By Tara Thompson
Working in teams is an important aspect of every organization, and developing a more effective team can do wonders for your business results. The first step to building team effectiveness is, of course, hiring!
The recruiting process can be a strenuous one, so it’s recommended you have a clear and straightforward concept of what you’re looking for with recruiting. This way, whether you recruit on your own or hire outside assistance, such as a staffing agency or another recruitment tool, everyone is on the same page for what the job requires.
You want to make sure that all involved in the process know what expectations you have. In other words, your team has the promise of working well together thanks to this shared knowledge among them, even before they’re hired.
When you have the right people in place, then you can evaluate the ways they work together and improve your team’s effectiveness.
Here are four methods from business leaders on how to develop an effective team, mitigate productivity issues, and improve overall efficiency.
1. Set Key Performance Indicators
A key performance indicator (KPI) is a quantifiable measure to see if your business is reaching its goals. While KPIs are often created for financial measures, they can be used for any quantifiable results.
KPIs are important because you either hit the mark or you don’t – which can open up a conversation for why those goals were or weren’t hit. This leads to greater team effectiveness in the future.
Dr. Vince Repaci, Senior Coach with LOVR Atlantic, says:
“One way to get quick wins is setting joint KPIs. In large organizations, silos naturally form, where individual teams working towards their own performance metrics and goals make the organization as a whole less effective.
“By setting and measuring key performance indicators that require multiple teams, or multiple team members to work together, silos are broken down and the effectiveness of the organization goes up.”
2. Embrace Different Communication Styles
Everyone communicates differently. Understanding those around you is a powerful tool that leads to more effective teamwork and communication in and out of the conference room. Taking the Myers-Briggs personality test or a comparable communication assessment can help employees gain insight into their own style, while appreciating the strengths and weaknesses of others.
CEO and Founder of The Teambuilding K.I.T., Janice Holly Booth, says:
“The most valuable strategy I ever implemented centered around communication; specifically, helping each individual know their communication style and the pluses and minuses of that style, helping them learn how to identify the communication styles of their teammates, and most importantly, giving them the tools for effective communication.
“The payoff was almost instantaneous; teammates went from being frustrated with each other to understanding the value each person brought to the team, even if they had a vastly different style.
“There is no question in my mind, after working with thousands of people in hundreds of teams, that without effective communication, you can’t have productivity. Or harmony. It’s as simple as that.”
3. Work as One
While key performance indicators and communication awareness are important, they contribute to a single, greater outcome: working as one team.
Working as a single unit is imperative to your team’s performance and overall organizational success. To accomplish this, you must get every team member on board.
Stuart Wigham, Content Manager and Consultant of On The Mark, says:
“The most important part of working on an effective team is to instill a sense of collective ownership of the whole team. This is done not just through communication strategies, but also in the way that feedback is encouraged peer to peer, as well as top-down and bottom-up.
“All too often teams don’t act as one, leading to blame games. Keeping a free flow of information and dialogue is key to achieving better outcomes for your customers through everyone in your organization as a whole.”
4. Invest in Team Learning
Having the proper skill set is crucial for employees to be successful in any given role, so this is a foundational part of developing an effective team.
Knowing what a role requires will make your employees’ daily work run much smoother. However, when a candidate is hired, they’re not going to know everything immediately – their skills will need ongoing development to be productive in their role at the start, and to continue being effective as things change.
Learning at work is absolutely necessary for teams to perform well in increasingly competitive marketplaces, and the effectiveness of the training you provide can determine their ability to retain information and build the skills they need.
In the end, the little details on how you help your team grow can vary greatly depending on your needs, but the overarching structure remains the same.
You are working towards improving how effectively and efficiently your team can work together. This goal is one that never really stops, but rather evolves alongside you and your team.
For more strategies to develop team effectiveness, listen to this episode of The BizLibrary Podcast, where DeeAnna Deane discusses exactly how she used training to improve her team’s performance.
Tara Thompson is a contributing writer for Markitors, a digital marketing company. In her free time, she enjoys reading as well as crocheting.