It doesnít make difference whether you work in a small organization or big one. As a manager you must have essential skills of building and managing effective teams in the organization. Team work is vital for organizationís success. Without team work employees drift off following their own interest thus making organizationís objectives energies towards one and the only focus and believe it, they achieve not only the goal but amazing results.
Many managers ask me about how one should build a crackles team of people who work well together and move the organization in right direction. There are plenty of books preaching difficult you the team principles but as remains, theory is quite different from practice what a manager do at workplace. In spite of huge investment by company on managers to train them on team building, many professionals still find themselves in making good, cohesive teams by directing individuals and playing referee rather than leading. The reality is that building an effective team is not so difficult and complicated as it often appears.
Managing a team that has been created under given circumstances presents a distinct and even more prevalent leadership challenge. As a leader you have to help managers address the challenges.
We suggest following points to keep in mind while working on effective team building:
The process of effective tem building starts before a new person joins your organization. This is very sensitive stage. You must only hire a person who is compatible to your organization culture, existing people’s attitude and potential. You should introduce newly joined person to existing managers/officers so that they can get an idea of their potential peer. When you appoint some one, rather than just making an offer of employment, you should explain what is expected from him to encounter in the organization – its culture, values and guiding principles. You should also give him a packet of details that has everything about the work environment and job expectations. Here, the new employee must be handed over to a senior sensitive and effective manager who helps the new joiner adapt. The more you can bring some one into fold the better he will adjust and feel a part of the team. This is unfortunate in many cases that first two weeks of a new joiner which are very critical for instilling the team spirit are ignored or handled carelessly. If the new person fined him in isolation in the organization, this feeling gets cemented and it becomes difficult for a manager to bring him in the team as effective player afterward. You need to ensure that every one in the organization should part of team and no doubt, this is very challenging task for any manager. Encouraging team members to share personal history and experience can help achieve to significant things. One – it can convey information about individual competencies and second – can also generate respect for those with in the group. It can also foster co-operation by giving team members a sense of shared past achievement.
Ask team members what worked for them in past employment. When you encourage team members to discuss what has contributed to the success of their past groups, you are making use of a powerful tool for achieving both engagement and commitment. By this way you will also be able to learn new strengths of the team members.
To encourage a sense of team work, make sure every one knows both the short and long term goals of the section as well as the organization. Remember senior persons already working in the organization for a long period would like to have a say in the team to achieve goals and also in the approach to meet the goals. Allow people to express their opinions whether junior or senior and listen to what they say. When members experience that they are being heard in the team equally with respect and dignity they feel a greater sense of involvement even if their opinions are not accepted. At this stage team members should know clearly the purpose of the team. You can explain the problems to be solved or the improvement that will result if the team is successful in its effort. Each member should know each other’s role which contributes to achieving the team goals. It is always beneficial to assign the job to team members keeping in mind their individual’s strengths, experience and training etc.
Detail what each person is responsible for and how that person actions impact the organization as a whole. Each team member should accept the needed responsibility of his job and is accountable for his actions. You should also define to your teams the unacceptable excuses for not performing in right direction because member’s non-performance will affect the results of whole team.
You can improve the effectiveness of your team by articulating how you take decisions. You should briefly outline the scope of decision making for each position on the team members know that decisions affecting the functions of the team or its ability to achieve its objective should be brought directly to you. Alternatively you should keep yourself away from interfering in decisions that appropriately should be made by individuals while working in team.
One of the essential in effective team building is encoring free flow of information up and down. Every one in the team should know what is going to happen next. It helps members to be on some wavelength for the some goals. Arrange short meetings to keep every one update. Make sure that every one has an opportunity to speak. Rapid team building requires information to be exchanged quickly and in all directions. You need to establish a clear process for communicated each other. The most important aspect of team communication is the giving and receiving feed back. In order to establish a culture of effective communication you should also expect negative feed back with gratitude.
You should always be available to your team members to give them proper guidelines when they need so and your message in the process should be that each member is important for the team. Senior persons in the team can also be developed as coach because people are willing to do more when they know that there is room for advancement. Guidance of the coach helps the team to meet goals. The more you train members, the more they will seek out more challenging assignments.
Why team fails?
Absence of trust among team members . If team members are not open with each other about their mistakes, foundation of trust can never be built among team.
Fear of conflict . The teams that lack trust are incapable of honestly debating issues as they resort to veiled discussions .
Lack of commitment . If team members are unable to fully air their views it is impossible that they will be fully committed to the discussions of the group.
Avoid accountability . If team members are not fully bought into the decision of the team they will avoid accountability. No one can stand up and be counted on the issues if he was not committed completely to them at the initial stage.
Pulling personal needs first . Failure to hold one another accountable creates an environment wherein attention to results occurs when team members put their personal needs (recognition, reward, ego etc.) above the collective needs of the team .
Remember team work never happens overnight. Thatís why you need to consistently lead by example. If you want to instill team work you should also be willing to do whatever task you are asking your people to do. Appreciate the right things your people doing give them another chance to prove in case of mistake.