Getting employees to work together in a structured way can be a bit of challenge. Especially if team members don't all feel like they're taken seriously within the team, or if they feel like they aren't 'doing their part'.
Use these nine tips to make sure your team is running at full capacity…
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8 Tips to build a winning team
1. Lay the foundation
Discuss the following with your team: What's the purpose of the team; their function in relation to the business goals; the actual team goal? Don't assume everyone's on the same page until you've had this discussion.
2. Take a team "pulse"
Basically, check how your team's getting on. This can happen in a couple of different ways. One way is through which will show you how each person sees their function and interaction. Include topics such as commitment, trust, communication and conflict resolution in your survey.
Another way to take a team "pulse" is to have discussions about what's working and what isn't. Have regular, informal conversations that keep communication channels open.
3. Examine expectations
Are the expectations of team members clearly communicated? For example, what do people expect to get out of working together as a team, i.e, expression, creativity; what can be expected of their contributions?
4. Acknowledge unique talents and contributions
Each team member brings value to the team. Point out or showcase different abilities. Take time in a meeting to recognise one or two members' contribution. Be sure everyone gets equal recognition.
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5. Build dialogue, extinguish monologue
Aim toward two-way interaction, exchanging ideas and developing new insights in regular communication. Invite employees to ask about other member's reasoning or thinking, and explain how they think of, or see, a situation.
6. Do some teambuilding
Have quarterly or bi-annual team building sessions. The type of team building you choose needs to match the culture and challenges of the team. For example, classroom-type lessons or rope climbing. There are hundreds of activities that are metaphors for what goes on or doesn't go on, in the team experience. Whatever you choose to do, be certain there'll be valuable learning and fun.
7. Laugh together
Laughter's a common language the entire team will understand. Create times for people to laugh together and loosen up. This also stimulates creativity. Maybe even start every meeting with a joke?
Provide a continental breakfast or bring in lunch and celebrate for no special reason other than to say thank you to the team. Or identify a theme (Mardi Gras, Hollywood) and ask people to bring in food to share. Don't expect employees to gather after work hours because most people have personal commitments.
Make sure you keep your team members happy and motivated and you'll get maximum productivity! For more advice on how to deal with these, and other your labour issues, subscribe to our monthly Labour Watch Newsletter
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Until next time
P.S. Need to dismiss an employee who isn't pulling his weight? Click here now to find out how you can legally dismiss him.