By Julie Rolles, Training Specialist at PSA Security Network
It is that time of year when the NFL returns to reveal the great teams they have built through their draft picks, veteran players and pre-season practice. As we all know, great teams are not the individuals within the team but how the individuals interact and work together, in other words, their cohesion and synergy.
We not only see great teams revealed in sports, but also in business. A great team contributes exponential value to a businesses’ success. Remember, the quality of work will never exceed the quality of the team behind it. Members of a team have a mutual mission and are jointly responsible for their work. By organizing their efforts, team members generate a positive working environment and achieve a level of performance that exceeds what would have been accomplished if members had worked individually. How can you create the “Dream Team” of your organization that will exceed yours and others expectations?
Build a great team through practice. Team building does not just happen because you grouped some people together and want them to “play nice” with one another. Practice makes perfect. When meeting with your team, begin with some team building exercises that will force people to work together and learn about their teammates. According to Klein, DiazGranados, Salas, Le, Burke, Lyons, & Goodwin (2009) “… team building has a positive to moderate effect across all team outcomes.” However, it is about finding an effective team building exercise that suits your team, not an activity just to throw in an activity – make it meaningful.
Great teams need effective communication. Much like the comparison to sports, winning teams have great communication on and off the field – top teams in business also have great communication in and out of the office.
This begins with informal communication and informal conversations in and out of the team interactions.Khan & Khan argue, “Informal communication patterns can develop positive employee qualities and improve customer service and organizational performance. They can be less intimidating, more personal and promote a two-way communication pattern, co-operation and unity within the organization. This can increase employee commitment, loyalty and enthusiasm.”
Effective teams have a clear sense of purpose and vision in which team members clearly understand the task at hand, what is expected of them and their role on the team. Team members should be involved in active planning to identify the goals and the ways to achieve those goals. Through the involvement in identifying and planning team goals, team member motivation to achieve team goals and objectives is strengthened. Also, by identifying specific outcomes, teams can determine what future resources are needed and thus are better prepared and more effectively communicated amongst team members. Furthermore, team goals should be tied to the company’s strategic goals, outcomes that are measured and compared with benchmarks, and employees who are motivated to work together in teams.
Diverse membership helps a team have a wide range of views, which cultivates more creativity. Team leaders and members should embrace diversity and recognize that each individual brings valuable assets, knowledge and skills to the team. They are willing to exchange information, examine issues and work through conflicts that arise. Team members should trust one another, look toward the greater good of the team and organization.
“One thing about championship teams is that they’re resilient. No matter what is thrown at them, no matter how deep the hole, they find a way to bounce back and overcome adversity.” – Nick Saban
Khan, A., & Khan, R. (2011). Informal communication styles benefit McDonald’s and Ford. Human Resource Management International Digest, 19(7), 27-29. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/09670731111175560
Klein, C., DiazGranados, D., Salas, E., Le, H., Burke, C.S., Lyons, R, Goodwin, G.F. (2009). Does team building work. Small Group Research, 40, 181-222.
“Teams.” (n.d.). BrainyQuote. Retrieved August 18, 2015, from http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/n/nicksaban608188.html