5. You get better results, so in turn you get praised, then you develop pride in your work, which turns into excellence on the job and better job retention.

Second, you’ve got to make sure that each individual feels his importance, knows how their personal goals are linked to the company’s goals.

Third, give them enough power so they really can take some decisions on their own and than stay clear but make sure to keep them motivated by providing frequent feedback on how well they are doing. Make sure as leader that you provide answers to the need they have to do the job properly. Celebrate successes publicly but keep the constructive criticism private.

Fourth, make sure the group as a purpose, an inspiring mission and a compelling vision to keep in mind. Have clear SMART goals about how to get there and that it can only be achieved by overall success.  Make sure you have a “buy-in” from every member of the team before moving forward.

Five, foster interdependence.  If everyone knows someone’s got their back, if everyone knows each other strengths, chance are the team results will be higher than the sums of it’s parts. Sport team metaphors are always a winner to put emphasis on the importance of having the right people at the right place.

Six, keep communication channels open. Don’t let any rumors fly by and become out of hand. Jump on every chance of putting forward one of team member’s idea. As Captain Michael Abrashoff, author of the great book “It’s you ship’” puts it; “Listen aggressively!”

Seven, remember a team can be efficient for a certain amount of time but by adding fun into the mix, you’ll have a “team” for much longer

Finally, back to the top. Be committed from the start to building a better team. Commitment to anything can only be instilled by example. Live it, get it and reap the rewards that come from it.