“Together Everyone Achieves More” – is a great description of the acronym T.E.A.M., however, getting a team to play together and realize there is strength in team work is not-so-great. Too often teams are a collection of individual members rather than a cohesive unit of individual members all working toward the same goals.
If you’ve got a team that isn’t working together well, try these suggestions to help improve team cohesiveness and productivity.
1. Set Goals.
Goals help to establish a common purpose for a team and help to bind it together as everyone becomes focused on achieving the same goals. Once goals have been established, ensure ownership is assigned and everyone understands that by looking after their individual responsibilities the team will be enabled to achieve team goals.
2. Develop Team Rapport.
Rapport isn’t something that comes with a team, it has to be developed. It’s the relationship side of building the team – the “chemistry” of how the team does or sometimes doesn’t connect. It’s necessary to build and it starts with developing trust and respect between team members, which isn’t always easy to do.
One way to start to develop team rapport is to celebrate successes together. When the team starts to see what they can achieve together, it instills a sense of pride and a willingness to achieve more. Another way is to emphasize what team members have in common. This would include things like: sharing the same goals, having a similar/same love of whatever business you’re in and recognizing similar/same strengths.
3. Provide Effective Feedback for Performance Improvement.
Feedback can be used to provide the team and its individual members with motivation and encouragement to improve performance and reach for higher goals. When done constructively, feedback can strengthen a manager’s role as well as develop trust and rapport with their team.
4. Provide Access to Training
Don’t overlook training – it’s a valuable tool that can be used to motivate and develop employees. Training allows employees to learn and develop skills necessary to achieve excellence in performing their jobs, which in turn adds to the bench strength of the team.
Don’t be discouraged if your team or their performance is not ideal at the beginning. Teams need to learn how to play together, taking into consideration the strengths and weaknesses of every individual, before becoming a cohesive unit. In order to understand the needs of their team members, some managers rely on observations and past performance of their team members, while others use behavioural assessments. The data collected by the assessments can provide an objective look at an employee’s strengths and weaknesses, how they are likely or unlikely to get along with others and what training would best suit an individual.