Teamwork Makes the Dream Work: Creating Effective and Cohesive Teams

August 7, 2019 | By: Molly Looman
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Every year, sports teams around the nation pick a few players to join their franchises. Fans celebrate and criticize the choices of their team. However, the art of creating a group of people that not only works well, but works well together is no easy task. Here are a few tips to creating a roster worthy of a championship.

Align members goals in a way that creates value

Differences in age, experience and background mean that everyone on a team is bringing something different to the table. The trick in creating an effective team is using everyone’s unique skill set to add the most value. If a former machinist and a former electrician are on your team, they are going to have different areas of expertise that can make the building and the team better if assigned correctly. People perform better if they are working on something they enjoy. There is also the potential for collaboration and teachable moments between members of the team on different systems, techniques or equipment.

Create Autonomy

Micromanaging is rarely an effective form of leadership. Letting team members develop their own autonomy and lean on each other instead of on their superiors will make them more cohesive. While a leader or chief engineer needs to make sure projects are being completed on time and correctly, letting the team members bond and take the lead will bolster their confidence in themselves and their team members. This also depends on the size of your team and number of properties. Autonomy may naturally occur. Within the realm of autonomy, it is important to make sure the team feels supported by their leader and each other. It is in this support that they will become cohesive and respect one another.

Hire the best people, but keep the team in mind

Much like in a sports draft, it is important to try to take the best available, but make sure they fit within the overall vision of your team. In order to make an effective team, you need talented and effective employees. However, if there are mismatched personalities, workflows and backgrounds, your team may not be very effective. For both the employee and the whole team, it is important that any new hire is the right fit. It is also important not to skip team bonding. IF the name game and fun facts may not be your style, find an activity or dedicated time to introduce and orient the team so that they work better together.

Dealing with Conflict

There are a few approaches to take when a team is not working at the optimal level. Cythia Mills, CEO of the Leadership Haven, said there are two important questions to ask:

1. Was the expected result clearly communicated?

2. Was there a correct assessment of skill sets when assembling a team?

The important concept to remember is to look at processes before behavior. Defunct or unproductive teams can lead to blame games or management pitfalls, but identifying whether their problem was due to the process or behavior is an approach that leads to less damaging remediation.