Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Getting the Best out of your Team !

Teamwork is integral to the success of any organisation. It has a huge impact on the performance of any enterprise. It is said that Teamwork can make or break an organisation. Contrarily, a bad team can cause unwanted disruptions and strategic failures. Team building is a process that requires attention and care. The emphasis on process and not an annual offsite or a town hall. Two very important factors in efficient team formation are a well thought out team orientation process and a clear team charter. When the members of a team properly understand what they are supposed to do and how they are supposed to do it has an impact on their performance. 

When you start work with your team, it can be helpful if you set a small rule-book of your own. Spend about 20 to 30 minutes with your team and collectively create a Code of Conduct. It can be a good way to welcome new members. Supervising a team of grown up adults is really not an easy task. A team consists of different people with different temperaments, different behavioural traits, different specialities and varying work ethics.Thus, conflict can be an inevitable consequence of teamwork. Allowing such differences to get out of hand causes unnecessary disruptions and leads to breakdowns in working relationships. Team members and more importantly team leaders should have basic knowledge of conflict resolution.
Credits : Google Images
Since a group comprises of adults, it is very important that as a team manager you behave accordingly. All your team members have intelligence, creativity and imagination. You can make the best use of these resources by showing them that you value their opinion.

To get the best out of your team at work you must practice all that you preach. If you ask your team members to come to office on time, you must be punctual yourself. Try to be a team member rather than being a leader. Work with your team. It is advisable that you do not try to boss around.

Prove you are superior to your team members through your work and not through your attitude or designation. Be inspiring not intimidating. Each member in your team should be able to come up to you and give in their ideas without the fear of being insulted or humiliated or being turned down rudely. Let everyone speak. It is wise not to allow a few to dominate the group. If that happens, it is the responsibility of a team leader to provide everyone with equal opportunity in a team.

Welcome comments and suggestions from your team members. Even when you give some ideas, allow your team members to give their comments to make it better.
Every team will almost inevitably have people who are introvert. Help them to express themselves.

Allow breaks. Both the human body and the brain need some rest. A small recess after a fruitful session of hard work does not hurt. It is rejuvenating and would help your team members perform better. The biggest hindrances to progressive work can be miscommunication between the team and internal creative conflicts, which eventually and certainly lead to lower collective output and poor results. A tired and stressed team cannot produce results. Under such circumstances a team leader can bring back the focus of the team by reinforcing the collective goal.

A very effective method of improving people’s performance is by providing information to team members about individual performance and the overall performance of the team. Care should be taken that this information is not conveyed in a manner that causes resentment or animosity. Do not point out individual drawbacks in front of the whole team. Discuss separately with each member of your team. Comparison within a team can lead to bitterness among team members.

Although there is no ‘I’ in a team, it is crucial to understand that a team is made up of individuals. Building and honing the skills in individuals that are congruent with the needs of the team are critical to the good performance of a team. Collaborating and understanding the key issues facing the team is also very important. Cohesion ensures that members in a team work collectively towards the same goal. Finally, when a project is complete, do not forget to say ‘Thank You’ to your team members and appreciate their hard work. Do not forget to celebrate the success !!!

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