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6 Secrets of Great Teamwork

9/5/22
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Insights
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Zoe Brankin
Do you know what a great team looks like? Or how to build foundations that can set up a team for success? We’ve explored them in this blog!

Sure, there’s no ‘I’ in team, but there are two in resilience. More than ever, building a resilient team is crucial to ensuring business success.

Today’s teams are much different to teams of the past. We now have more diverse, dispersed, and dynamic teams. With remote and hybrid working still on the rise, it’s essential for team leaders to proactively develop their team’s ability to work harmoniously, whether virtually or in person. 

Building the foundations of great teamwork is key to your team’s ability to pull off successful projects wherever they’re working from - but it’s also necessary for overcoming any potential obstacles quickly and smoothly. 

It’s easier said than done. Do you know what a great team looks like? Or how to build foundations that can set up a team for success? We’ve explored them below.

What is a high performing and resilient team?

High performing and resilient teams are composed of individuals with complementary skills and knowledge. No two individuals will be the same, but they’ll each be goal-oriented, focusing on obtaining exceptional results on their projects. 

These teams agree on clear goals that are closely aligned with their company’s ambitions and have a deep understanding of company values and mission. There will be defined roles and responsibilities within the team and clear channels for effective communication. Building teams like these does not happen overnight.

According to researcher Bruce Wayne Tuckman, this process can be broken down into the following stages of team development:

Forming – the team is introduced along with the project scope. Each member shares their skills and background, and individual responsibilities are assigned. 

Storming – the team shares their ideas. There may be some competitiveness amongst members, but the team leader facilitates clear and effective communication.

Norming – the team begins to work together efficiently with less competition. The team members have learned to take on feedback and work together towards a common goal.

Performing – the team is working at peak efficiency with less management required from team leaders. While issues may arise, there are plans in place to ensure that the team remains resilient and produces prompt resolutions. 

Adjourning – the team project is complete. During a debrief, they discuss what went well and can be used in future projects. 

If only it always went that easily, right? When you put it into practice, getting to that performing stage where the team leader can take a step back to let the team work independently is easier said than done.

A lot of work and planning needs to go in beforehand when you’re building a winning team. 

The importance of good teamwork

Unsurprisingly, better teamwork is better for business.

There are plenty of scientifically-proven benefits to having a harmonious team. These include:

Boosted productivity

Employees are more motivated when their efforts are recognised by their peers. Research has found that respect from their co-workers was the top reason for employees to go the extra mile in their role.

Better decision-making

Collaborative thinking helps you to come to the right decisions quickly. However, you need to strike the right balance. Smaller teams tend to develop the most disruptive ideas, while bigger teams spend more time arguing. 

Effective problem solving

The more minds put into resolving a problem, the better. In this study, groups of 2-5 people were more effective at solving problems than the ‘top’ individuals.

Higher creativity and innovation

Diverse teams are the most innovative. A McKinsey & Company report found that diverse teams are more creative and outperform homogenous teams by 35%.

Increased employee retention and profitability 

Naturally, if your employees work together well and produce great work, they’ll be happier and want to stay at your company. Minimal employee turnover makes for a healthy bottom line - as do successful projects that meet your company goals!

Six secrets to great teamwork and team building

Now that we’re familiar with team development, the characteristics of a high-performing team, and its valuable benefits, let’s look into how you can establish a resilient team. 

Set the right group size

We touched upon group size, but striking the right balance of the number of people in your team is vital for various factors.

With a bigger team, it’s a lot harder to achieve team cohesion. While differing perspectives and opinions are a healthy team component, if you have too many, you’ll risk slowing the project down. 

Equally, having too small of a team may limit the potential of your project. With too few members, you’ll inevitably lack diversity. This would risk creating an echo chamber of uninspired ideas, and you may lack the right skill sets needed to carry the team to success. 

Ideally, you’ll want a minimum of three team members and a maximum of seven.

Set clear goals

As a manager, it can be easy to hand out task after task to get the jobs done. However, people need to understand the greater context of their work and why it’s important. This is so they don’t feel the work is endless, pointless and exhausting. 

Give your team specific, measurable goals to prioritise what’s important, drive the result and provide them with a sense of achievement when they reach it. 

Transparency 

When you are completely transparent with your team about numbers, plans, and challenges, you can harness each individual's full intelligence and motivation. 

It allows everyone to know what they’re doing, why they’re doing it and how it fits into the bigger picture at the company. Transparency and setting clear goals go hand in hand if you want to get everyone on your team on board. 

Create a team culture

As with the broader company, establishing a culture within your team is essential to ensure that everyone gets on well together. 

As the team leader, you should set the example for how members should communicate and interact with one another. Ensure that you listen to everyone’s ideas and respect your team’s time. Inclusivity is crucial to team building.

Do your best to show resilience when your team encounters challenges. Coordinate your team to come up with a solution quickly each time.

Streamline your team’s communication

A lack of effective communication can be extremely frustrating and lead to a breakdown of team relationships - as demonstrated by every rom-com ever

Emails, Teams, Slack, and Zoom calls are all endless ways to communicate, yet wires are somehow still getting crossed. The result is more email chains, more meetings and more wasted time. 

So, set yourself up for success with the right communication tool for your business to build your team culture and help you truly understand one another. 

Practise and encourage team member recognition

Countless studies have shown that people’s single biggest motivator isn’t money. It’s recognition. 

Everyone wants to be told that they’re doing a great job. Never forget to show employees how much they’re valued. ‘Great job’ or ‘thank you for your hard work’ can increase employee productivity. Encouraging team members to recognise their peer’s achievements is one of many overlooked leadership building activities.

Great leaders and managers create solid and successful teams, and Mo can help you through social recognition. Our software allows you to connect with and motivate your team, get to know your teammates better, celebrate successes together and provide personal, meaningful rewards. 

Are you curious to see the tool that helps develop successful and resilient teams that work in harmony? Book a demoof Mo today. 

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