Great teamwork is important if you want high organisational performance and business success. But what are those factors that make a team really great? What behaviours and team ‘characteristics’ should be cultivated and encouraged to facilitate successful teamwork?
Here are just 5 pointers:
While everyone involved in the team needs to pull their weight and work equally, there needs to be a definite leader – the one who takes ultimate responsibility for the team’s delivery in the end. The leader should also provide guidance when it comes to defining team members’ roles, and decision-making.
Each person needs to know exactly what they are responsible for, as well as the responsibilities of their fellow team mates to ensure accountability across the whole team. It also helps to keep co-workers from stepping on others’ toes, or unknowingly working at cross-purposes.
It goes without saying that SMART goals are the way to go. While goals should be realistic, it is also a good idea to set a few stretch goals for some extra motivation and encouragement. Where possible, longer term goals should be broken down into shorter term ‘pieces’ so that ‘small wins’ can be acknowledged and celebrated along the way.
Teams need to be able to communicate and collaborate easily, and working in close proximity is vital for optimizing team functioning. It is also interesting to note that it is often not the communication itself that is important – how team members communicate is the main predictor of success.
The most successful teams are those whose members are completely committed to the team and their work, but not obsessively so. There is a healthy balance between working hard or overtime when it is required, but not sacrificing their family time on a regular basis. Finding the right balance is important for retaining consistency in a team’s performance.